Seniority: Music for the ages

Posted: Thursday, October 06, 2005

On Saturday, big band music will meet Britney Spears as two generations of seniors put on a dinner karaoke event.

High school seniors from a government class at Kenai Central High are working with the Kenai Senior Citizens Center to put on an Octoberfest event Saturday with dinner and singing.

Rachel Craig, senior center director, said students from the government class approached the senior center about doing a community service project to fulfill a class requirement.

Craig said the center has had help from students before, doing things like documenting a kitchen expansion project and putting together a Kenai senior center cookbook, but a project this involved is a first.

"Something of this magnitude we've never really done before with the students," Craig said. "We've wanted to, we've just never had the opportunity. Now I think this opens up the door that shows we can do this with the the schools and it's really exciting."

The high school students are doing much of the leg work for the event, including decorating the center's dining room, cooking the meal of roast pork, sausage, sauerkraut, rolls and dessert, selling some tickets and running the karaoke.

The center is providing the space, supervision and hosts for the evening.

The event is a fund-raiser for the Kenai Senior Connections group, which will use the money to put on the senior prom breakfast later in the year.

"I think both are going to benefit," Craig said. "It's a win-win situation. It's a good project for both sides."

What Craig is particularly excited about is the interaction between the high school seniors and senior citizens.

"We've been looking to do intergenerational projects," she said.

Even the karaoke portion of the even will be intergenerational, with both groups of seniors getting a taste of each others' music.

"We told them they need to have big band sounds," Craig said.

She acknowledged the majority of the singing will be done by younger folks, however.

"A few of our younger seniors enjoy karaoke," she said. "But a lot of them don't because they have hearing problems."

High-schoolers and senior citizens aren't the only age groups involved. The event is open to the community.

"We're hoping to draw in community people who wouldn't normally come to the senior center," Craig said.

The Octoberfest will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the senior center. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for senior citizens and youths 12 and under and $35 for a family of four. Tickets are available at the center, at Charlotte's in Kenai and from the high school seniors involved.

"Who knows what can come out of this," Craig said. "I think this is an awesome start."

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