RED Day brings smiles to senior citizens


Inside an air-conditioned recreation room at Hearthside Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, vibrations jumped off the strings of a guitar and keys of a piano, and seemingly onto the hips and tapping feet of residents Thursday.

They were gathered for RED Day, an annual event during which Keller Williams Realty associates give back to the community.

Hearthside is a skilled nursing facility that houses 152 people. The center offers intensive physical therapy and many residents deal with illness.

But Thursday’s focus was on anything but.

Residents were treated to bingo, ice cream, dancing and manicure stations.

Staff from Keller Williams donned red shirts as they served ice cream, dancing among residents.

“It truly feels good to be able to give back. All of us, as real estate agents, try to help people find their next home, which is a very exciting thing. This (day) gives us a general capacity to give back to our local area and the residents,” said Denise Wood, a Realtor at Keller Williams.

State College’s own piano man Tommy Wareham was on the keys and guitar strings taking requests.

“Everybody likes to rock,” said Wareham as he filled requests for artists from Elvis to Harry Belafonte.

“A day like today doesn’t come along very often,” said Hearthside activity director Laura Klusewitz. “It’s been a really great day. This is the biggest, most enthusiastic crowd I’ve seen in a while.”

RED Day (short for “renew, energize and donate”) fell on the fourth day of National Nursing Home Week. This year’s theme is “Big World With A Small Heart.”

“This is a day that I know a lot of the residents will look back on fondly until we can do this again,” Klusewitz said.

“We wanted to say thank you to them, let them know that they matter, let them know that they are special. We wanted to do something that really mattered and intertwining with humans is the most important thing. When you do something for people and make someone’s day, it’s priceless,” said Shelley Brugel, a Realtor at Keller Williams Advantage Realty.

Jalelah Ahmed: 814-231-4631, @jalelahahmed