For the past 10 years, a group of Carmel seniors has been making a difference in their community. They are the Prime Life Follies, a group that originated at Carmel’s PrimeLife Enrichment Center in 2003 when a couple from Carmel brought together a handful of people to bring joy to those in local retirement communities and nursing homes.
“It is our way to give back for our healthy and happy retirement. We just wanted to go out and make people feel better,” said Lori Mansell, who founded the group with her husband, Jack, 10 years ago. “Every time we go out, I come back feeling better. Now we have gotten to know our audiences, and they have become friends.”
Their popularity has grown through the years as they make the rounds, bringing a new show each season for spring, summer, fall and Christmas. They not only bring smiles to residents but also small gifts.
“We give out Beanie Babies at some of the shows in the nursing homes. Some of these people don’t have anything,” Lori said, “It’s like we gave them a million bucks! They put them on their wheelchairs and walkers. Some have a collection now.”
The Prime Life Follies continues to grow in both numbers and in age with members in their mid-70s to 88. Shows include tap dancing, comedy, vocalists, violin, ukelele, guitar and more. One member, Mary Cole, a violinist, just recently retired from the Carmel Symphony Orchestra. The group performs classic favorites such as “New York, New York” during their Let us Entertain You theme as well as popular sing-alongs familiar to their audiences.
And it doesn’t seem like this group of energetic, dedicated seniors will be stopping anytime soon.
“We’ve done as many as 40 shows a year, three a week during the holiday season. We’re a group that just can’t say ‘No,’” Mansell said. “We just appreciate the privilege to be able to bring joy to these people. It’s more rewarding than you can imagine. We hope for another 10 years – at least!”
For more information or to book a show, contact Lori at 417-2234.