Making a Difference: Junction Jammers Brighten Area Seniors' Lives

Published: Dec. 21, 2017 at 2:01 PM CST
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Every Wednesday afternoon, The Junction Jammers brighten the lives of area seniors using the "power of the polka", and other old time songs.

The Jammers are retirees, who volunteer to perform for older seniors at area senior living facilities one afternoon a week. From polkas to waltzes, to old favorites, the Junction Jammers perform songs from listeners' pasts, that still bring them joy today.

We recently looked on as they performed at Valley Park Assisted Living in Albany, where enthusiastic residents were tapping their toes and fingers to the music. Other residents took to the dance floor.

Lead singer Kris McGinnes said, "This is their music, this is what they grew up with, this is what they danced to. They appreciate what we're doing. They really appreciate it. You can see it."

Valley Park owner/administrator LouAnn Harmel nominated the Junction Jammers for our NBC15 Making a Difference Award because, "They give so much of themselves for nothing...they won't take anything." The group performs for free.

McGinnes said there are plenty of rewards more valuable than a paycheck. "A lady once came up and said her husband hadn't smiled in years and he smiled today. That makes a difference to us. It makes me want to tear up talking about it. It's something we really enjoy doing."

That's something that will keep the Junction Jammers coming back...just like polka dancers to a dance floor.

(If you'd like to nominate someone for NBC15's Making a Difference Award, click on the link below on your mobile device. You'll find the link to your right on your desktop.)