PARK RIDGE, Ill. - A Park Ridge woman is literally going to new heights to reach seniors who are isolated during the pandemic.
Colette Hawley has taken her one-woman-show to more than two dozen nursing homes around Illinois.
"A lot of them are not allowed to leave their rooms, and be in group settings in these places. And I see them waving from their windows or dancing or clapping, they clap along, it just moves me to the point of knowing that this is what I have to keep doing," said Hawley.
She doesn’t charge a dime for the 30 minute shows.
Her stage makes the performances unique. Sometimes it’s way up high in a mechanical Cherry Picker, other times it’s in the back of a pick-up truck.
When social distancing is necessary, she gets creative.
It’s an idea that came to her as she was watching neighbors in Italy come together during the pandemic.
"I remember watching them outside on their balconies and kind of singing to each other. That's not exactly what I did but I got the idea that somehow music could float up through the air and we could connect," Hawley said.
She’s made the effort a full-time gig, fundraising on her Go Fund Me page to keep the music alive.
Lakeview retirement home resident Mary Lou Wade is a big fan and loves her performances.
"She takes us out of ourselves and brings us to another era where we were all well and happy and not so old. She wants us to remember the good times," Wade said.
If you’d like to help Hawley, here’s a link to her fundraising page.