Commonwealth Senior Living gave local choirs a chance to one-up the birds inspired by recent springtime temperatures with the “Sing Your Heart Out” competition on February 22. According to Commonwealth Senior Living Sales and Marketing Director John Mathis, Executive Director Kayla Crowder was inspired by Valentine’s Day and came up with the idea.
“This is the first time we’ve held this type of community event here. We try to offer events to bring in community members and be entertaining to our residents,” Mathis said. “We pretty much pulled it all together as a team.” He said staffers had received good feedback from residents, who also acted as contacts for leads when they sent out invitations to local churches for the competition, which boasts a top prize of $25o.
The choirs who competed were Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church, Legacy Church of Wytheville, Jesus Tabernacle of Cana and Willis Full Gospel Church of Willis. Mathis said each choir was asked to prepare two songs to perform. The choirs’ performances were rated by a panel of three judges who chose the choir to receive the top award. The judges for the competition were Dennis Lowe, who has a family member in Senior Living, Mountain Valley Hospice Choir Director Fonda Younger, and Pastor D.G. Fox, known locally for directing “The Preacher’s Choir” of Galax.
Legacy Church was named to top honors in the event, which packed Senior Living’s dining room. Worship Leader Amy Taylor said this was the first time the group had competed in such a competition. She said the prize money isn’t earmarked for a specific purpose and will go to the Church’s mission fund. Taylor said the group hopes it will go to support the Church’s school supply backpack program (500 packs were given out last summer).
Senior Living Director of Dining Kristin Kennedy-Short and her culinary crew prepared the hors ‘d oevures and beverages for the event, which was open to the public. Business Manager Diane Keegan served as emcee for the competition. Mathis said events like the competiton bolster a unique relationship between local residents and the community.
“It was awesome! This is something that not only benefits our residents but the general population,” said Executive Director Kayla Crowder. “I think the reason this went so well was because it’s Carroll County. Here Carroll Countians take care of each other. This isn’t something that is common in the region. This is a close-knit community and people look after each other. It’s a wonderful community.”
She said she hopes the good response to the last two events from the public is momentum for future events at Senior Living. Crowder praised the effort of local volunteers and the staff who went above and beyond to make it special. She said it was something they didn’t have to do but they did.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.