Music, dancing and fun was had at this year’s Dementia Awareness Month Variety concert at ClubMulwala.
‘You are not alone’ was the theme for this year’s concert which was held to give Alzheimer’s sufferers and their carers a chance to make new memories while also celebrating diversity.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala community proved the accuracy of the theme when nearly seventy people attended the event to let their hair down and enjoy great music performed by many local disability groups.
Vincent Poisson, Program Manager of Rural services from Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria, opened the concert with some numbers that startled the audience.
More than 1450 people have been diagnosed with dementia in the Hume region in the past decade and this number is expected to more than double in the next twenty years.
Mr Poisson’s words highlighted the importance of communities coming together to support each other.
MC for the event Keith Grimshaw, who was diagnosed with dementia some years ago himself, reiterated the point of support and said he could not have coped without the support from family, friends and Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria.
“When finding out you have an illness like this that is going to impact your life in a big way you need someone to lean on and be a shoulder sometimes,” Mr Grimshaw said.
The stage was set for a great morning when Mr Grimshaw introduced the ‘Pointers’, a group of staff and residents from Woods Point Aged Care, who took the audience through the resident’s daily exercise routine which keeps them physically and mentally active.
Shortly after the whole audience was then bopping along to Olivia Newton John’s smash hit ‘Physical’.
Local artists were also in attendance such as Jenny and Frank who entertain the residents of Woods Point every Monday and performed a couple of old favourites.
Other performers on the day included the team from PALS Yarrawonga who danced along to Aga Doo and Unchained Melody, the Yarrawonga Health’s Golden Oldies in all their finery performing Baby-face, Catch a Falling Star and a crowd favourite with the Chicken Dance, local up and comer Jake Willett melting hearts with Sweet Caroline, Clocks and Feeling Good and the team from PALS Cobram closing out the show with ABBA favourites I Do, I Do, I Do, Waterloo and Rock Me.
Lucky door prizes and raffles were drawn with some very happy winners collecting some lovely prizes sourced by Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria.
To finish the day Mr Poisson returned to the stage to issue certificates to each of the groups and present organiser of the day and Community Programs Coordinator of the Yarrawonga Neighbourhood House Debbie Cooper with a bunch of flowers.
The day was a great success and fun for everyone as Debbie said they look forward to hosting the event again.
“It’s great to see these people you might not usually see performing coming out and having fun and singing and dancing,” she said.
“We definitely hope to hold the event again next year.”
Debbie also said she wanted to thank the whole community for coming together to support each other.
Special mention to the organisations that made it all happen in ClubMulwala, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, Yarrawonga Neighbourhood House, Yarrawonga Health, Woods Point, Providing All Living Support (PALS), Valley Sport, Rural Access, Intereach, MHA Care and Skillsbank and The Centre.
Special mention also to Tim Phillips from Yarrawonga College P-12 for his help with the music performances