Blue Eyed Soul visit to
Coatsville, Pennsylvania VA Hospital
Veterans Support Foundation
Michelle DellaFave and Lindsay Bloom, known as Blue Eyed Soul, visited the Veterans Hospital complex in Coatsville, PA on October 4, 2008.
Michelle, Lindsay, and Wes arrived in Philadelphia on Friday. Because of their late arrival they checked into a Airport hotel. Saturday morning, after picking up a rental car they began what was supposed to be a 45 minute trip to Coatsville. Road construction enroute delayed them for more than 2 hours. They arrived around noon, and began setting up and putting on their makeup for a 1:30 show.
Sound difficulty delayed
their rehearsal, and the video provided lacked the proper chords to
complete the setup. But nothing throws these professionals off. They
were upbeat and cheerful the entire time.
The doors were opened and the Veterans filled the “great hall”. At 1:30 they took the stage and the crowd loved them. The ladies performed for 30 minutes then took a 10 minute intermission for more costume changes, and the Vets took a smoke break. After the brief intermission they took the stage again and had the Vets dancing in the aisles. Michelle did the Bob Hope song she did in Vietnam 1970, “the Funky Chicken”. Several vets stood up and started dancing the Funky Chicken with her. Soon some VA staff was joining in the fun. After the second set, they performed their signature song, “God Bless America.” One by one the vets rose to their feet, and held hands across the room. After thunderous applause, tokens of appreciation was given to them. Larry Zok, representing the Marine Corps Air Group came from Washington to make them honorary Marines. Blue Eyed Soul was the entertainment for the Marines reunion in Washington in August. Marsha Four presented them both with a bouquet of flowers.
The ladies then signed autographs and posed for pictures. There was a long line, but they stayed until everyone was taken care of. Then it was off to the retirement home to perform for those that couldn’t make the trip to see the show. They sang three songs, without mics or sound system, and did their usual great job. After signing autographs it was off again. This time to visit the Walker House on the grounds of the VA hospital. The residents and staff had refreshment laid out for them as they arrived. Everyone grabbed a plate and sat down and began talking. They were very interested in the mission of the Walker House. They heard from the staff and the residents. Blue Eyed Soul, brought goodie bags for the residents which included warm socks to wear around the house. They didn’t want to leave, but it was getting late and we had to head back to Philly. After many hugs, and goodbyes,
planes and heading out. This was a great venue, well received, and the ladies enjoyed it as much as any they have ever done.
Blue Eyed Soul Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Blue Eyed Soul, Michelle DellaFave and Lindsay Bloom, were in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in conjunction with the Conference of State Council Presidents. Friday was a busy day for them as they arrived and got settled in the hotel. First order of business was to visit the venue at the VA hospital to go over the logistics for the show. The staff at the VA hospital were wonderful and had everything we asked for in place. On the way back to the hotel the bus brought them by the memorial dedicated to the victims of the bombing at the Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. Walking next to the reflecting pool on a chilly morning and seeing the chairs for each of the victims was emotional for them.
Friday night was, as usual, another rehearsal. The ladies were adding a new song to the lineup. A medley of 70’s songs. A great blend of songs including: Downtown, Top of the world, Leaving on a jet plane, Somebody to love, What the world needs now. With one in California and one in Florida rehearsals have to be done just before the show. They ran through the medly for about 30 minutes and it was ready to add to the show. Only singers the caliber of these two could pull that off.
Saturday morning, Blue Eyed Soul addressed the Conference of State Council Presidents. They explained their mission and what they hope to accomplish by bringing music and entertainment to Veterans throught out the country. They answered questions from the Conference and encouraged the Presidents to get involved with them. Then it was off to their rooms to pack their costumes and their reliable sound equipment provided by HBO. Then load the bus and off to the VA Hospital. When they arrived it was makeup time as the Presidents arrived to visit the patients.
Michelle and Lindsay then visited as many patients as they could before the show. They signed pictures and posed for photos with them. They spent time talking to each and everyone and their family members that was there. For those that wouldn’t be able to get out of bed to see them perform, they sang for them, a cappella.
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some pictures from the show at the VA Hospital.
3 “volunteers” doing the Funky Chicken with Michelle. (l to r) Charlie
“barefoot” Montgomery; Dan “the man” Stenvold and an unidentified Gulf
Michelle sings for a patient on the front row.
In what has become a tradition, Michelle and Lindsay sing their closing song “God Bless America”