Oct. 08--Sometimes, changing things up can be a little scary.
For more than a decade, the Atlantic City-based Schultz-Hill Foundation has run programs and offerings aimed at improving the lives of students.
But last year, the foundation decided to broaden its offerings to include a decidedly different audience.
On Thursday, the foundation is sponsoring "My Way," a program saluting Frank Sinatra's music and Italian culture as the third and final installment in a year-long concert series providing free entertainment for senior citizens.
"In the past we have supported education programs, arts programs and scholarships. We've reached out to children and education," said Gary Hill, who, with spouse John Schultz, founded the Schultz-Hill Foundation.
"Last December our Board of Directors decided they wanted to reach out to a different population, so we decided to try senior citizens."
"When we started, we weren't sure what the outcome would be, but it really has turned out well," Hill said.
The foundation's first senior concert was a Valentine's Day-themed event held in February. Then there was an evening of Broadway songs during the summer.
Thursday's performance will be themed around a Columbus Day salute to Italian-American music and culture.
The event features The Greater Ocean City Theater Company performing Sinatra's music as well as other guests.
Even with the full bill, a large part of the day's entertainment will not take place on stage. There is a meet-and-greet after the show, and seniors usually have a good time relating their own stories and anecdotes to the cast, Hill said.
The seniors just light up -- even the cast members mention this. They just light up. It's a great way to see intergenerational activity and awareness being shared."
While the foundation is sponsoring the music, it receives help from Atlantic County and the CRDA in transporting the seniors to the show and. Most of the audience comes from Atlantic City, but some come from Ventnor and other area towns, Hill said.
The venue has seating for 225, and Hill expects most seats to be filled by time the music starts.
Folks interested in attending the free show can call 888-426-9243 to reserve seating.
And as the foundation winds up its 2013 concert series, Hill is already looking ahead to the coming year.
"We would definitely like to do something in 2014. I'm not sure it will be theater music like we did this year _ maybe we'll do special concerts, or jazz or swing music. We are not necessarily locked into a theater production."
"Basically we are really happy, foundation is happy to present musical, cultural experience for our seniors," he said.
Contact Steven V. Cronin:
If you go
'My Way: A Celebration of Columbus Day and Italian Culture' 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Dante Hall Theater, 14 N Mississippi Ave, Atlantic City. Tickets free by calling 888-426-9423.
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