Charles Burrell, 79, a resident of Elmcroft Assisted Living in Lima, loves to sing. Other residents at Elmcroft can vouch for that.
He loves to sing so much, in fact, that he has always had dreams of having his name flashing in lights as he prepared for a captive performance.
However, he figured it would always be a dream. But thanks to a special program for seniors, Burrell’s dream came true at precisely 6 p.m. Wednesday night.
As part of the Second Wind Dreams project, which is an equivalent to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, except it is solely for senior citizens, Burrell delivered a 20-song, two-hour performance at the Wapa Theater after making the wish request.
All with his name flashing on the theater’s marquee.
“I thought it was a dream,” Burrell said when he learned of being granted his performance. I didn’t think I would get to do it.”
Burrell performed along with Alan Siebert, a local singer-guitar player. Some of the hits he performed included “He Touched Me” by Elvis Presley and “Elvira” by the Oak Ridge Boys.
“I just hope everyone enjoyed it and had a good time,” Burrell said.
Burrell said he was surprised when he learned his wish had been granted and that he hadn’t been prepared for it.
“The deeper it got into it, I knew it was too late to get out,” Burrell said with a laugh.
The concert was free and was open to the public. Special invitations were sent out to residents of Elmcroft, as well as Burrell’s and residents’ relatives.
Burrell said he had alway enjoyed live music, making frequent trips to Branson, Mo.
However, Wednesday was personally his rookie performance.
A spokesman from Elmcroft said that wishes are granted to residents every few months. Other wishes that have been granted include the first pitch at a baseball game, ballroom dancing and motrocycle riding.
Burrell moved to Lima in 1962 from Adamsville, Ala. He soon met his wife, Leona. While Leona still loves at home, she visits her husband every day at Elmcroft.
Burrell has four children, David, Steve, Darlene and Susan, and he has eight grandchildren.
Burrell served in the Army for four years before moving to the area. He worked at Buckeye Pipeline in Lima for 37 years before retiring.
Other that having Parkinson’s, he is otherwise in very good health.