Oldies are most certainly still goodies for AARP Chapter 982.

The organization of people age 50 and older enjoyed the tunes and melodies from South Jersey singing group Seven Mile Island Singers on a recent Friday at Somers Point's Grace Lutheran Church - and with the first song came tapping feet and clapping hands.

AARP Chapter 982 President Suzanne Pelkaus, of Upper Township, was initially worried about the meeting's attendance due to complications caused by the hurricane, especially since members travel from different areas of South Jersey. More than 15 members were present that day, which she said was a good turnout.

The meetings typically serve as an outlet for the local senior community to address issues and to provide information.

That day, the group discussed the upcoming Christmas luncheon, taking place on Dec. 14 at the Crab Trap in Somers Point, as well as reports on pending legislation and special discounts for the group. Pelkaus added that they like to recognize any anniversaries and birthdays amongst the group.

Helen Boucher, of Somers Point, said she never likes to miss a meeting.

"I get to see friends and we learn a lot," Boucher said. "But it's mainly for the fellowship."

Boucher said she always enjoys the Seven Mile Island Singers when they come to perform. "They're all so great," she said of the songs. She noted that the "Mummer's Medley" was her favorite.

"The AARP groups are very active. The people are very alert and awake and enjoy the music," alto singer Anne Wannen said.

Wannen, of Cape May Court House, has been singing with Seven Mile Island Singers since the group came together eight years ago. The group mostly consists of members from Avalon and Stone Harbor, but has extended to include singers from Ocean City, Upper Township, and areas of Cape May.

Somers Point is about as far north up the coast the singers tend to travel. The group of older singers plans about 12 performances per year, to mostly nursing homes and senior centers, explained tenor singer and musical arranger John Rosser, of Stone Harbor.

Wannen noted the impact of the group's song choices that day, which tend to bring back memories for many of the chapter members.

"People like to sing along, and often times they do," she said.

The singers sang everything from "Together Wherever We Go," from the musical Gypsy, to the "Chattanooga Choo Choo."

A total of 10 songs and a musical intermission had the crowd smiling and certainly singing along.

Singer Janice Demarest and her husband, Jay, of Seaville, said that they are new to the group, having just started singing last spring.

"We are just old people having fun," she joked.

The next AARP Chapter 982 meeting is scheduled for Jan. 11.

Contact Caitlin Honan:


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