Eagle Scout project helps seniors soar
Libertyville Friday, 7/20/12 As part of his Eagle Scout project, 14-year-old, Christian Phillips of Mundelein organized a talent show for the residents of Winchester House in Libertyville. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
The musicians which entertained the seniors included Matt Henderson, Ted Sullivan, singer Niki Mevanoch, Luis Vides Jr., Gaurau Gupie, Hunter Prendergast, Jack Dahlinger and Alex Heraty.
Updated: September 3, 2012 6:07AM
LIBERTYVILLE — Smooth jazz and a mixture of popular songs entertained nearly 100 senior citizens at Winchester House as part of a show that was an Eagle Scout project.
Christian Phillips of Mundelein put together a band from people he knew that took guitar lessons and they played everything from the Beatles to Duke Ellington to Thelonious Monk.
“I originally was going to do a talent show, but then Winchester House said the residents really enjoy music,” said Phillips, who added that the stage at the nursing home was pretty small. It would have been hard to have jugglers or gymnastics use that size stage.
“I probably had close to 100 hours put into the project,” he said, which included rehearsals. He was MC for the event and he also handed out numbers, and gave away door prizes that included magnifying glasses and decks of playing cards with large type so they are easier to read.
“I thought that was a great idea,” said Laura Dorenfest, 52, of Chicago, who was visiting her mother, Mary, 78, at the county’s extended care facility. Her mom won a door prize and got the playing cards. Her mother was impressed enough to go up and congratulate the musicians.
“It was good. The beat was very enjoyable,” said Mary. “It was nice they did something for the people.”
Former Boy Scout Neil Sherman, 89, was wearing an old belt buckle he got when he was in Scouts that showed an ax in a log he got as a merit badge. “I liked their enthusiasm, and not only enthusiasm, but their coordination,” he said.
Brenda Benethum, 90, said, “I like music of any kind. There were songs from every generation.”
Irene Peppel, 85, said the music was different and she was glad they didn’t have a blaring trumpet. “The fellas were nice young men. We should have them more often,” she said.
At certain points, the music seemed to set off the birds in the small aviary off to the side of the room where everyone was gathered. Other Scouts volunteered to help the seniors down to the cafeteria and then back up to their rooms.
Phillips is in Troop 198 that is affiliated with St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church. Before he could do his Eagle project, he had to earn 11 merit badges that are required; then he got to pick another 10 merit badges. Now he has to write up his project and submit it to Scouting officials.