Aug 10, 2020
These seniors have been getting fancy with makeup and lights since long before COVID-19 spurred us all to creativity.
In genius photoshoots, residents at the Spiritwood Assisted Living in Washington State have been recreating iconic posters from classic movies for two years now. And the results are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
The idea to transform seniors into Hollywood stars came to Jennifer Angell in 2018. She’s the community relations director at ‘Spiritwood at Pine Lake’. Her mission? To combine unique, enjoyable activities for the residents with something purposeful—like raising money for others.
Jennifer struck gold when she came up with an idea for a ‘film star’ calendar.
“For two years we have dressed up the seniors as Hollywood movie stars and Village Concepts, a family company that owns the senior home, produces the calendars for us,” she told GNN. “I photograph each senior after doing makeup, hair and costume. The best part is we sell each calendar and every penny earned goes to the Alzheimer’s Association.”
“For the first calendar in 2019, the whole process took about four months,” says Jennifer. “I would do just one photo at a time, and when it was ready, I’d present it to the community at lunchtime. People passed the photo around and the featured resident would dress up in costume and parade around the lunchroom. It was so much fun for everyone.”
Jack Guptil, 83, who starred in the “Blues Brothers” photoshoot told the Issaquah Reporter in 2018, “When asked by Jennifer to be a part of the calendar, I didn’t want to be bothered, but when I saw how much fun people were having being someone else, I said that’s me—Elwood from the Blues Brothers.”
Fedoras, check. Sunglasses, check. Two ‘somebodies to love’, check.
The first three boxes sold out in just four days. “Resident families just loved it and swooped them right up,” says Jennifer.
After the Alzheimer’s Association posted them for sale on their blog in 2018 they raised around $14,000.
Jennifer gave GNN the inside scoop about the theme for the 2021 calendar. It will be ‘Iconic Figures’ including pop culture icons like Sonny and Cher, Willie Nelson, and Andy Warhol, alongside historical notables like Winston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt.
“The annual resident calendars bring so much joy to not only the residents but their families,” says Spiritwood’s Executive Director Michelle Strazis. “They feel good about themselves participating in something that makes them feel so special and to be contributing by helping raise money for such a worthy cause.”
Which iconic Hollywood image is your favorite? Scroll down to see them and share the ones you love the most.