Sun City Elks

The Sun City Elks perform at memory care facilities around the West Valley.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- It's a different kind of concert, for a different kind of crowd.

Every Friday, members of the Sun City Elks perform at memory care facilities in the West Valley, hoping to brighten the spirits of patients with Alzheimer's Disease and dementia.

[VIDEO: Woman helps bring music to memory care patients]

"For some reason, the words to songs are one of the last things to go, so they might not remember what they had for breakfast or lunch, but they remember the words to those songs," said Mary Stokes, the group's leader.

Stokes is one of the original members of the Sun City Elks chorus.

Years back, she watched her mother battle Alzheimer's disease, so she decided the best way to honor her mom's memory was to bring joy to other patients suffering from this terrible illness.

"What you look for, and try to reach, are things that are still back there in that memory somewhere, and music is one of them," said Stokes.

Duane Moore is a retired high school band director, who has seen firsthand what a difference Stokes and the Elks are having on patients.

He reached out to CBS5 to Pay it Forward to Stokes and her group.

"I'm a big fan of your program and what you do, and I think its wonderful that you recognize people that give," said Moore. "Mary is a giving person and very deserving of your attention."

A CBS5 news crew followed Moore and some friends when they walked over to Stokes' house to surprise her and give her $500.

"We are here because we really appreciate all the wonderful things you do with the memory care groups from Sun City Elks," said Moore. "We know all the hours you put in coordinating the program. So on behalf of Channel 5 and all of your work with the Elks, I would like to present you with $500 as a thank you, and we love you."

"She always ends by saying you have a special place in all our hearts, all of you, and gives them a big kiss at the end," said Moore.

"Something about the songs and the words to songs and music, it just wakens something that's still there," said Stokes.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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