The Stray Cats Purr-form for Senior Center
By Office of Communication
Posted on June 11, 2012, June 11, 2012

Ousley Junior High's Music Ensemble Reaches Out to Local Seniors!

The mood was as high as some of the notes delivered by "The Stray Cats" in their performance at Arbrook Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in May 2012, as youth and seniors connected through music and pet therapy.

The entertaining performance by Ousley Junior High School's talented group of students known as The Stray Cats touched the hearts of everyone present at this event.

Ousley Choir Director Chris Wagner holds student auditions each year and has led talented eighth grade show choir performances for seven years.

Wagner was thrilled at the amount of engagement the students showed the Arbrook Nursing and Rehabilitation Center residents and therapy animals, throughout their visit, as they gave back to the community through their superb performance and interaction with appreciative seniors.

Wagner expressed delight at the opportunity of making this an annual event with the new members of his choir each year.

Pet therapy canines Leroy Brown of Respect A Bull, Inc. and Deacon, a canine Arlington Animal Services volunteer, made their rounds during the performance as well as making room visits with the choir members for those unable to attend the performance.

Residents received a stuffed animal donated to Arlington Animal Services (AAS) pet therapy partners earlier this year by Ousley students and faculty who held a donation drive rounding up over a hundred stuffed animals to assist with the pet therapy program.

Donnita Robinson and her family of four homeschoolers, Audrey, Emily, Haden and Pierson (ranging in age from 5-11) did their part to contribute to the liveliness of the event by personally naming each stuffed animal and providing each its own unique story as they found new homes with smiling seniors.

Arbrook resident, Bonnie Yost was delighted when students discovered it was her 91st birthday and they sang an emotional tune of Happy Birthday in her honor. Hugs and tears of joy were abundant at this emotionally rewarding event. The interaction between youth and seniors was heartwarming.

A highlight of the performance by The Stray Cats was a medley of patriotic military tunes in honor of the highly esteemed Veterans.

AAS Manager Chris Huff, moved by the outcome of the event, said "it truly takes an entire community working together to make events like this one such a huge success", and that "words cannot describe the tone and feel of this event which included animals, students and our senior citizens."

Kudos to Ousley Junior High School students and staff, and pet therapy partners for sharing a wonderful mixture of time and talent with members of the senior community to make it such a memorable day.

By Carol Weemes

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For more information contact Arlington Animal Services at 817-459-5898.

The Stray Cats

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