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updated: 6/28/2014 11:10 AM

Miss Illinois entertains seniors in Vernon Hills

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  • Video: Miss Illinois in Vernon Hills

  • Recently crowned Miss Illinois Marisa Buchheit reacts to a spontaneous kiss on the hand as she sings "Il bacio" ("The kiss" in Italian) at Friday's Friends for Life happy hour at Brookdale Plaza senior living home, where Lewin is a resident, in Vernon Hills on Friday.

       Recently crowned Miss Illinois Marisa Buchheit reacts to a spontaneous kiss on the hand as she sings "Il bacio" ("The kiss" in Italian) at Friday's Friends for Life happy hour at Brookdale Plaza senior living home, where Lewin is a resident, in Vernon Hills on Friday.
    photos by George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Marisa Buchheit, the new Miss Illinois, gets flowers and a hug from Samuel Kessler, president of the residents association at Brookdale Plaza.

       Marisa Buchheit, the new Miss Illinois, gets flowers and a hug from Samuel Kessler, president of the residents association at Brookdale Plaza.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

Miss Illinois Marisa Buchheit's performance in Vernon Hills ended with "The Kiss".

Mitch Lewin spontaneously kissed Buchheit's hand as she ended her program at Brookdale Plaza with the song "Il bacio" ("The kiss" in Italian).

"She held her hand out while she was singing and I just kissed it," said Lewin, a resident at the senior living home. "I think I got a lot of smiles from my friends after that."

Buchheit, an aspiring professional opera singer of Chicago, sang 14 opera and theater songs at the plaza.

More than 150 senior residents enjoyed a cocktail or glass of wine at Friday's Friends for Life happy hour as Buchheit, a soprano, sang while walking through the crowd, according to Lynn Johnson, business development director at Brookdale,

Miss Illinois' mother, Amorn Buchheit of Chicago, joyfully snapped photographers of her daughter performing and let out a big smile as recently crowned Miss Illinois received a standing ovation -- like only a proud mother could.

Buchheit, who was crowded Miss Illinois on June 14 at a pageant in downstate Marion, received roses and a hug from Samuel Kessler, president of the residents association at Brookdale, after her last song.

"She is going to be an opera star", said David Booth of Glenview, who books many of her singing performances.

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