PLATTSBURGH- If you heard music coming from Beekman Street last week, you weren't alone.
The Samuel F. Vilas Home kicked off their first annual summer concert series with a performance by folk musician Gary Sargeant July 8. Every Thursday through Aug. 26, the Vilas Home will host a free concert at 6 p.m. on the back lawn of the property.
"[The residents] love the storytelling, they love the singing, they love the family atmosphere that it brings, so we couldn't ask for better," said activities director Juliet Dubay.
Dubay said at the first event, only 23 of the 43 residents attended the event because of the hot weather.
"The 23 that did participate stayed for the entire hour and enjoyed it so much. It was very comfortable; under the tent it was very breezy," said Dubay.
While the idea behind the music is to be entertainment for residents, it goes beyond that, said Dubay. The resident council - which consists of Vilas residents - is openly inviting community members as well as giving the public a "thank you."
"The residents of Clinton County have treated our residents with an abundance of kindness and sincerity over the past years the home has been in operation," said Dubay. "Family involvement was one of the reasons [for holding the event], the other was to give back to the community. We have so many volunteers that come through here. They come and do activities, they drive the residents, and we want to say, 'Please come here and relax.'"
Another reason to invite the public, said Dubay, is to support the local musicians performing.
"They've been so loyal to us over the years that this was a way to announce them," she said. "Some of them haven't played, some of them are up and coming musicians and haven't played for other facilities, and we'd like them to get more exposure."
Artists scheduled to perform include Jack Wolfe & Joanna Dascoli, Roy Hurd, The Sweet Adelines, Charlie Stone's The Split Rock Band, The Meter Maids, The Castaways, and Rod Driscoll. The full schedule of the summer concert series can be found on the Vilas Homes Web site at www.vilashome.com.
"It's a great time of year to just come and relax and listen to some music, spend some time with this wonderful population," said Dubay. "They enjoy seeing new faces and people, they enjoy talking to people and they enjoy the music and they extend the invitation to you to enjoy the music as well."
Concerts are hosted free of charge. Refreshments will be served.
Those interested in making a contribution toward future events at the Samuel F. Vilas Home, may send donations in care of the Vilas Home Resident Recreation Fund to 61 Beekman St., Plattsburgh N.Y. 12901.