BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Larks, a singing group from the Summit Junior League, performed their annual concert at Runnells Specialized Hospital on Thursday, April 24 to celebrate and share their voices to a room full of patients. 

"I am so impressed with people from the community who come in and share their talent.  When you see the faces of the patients, you know how much they enjoy it.  I'm thankful to all of the groups that come in, especially the Larks that came in today," said Union County Freeholder Vernell Wright.

The Larks, under the direction of William Houpt, visit Runnells every year to serenade and entertain with a medley of "oldies", show tunes and patriotic numbers. The singers engage with the patients bringing back memories of yesteryear and spark. 

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"It's the singing touching their hearts, it wakes them up.  They remember songs they used to know.  Singing gets through where speech has left them," said Larks singer Loretta Smith.

Relating to music, even when they relate to nothing else.  The patients remember songs and like to sing along. "It was music -- somehow it draws them out," said a caregiver at Runnells. 

"Music is the universal language," said Tish Isack, Director Professional and Support Services at Runnells. 

These Junior League members are part of over 500 women from the communities of Chatham, New Providence, Berkeley Heights and Summit. They raise money and sponsor projects in local communities. Some recent projects include a parent education series to help women become an effective parent. The Junior League also works with the Union County Battered Women Organization. The Larks stages programs throughout the local area in nursing homes and senior citizen centers.

RUNNELLS is Central New Jersey’s premier provider of quality, compassionate Nursing Care for long-term residents and individuals with short term Sub-Acute Rehabilitation needs. The facility also offers care for those with Alzheimers type dementia; Palliative Care for the relief of symptoms while an illness or condition is being treated or for the best quality, end-of-life care. Respite stays are available.