Carollers bring joy to Agassiz seniors

Youth join singers from the Sunshine Ladies for Christmas Eve songs

Most weeks, Doris Rusnak tours Agassiz seniors homes with the help of her singing group, the Sunshine Ladies.

But on Christmas Eve she sang with a new group of carollers.

Youth ranging from five to 18-years-old from Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church joined Rusnak to sing for seniors at the Agassiz Seniors Community (formerly Cheam Village) on Dec. 24.

After caring for him for 38 years, Rusnak’s husband entered assisted living this year. With family out of town, it would be Rusnak’s first holiday alone.

“I’m home alone which is a very hard thing,” she said.

When she heard how many residents were without family in the area, Rusnak knew exactly how to make the holiday special.

She and local youth sang classic carols and some upbeat jingles like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

“I thought how nice it would be for the children to get the message that Christmas is not only to receive but also to give,” Rusnak said. “I think it’s really amazing that [the parents] went for it because it is a very busy time.”

Katie Stam, Agassiz Seniors Community’s recreation director, said the songs were a hit.

“Our residents love seeing children so we thought it would be a good fit for Christmas Eve,” she said. “They really enjoyed it, a lot of them were really happy. The majority of residents get visitors but this was something extra.”

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