Mellow Friends, a group of karaoke enthusiasts, visited 11 senior centers and assisted living facilities starting in 2011. Melvin Watarai, the founder of this volunteer ensemble, had the karaoke equipment and a format for the singers to perform solo songs, duets and group sing-alongs with the seniors. Three years ago, Gary Shimabukuro took the helm, adding more equipment and four more locations, increasing their total number of monthly visits to 15.
Giving back. That’s the theme and the name of a special — and talented — seniors group who entertain other seniors as a way of giving enjoyment back to their community.
Project Giving Back is a group of 36 singers, ranging in age from 60 to 87, who are now in their 8th year of performing. Wayne Uejo is the founder and administrator of the group, overseeing the singers and coordinating the concert schedule at venues across O‘ahu.