The Garlands of Barrington member Bruce Smith is making the world a better place one song at a time! The 75-year-old recently received the Daily Points of Light Award, which celebrates the power of the individual to spark change and improve the world, from the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.
Smith’s nostalgic tunes bring joy and camaraderie to fellow Garlands members through his popular “Music in the Morning” programs at the retirement community, located at 1000 Garlands Lane, Barrington, IL.
After moving to The Garlands in 2012 with his wife, Carol, the Surround Sound Theater with seating for 40, a high-resolution movie screen and state-of-the-art sound system caught Smith’s attention as a “man cave” with great potential.
The lifelong music lover strings together playlists and YouTube videos into continuous one-hour videos with the help The Garlands Lifestyles Coordinator/Media Specialist Nathaniel Szkil. The music evokes vivid memories and strong emotions, striking a chord with members, who pack The Garlands state-of-the-art theater for the monthly foot-tapping, head-bopping programs.
“These songs bring back a flood of memories,” Smith says. “Members think and talk about where they were and what they were doing 30 years ago.”
His current playlist includes an eclectic mix of calypso, country, big band, show tunes and opera. Despite the variety, Smith jokes, you won’t see any Taylor Swift videos!
Smith is delighted by the award, but says the real satisfaction comes from seeing how the music brings people together and the joy the audience gets out of the experience.
In addition to running “Music in the Morning,” Smith is a member of The Garlands Play Readers and holds a leadership role in the community as the Member Advisory Council chairman.
“If you’re living somewhere 24/7, and it’s your home, you’re invested in it,” he says. “You want to make it something you can all be proud of.”
For more information about The Garlands, please visit The Garlands website at www.thegarlands.com. The Garlands is a unique community for people ages 55 and older that offers residents an uncompromising lifestyle in a resort setting with unprecedented amenities and services.