For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — As accordion music fills the “streets” of Hilltop Grand Village, you might think a polka band is in town. When “The Honeybees” visit the Village, they share their love of music so people can enjoy old-time favorite songs and reminisce.
The Honeybees are LeAnn Gotz and Clara Elsen – both on accordions. Together, the pair volunteer to play music at local nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and senior lunch sites.
LeAnn started the group when a friend who lived at Nekoosa Court asked them to come and play.
“We’ve been there every month since then,” recalled LeAnn. “Now we volunteer our music whenever we are called!
“My husband and I were leaders of the five piece ‘Debonairs Orchestra’ from 1976 until his passing in May 2004. On August 27, 2005, I joined Julie Allworden and her sister Joan Meeteer in playing for a crowd at Edgewater Haven. One of the sing-a-long songs we performed was ‘The Honeybee Waltz’ so we decided to call ourselves ‘The Honeybees!’
“Our music is happy music, and we want to share it with others. There is a need for more musical entertainment for the elderly and shut-ins. We are meeting, and making, new friends wherever we play.”
“The Honeybees are always looking for musicians to join them! We need more accordion players, or even another instrument like a horn or piano,” added Clara. “Dancing is also volunteering! It entertains the people who aren’t able to dance anymore. But they enjoy watching!”
The Honeybees also have volunteers handing out song sheets so residents can sing along.
“Volunteering brings the satisfaction of serving others, sharing stories and talents, and feeling good because you make others happy,” said LeAnn. “If you, yourself, want to be happy and feel good inside and out, then volunteer. Try it… you’ll love it!”
If you are interested in volunteering with The Honeybees, you can call the Volunteer Center at 715-421-0390 or visit www.volunteerinnerwisc.org.