CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – In 2019, dozens of seniors across the Southeast stepped into the spotlight at not one, but three “Seniors Got Talent” competitions presented by the Morning Pointe Foundation. From Chattanooga, Tennessee to Franklin, Tennessee to Lexington, Kentucky, local seniors performed before star-studded panels of judges. Participants were anywhere between 62 to 94 years of age and demonstrated an impressively wide range of talents, showcasing their skills in everything from singing to line dancing to baton- twirling to ventriloquism.
In Chattanooga, Morning Pointe of Hixson (TN) resident Ernestine Eldridge (92) took home the first place prize for a patriotic medley performed on the piano. Doug Smith (65) netted second place with his rendition of “My Babe” on the harmonica, and Ronnie Nicholas (71) won third place with a comedic version of “Cat’s in the Cradle” performed on the guitar.
The first place winners in Franklin were husband and wife duo Ano Missirian (86) and Raphael Missirian (94), who made the entire audience feel their enthusiasm for life and love for each other as they performed an Armenian love song. Ventriloquist Ken Karter (84) took second place, and Barbara Young (72), an accomplished baton twirler, won third place. John Oates of famed musical duo Hall & Oates served as a special guest judge.
The Prime Time Dancers (62 to 81) claimed the first place spot in Lexington. Pianist Loren Tice (80) and saxophonist Lee Patrick (81) took second place. Morning Pointe of Danville (KY) residents and musicians Ron Moroni (80) and John Hughes (89) brought home third place with their duet for piano and fiddle.
“We are so incredibly proud of all of the talented men and women who performed in ‘Seniors Got Talent.’ It is such an honor to be able to spotlight them,” said Morning Pointe Foundation executive director Audra Hopkins.
Four more “Seniors Got Talent” competitions in Chattanooga, Franklin, and Knoxville, Tennessee as well as Lexington, Kentucky were planned for 2020. However, in the interest of protecting seniors’ health during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the contests were delayed until the following year. Beginning in August 2021, “Seniors Got Talent” will make its spectacular return, showcasing local seniors’ talents in cities throughout the Southeast.
Created in 2014 by senior healthcare entrepreneurs Greg A. Vital and J. Franklin Farrow, the Morning Pointe Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Morning Pointe Senior Living, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides nursing scholarship opportunities, forms community partnerships, and supports caregiver education in its mission to advance the care of seniors.
“From our first ‘Seniors Got Talent’ showcase in Franklin, Tennessee two years ago, to our most recent competition in Lexington, Kentucky, the Morning Pointe Foundation remains committed to celebrating the talents of local seniors while supporting caregivers and nursing scholarships,” Vital said. “This is such an important cause, and we look forward to continuing to grow ‘Seniors Got Talent’ in the years to come.”
Independent Healthcare Properties, LLC, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based senior healthcare services company, is the developer, owner, and manager of 36 Morning Pointe assisted living and The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence senior communities in five southeastern states. IHP was founded in 1996 by Tennessee healthcare entrepreneurs Greg A. Vital and J. Franklin Farrow. For more information, please visit www.morningpointe.com.