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JCU Gospel Choir teams up with new student organization: Joint service trip benefits Waterford Retirement Facility

May 3rd, 2011

On Friday, Nov. 19, 2010, the John Carroll Gospel Choir and F.A.C.E.S.™ organization went on a joint service trip to the Waterford Retirement Facility in Richmond Heights, Ohio. Taking a total of 18 members from both groups, their goal was to spread holiday cheer with the senior citizens there. Sophomore Cedric Jackson Jr., musical director for the Gospel Choir said, “We’re glad to establish a partnership with the Waterford Retirement Facility. It was an experience I’ll never forget.”

The Gospel Choir was reorganized in Fall 2009, and this is the first time the group has been involved with a service component. Meeting at the Rec Desk at 5:00 pm, both groups loaded on to the JCU fleet bus for the 15 minute ride, and once they arrived, enjoyed pizza provided by the Gospel Choir, as many were coming straight from class and work. At 6:00 pm, F.A.C.E.S.™ sponsored a jeopardy game for the senior citizens, giving away towels, cloths, and socks gift-wrapped in holiday paper, followed by a concert from the Gospel Choir.  Afterwards, both groups took pictures, and mingled with the residents over the cookies and punch that the Waterford provided as a special “thank you” for coming.

Claudine Chatman, a Waterford resident said, “Everything was perfect; it was the largest crowd we’ve had come out for an evening activity.” Over 45 residents crowded the multi-purpose room that evening.

Waterford activity coordinator, Sue Stamey, thanked both groups profusely for coming. “The gifts were perfect for our resident’s daily needs. And the singing was absolutely wonderful.”

F.A.C.E.S.™, which co-sponsored the trip, is a new JCU student organization whose name is an acronym for Faith, Action, Culture, Entertainment, and Service. The organization’s mission is to bring an atmosphere of faith, fellowship, fun, and a family dynamic to the Carroll campus.

F.A.C.E.S.™ hosts various activities including powerful dinner discussions and attendance to both sports games and campus events as a group. F.A.C.E.S.™ also teams up with other student organizations to engage in service opportunities.

Dr. Walter Simmons, F.A.C.E.S.™ adviser said that F.A.C.E.S.™ has partnered with the Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope (NOAH), after earlier this semester when the group brought in NOAH executive director, Trevelle Harp, to speak on community organizing.

”F.A.C.E.S.™ is looking forward to hosting some great events in the near future,” Dr. Simmons comments.

Remarking on the Waterford trip, Melanie Davis, a junior and financial officer for F.A.C.E.S.™ said, “I had so much fun interacting with the residents; it was great to hear some of their stories.”

Junior Yuri Sato, a new member to the Gospel Choir, said,” The Waterford facility was gorgeous and the people were amazing; I’m excited to return again next year.”

Reverend Valentino Lassiter is the adviser for Gospel Choir, and encourages all to come out for the Gospel Choir’s performances this semester. Both advisers enjoyed the groups’ collaboration for the Waterford Trip.