Benton Boomers Going to Barbados

BENTON, Pa. -- If you spend any amount of time at the Benton Senior Center in Columbia County, prepare to be serenaded by a group of seniors and their musical instruments.

The seniors are involved in a program started by Carl Chimi and Mary Knysh called "Music for Wellness."

Carl and Mary work with seniors to bring out the music inside of them.

"We believe that that's a factor in people's wellness," Chimi said.

The music program came to the Benton Senior Center last summer. Center manager Jinny Keifer says the seniors did not want to do it at first.

"No, they were ready to fire me. But they got into it and we've come a long way," Keifer said.

Now, the "Benton Boomers" travel to other senior centers and nursing homes. They teach other seniors how to make drums and how to play the instruments. Participants say it's therapeutic.

"I'm kind of introverted and I think it really helps people communicate with each other. It's really social," Barb Spisszak said.

"They're actually leading the performance and eager to lead the performance. That is a lot of fun to watch," Chimi said.

In a little over a month, the group is taking its talents to Barbados. And group members are raising money to be able to do that.

Five members of the group are going with their instructor to Barbados. They will go into senior centers there and teach seniors how to play instruments and make drums.

"I never thought at my age I would be doing something like this and going to Barbados with a group," Spisszak said.

The seniors are holding fundraisers for their upcoming trip. If you'd like to help, click here.

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