Lifting voices means lifting spirits at Arlington Heights singalong

George Richter was first to declare "I love my country" as he and fellow residents of the Moorings of Arlington Heights gathered Wednesday outside the retirement community for a special event.

Looking to raise spirits during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Richter, 84, and about 100 of his neighbors blended their voices - keeping social distancing guidelines in mind - for a singalong highlighted by a passionate rendition of "God Bless America."

Moorings activities coordinator Marti Huitsing led residents through a round of favorite tunes, including "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," as she marched with a microphone in one hand and American flag in the other.

Robert Werdan, vice president of marketing and public relations for the community, said the idea came from Italy's phenomena of people living in locked-down cities singing from their windows and balconies.

Some Moorings residents followed suit Wednesday, waving flags from their balconies and windows while singing along with their neighbors down below.

  George Richter, 84, sings "God Bless America" with about 100 other residents of the Moorings of Arlington Heights retirement community Wednesday. Mark Welsh/
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