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L.A. Beat

Old Favourites help Nord Bridge and LSCO

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The Lethbridge Senior’s Centre Organization is looking forward to seeing a few old friends performing a few of their old favourites at the Yates/ Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Feb 17-18.Scott Carpenter looks at a couple of carvings by his dad Don. Carpenter is part of the Old ‘folk’ favourites fundraiser for the LSCO and Nord Bridge Senior’s Centres, Feb. 17-18. Photo by Richard Amery
 For Scott Carpenter, one of the organizers and performers of the event,  helping out the LSCO and Nord-Bridge Senior’s Centre has a personal connection.

“ All of our parents use the services of either Nord Bridge Senior’s Centre or the LSCO. And my dad, Don Carpenter, teaches carving at the LSCO. I go for lunch there every day,” Carpenter said, showing off a couple of his dad’s carvings, which usually sit on his desk at city hall, where he his responsible for booking city facilities like hockey rinks and theatres. Scott Carpenter, Jeff Carlson, Jordana Kohn, Erica Hunt, Arlene Bedster, Andre Royer and Kelly Roberts have been “reuniting ” for the past two years just for this event and to revisit some of their favourite moments on stage together.

 While the Old New West performances aren’t affiliated with New West Theatre, a handful of New West Theatre veterans enjoy revisiting some of their old favourites from the early days of New West Theatre for this popular annual event.
“You can’t throw a stone without hitting a song that New West has done,” Carpenter laughed.
“These shows are a lot more intimate. A grand piano, a few chairs and us and out instruments is the only set,” he said.
It is a challenge as most of the group holds down full time jobs, so rehearsals must  be scheduled around them.
“We‘ve been rehearsing since December for this. Usually when I’m in a New West production, I’m only rehearsing for two weeks to a month,” he said.

 They decided to have some fun with the “old folk theme,” as most of the songs they will be performing fall into the folk or acoustic vein, they thought they’d throw the word  ‘folk’ in between the show’s title ‘ Old Favourites and have some fun with the double  entendre.
 Selections include ‘Blowin’ In The Wind,’ ‘California Dreaming,’ ‘Big Yellow Taxi,’ ‘King of the Road,’ ‘Landslide,’ ‘Turn, Turn, Turn,’ ‘Walk Right In,’ and many others.

“It’s a great fundraiser,” enthused Marcie Stork, Lethbridge Senior’s Centre volunteer co-ordinator.
  The  fundraiser for both the Lethbridge Seniors Centre Organization and  Nord Bridge Seniors Centre, has been very successful the past two times they decided to do it.
“The first year we did two sold out shows, the next year we did three shows. Two sold out and one almost sold out. This year we hope  there will be three sell outs,” Carpenter enthused adding last year they raised a total of $23,000 which was split between the two centres.
“ I’ve been performing in Lethbridge for 20 years. So I’ve personally been supported by Lethbridge’s seniors community and I’m always being stopped in the street by seniors who talk to me about it, so knowing the proceeds  go back to the seniors community is very near and dear to my heart,” Carpenter said.

“ I think it is wonderful they help us with this event and they love working together again,” Stork continued.
“The way it started is we were asked  to do some entertainment for the Senior’s games  and Jim Hahn from Nord Bridge thought it would make a great fundraiser,” Carpenter explained.
 While Stork doesn’t know what they have planned for “Old ‘folk’ Favourites 3”, she is looking forward to seeing what the come come up with. It means a lot to  both  the LSCO and Nord Bridge as  proceeds are split 50-50 between the two organizations. They have 50 volunteers involved with making this show work.

“It helps keep membership and meal costs affordable,” she said.
“Any money we make through fundraising means less we have to charge our members,” she continued.
“Just knowing we have such a group of very talented people who are willing to  help us out means a lot to us,” she said.
““It’s nice to see them performing because they enjoy it so much.”
 The community is responding to it as well as both Saturday shows sold out last year and tickets are moving fast for this year.
“People are starting to expect it (an Old Favourites production),” Stork said.
Tickets for the show cost  $37.50 for the  Feb. 17-18 evening shows, which begin at 8 p.m.
 There is also a matinee at 2 p.m., Feb. 18. Tickets for it cost $32.50.

 A version of this story appears in the Feb. 15 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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