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Senior Variety Show Taking a Detour

Our recent world and community conditions have created many speed bumps, including one for the Senior Variety Show.  Like driving, it means slowing down, shifting gears, or sometimes changing lanes. The Senior Variety Show (SVS) Board and Committees found themselves navigating this unusual road and actively looking for a detour.  Although it is not known exactly when it will be safe to gather together, it is acknowledged that the SVS performing population (which ranges from ages 60-90’s) is in a category considered at greater risk if COVID-19 is contracted.  Thus it was decided recently that the traditional August senior variety show will not be performed at Ames City Auditorium this year.

However, although the planned, traditional show hit a speed bump, the creative minds of SVS are still looking for ways to safely highlight senior talent in the area.  There are a few options how best to do this, so the SVS crew is still asking local seniors over the age of 60 to dust off their talents and prepare an act of 3 minutes or less. (The original theme, “Antics Roadshow” will be saved for a later date which means back to the drawing board for a new act if you had already started preparing.)  Yes, indeed!  It is still full speed ahead, so please stay tuned to Web site:, our Facebook page, or call 515-292-9394 as plans continue to develop.

In its 25-year existence, SVS has donated over $210,000 to local senior projects and programs. This year the SVS board has voted to donate $5,000 toward a September Freedom Flight tour to Washington DC.   Despite a change its original plans, the Senior Variety Show still hopes to honor that commitment.   Last year, SVS awarded $3,000 to Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance; $2,500 to Ames Choral Society; and $2,000 to the RSVP Volunteer Transportation Program. These continued donations are possible because SVS is entirely a volunteer effort of performers and workers.  It is also possible because of its loyal audiences and generous community sponsorships.  This year we are hoping to all work together again to provide entertainment in some format at a time our community needs it the most.  

If you have a talent to share or would like to support this show as a volunteer or sponsor, please be watching for further updates and stay in touch at 515-292-9394 or PO Box 223, Ames, Iowa 50010.

Senior Variety Show co-directors Kat Norris (left) and Julie Minot spoke to the performers in February about this year’s theme.  Even though they sported 2020 glasses, they did not realize then that they would need to change their “vision” for the upcoming performance, due to COVID-19.

Senior Variety Show performers from front left;  Kay Berger (comedian), Hanna  and David Gradwohl (dancers) started planning their acts in February along with the SVS Board members seated behind them---Leo Timms, Board Secretary; Pat Meek, Board President; and Kitty Fisher, Board Liaison of Grant Recipients.   Now they are all back to the drawing board, planning a new kind of format for this year due to the virus quarantine.

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