Dressed as their favorite artists, local seniors stole the show at the inaugural Lip Sync Challenge on August 24th. Performers mouthed the words to songs spanning the decades as a way to raise money for Action for Older Persons. Funding was generated through sponsorships and ticket sales at last Thursday’s event.
“Action for Older Persons provides advocacy, individualized counseling, and unbiased information to empower older adults and their families to make informed decisions,” said AOP Executive Director Casondra Hamilton. “We are approaching our busiest time of year, open enrollment for Medicare, and the money raised at the Lip Sync Challenge will help us provide important guidance to the thousands of residents we serve.”
The show was organized by AOP and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo after the two met to discuss how Lupardo could assist the agency in her role as Chair of the Assembly Aging Committee. The inspiration came after Lupardo saw an online video of seniors from the Diana Isaac Retirement Village in Christchurch, New Zealand performing Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.”
“Aging is not what it was a generation ago; seniors everywhere are staying more active and involved in their communities,” said Lupardo. “My goal as Chair of the Aging Committee is to help seniors receive services they need, but also to help them ‘age in style.’ This event was a perfect example of how older residents can have a good time while giving back.”
Nine performances were judged on originality, stage presence and lip sync ability by celebrity judges Candace Chapman, Binghamton School District Superintendent Dr. Tonia Thompson and local entertainer Rich Wilson. Two guest appearances, one by Lupardo and some local women, another by the Broome County Office for Aging, were not scored. First place was awarded to Robert Oppici and Jane Page who performed “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun, second place went to Peg Van Fleet with her rendition of Liza Minnelli’s “New York, New York,” and Pat Grant came in third place for her performance of the Oak Ridge Boys’ “Elvira.” AOP plans to continue the Lip Sync Challenge as its annual signature fundraiser.