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Talent on parade at senior center

Look out “American Idol” contestants, some local seniors are giving you a run for your money.
The Howard Beach Senior Center’s gifted elderly held their talent show in front of an audience of fellow seniors, friends and family on January 17. The center held its first talent show in August to such fanfare they now plan to put it on twice yearly.
“[The seniors] love it. They have a ball,” said Rosalie Hawk, an assistant director at the center. “The turnout is really unbelievable.”
Close to 200 seniors, from all over Queens and Brooklyn, turned out to laugh, sing and dance along with the performers.
They included 89-year-old Muriel Stemann singing, as she did on her USO tour during World War II; some colorful jokes with Tony Pionegro; and the tangoing duo of Sarah Benitez and Abe Rosen.
The crowd sang along with the performers and eagerly danced during the final song by Jimmy DiNapoli.
“I think it’s wonderful for them,” said Hawk, who added the seniors come for the camaraderie and to stay active.
In addition to the talent shows, the center offers seniors a wide array of activities including movies, a book club, computer and exercise classes and even a Wii Bowling league.
To end the show, DiNapoli sang “Being altogether keeps them young at heart.”

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