Friday, October 9, 2020
86.5 F
The Villages

Villages entertainers come together with special ‘We Are the World’ message

Mary Jo Vitale has created a chorus of unity for Villagers facing the Coronavirus.

Vitale helped organize 20 Villages’ singers in a video called “We Are the World Villages Edition.” She spent the last week of March contacting local singers and having them create videos of the famed song, “We Are the World.” Then she edited all the clips together in the final product.

“I was very proud to put this video together,” Vitale wrote on her Facebook page. “I’m thankful to each of the entertainers who participated in this project. We need kindness and love right now … We are all in this together. We are the world.”

It wasn’t an easy chore. Most performers sent in clips with the whole song. They had to be edited down into a coherent and musical style.

“I don’t know how Mary Jo did it; it was a lot of hard work for her,” said Alex Santoriello, who has starred in and directed local stage productions with Vitale.

At first, Santoriello was a bit reluctant to join the chorus.

“There were so many singers,” he said, “but I told Mary Jo, if she wanted me to do it, I would do it.”

Billie Thatcher shared that sentiment.

“Mary Jo emailed a lot of people and like everybody else I wanted to be a part of it,” Thatcher said. “I just thought it was such a good thing; it’s about unity and coming together to get through this awful time. We will get through it.”

Like most others, Thatcher recorded her video on a cellphone in her home.

“I remember when the original ‘We Are the World,’ song came out,” she said. “I thought it was so great that all those singers got together to do something to make a terrible situation better. That’s how I feel about this video.”

Thatcher was pleased with the finished product.”

“Mary Jo did a wonderful editing job,” she said. “I’ve gotten positive responses not only from The Villages, but people I know in Pennsylvania and New York. It’s overwhelming and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Vitale appreciated the positive response from all the singers.

“I’m thankful for all the people who took part in this project,” she wrote. “Kindness and love are so needed right now.”

The popular local entertainers who came together to make ‘We Are the World Villages Edition’ include organizer Mary Jo Vitale, Sue and Jennifer Schuler, Fine Tuned (Charlie Snyder and Barbara Hanberry), Alex Santoriello and Billie Thatcher, Clark Barrios, Dawn DiNome, Alex Scopino, France Neil, Tony Brown, Betty Odendahl, Donna Doherty, Mark Goldberg, Suzie Casta, LauraLea Keys, Jill Santoriello, Mark Steven Schmidt, Petrina and Donna Moore.

That holds true for the people watching the video and the performers.

“I think this is a positive thing for everybody in The Villages,” Santoriello said. “I hope the people watching it will enjoy it. I hope it will make them feel better about this terrible situation we are all going through.”

He praised Vitale for organizing the effort.

“Mary Jo has created something that will make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Santoriello said. “And it’s not just the people watching and listening to this video – but also the performers.

“It gave us a chance to not just sit home but get together and do something for the good of the community.”

The start of the video includes these words printed on the screen: “The entertainers you love/decided to join their talents together/We hope this brightens your day…”

In addition to Vitale, Santoriello and Thatcher, those participating in the video: Clark Barrios, Dawn DiNome, Alex Scopino, France Neil, Tony Brown, Betty Odendahl, Donna Doherty, Mark Goldberg, Suzie Casta, LauraLea Keys, Jill Santoriello, Mark Steven Schmidt, Petrina, Donna Moore, Sue and Jennifer Schuler and Fine Tuned (Charlie Snyder and Barbara Hanberry).

More Headlines

Villages officially backs down on forcing strangers to share golf carts

The Villages has officially backed down on a controversial plan to force strangers to pair up in golf carts on golf courses.

8 more local COVID-19 deaths as state reports biggest spike in 3 weeks

Eight more local residents have died of COVID-19 as Florida saw its biggest spike in cases of the deadly virus in almost three weeks and the small town of Coleman also reported a huge increase.

Photos

Little Tree Frog Inside Double Hibiscus In Lady Lake

Check out this little tree frog spotted inside this double hibiscus in Lady Lake. Thanks to Gina Collins for sharing!

Black Vulture Feeding Its Fledgling

This adult black vulture was feeding its fledging in The Villages. Thanks to Ron Clark for sharing!

Double Rainbow Over Havana Country Club In The Villages

Check out this double rainbow over the third tee at the Havana Country Club. Thanks to Dale and Betsy Nelson for sharing!

Letters to the Editor

Canceled my Daily Sun subscription over offensive ad

A Village of Hillsborough resident canceled his subscription to The Villages Daily Sun over an “abhorrent” political ad. Read his Letter to the Editor.

Business

$28.7 million Lake Sumter Apartment Homes now open to renters

Lake Sumter Apartment Homes, a $28.7 million affordable housing community consisting of 158 apartment homes, is now open to renters.

Crime

Villager arrested after alleged attack in parking dispute at Wal-Mart

A Villager was arrested after an alleged attack in a parking dispute at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Sarasota Plaza in The Villages.

Opinions

King Trump is his own court jester

Columnist Hugo Buchanan has a little fun with the recent actions of his favorite court jester, President Trump.

Top Stories

Villager arrested after alleged attack in parking dispute at Wal-Mart

A Villager was arrested after an alleged attack in a parking dispute at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Sarasota Plaza in The Villages.

Villages officially backs down on forcing strangers to share golf carts

The Villages has officially backed down on a controversial plan to force strangers to pair up in golf carts on golf courses.

8 more local COVID-19 deaths as state reports biggest spike in 3 weeks

Eight more local residents have died of COVID-19 as Florida saw its biggest spike in cases of the deadly virus in almost three weeks and the small town of Coleman also reported a huge increase.

Letters to the Editor

Canceled my Daily Sun subscription over offensive ad

A Village of Hillsborough resident canceled his subscription to The Villages Daily Sun over an “abhorrent” political ad. Read his Letter to the Editor.

Bring back happy hour!

A Village of Rio Grande resident, in a Letter to the Editor, lays out the case for bringing back happy hour at the town squares.

Open letter to the Director of Golf in The Villages

A Village of Santo Domingo resident, in an open letter to the head of the Golf Division, describes how his life, as a cancer survivor, could be at stake due to changes coming to golf courses.

Crime

Villager arrested after alleged attack in parking dispute at Wal-Mart

A Villager was arrested after an alleged attack in a parking dispute at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Sarasota Plaza in The Villages.

Woman arrested at Starbucks in The Villages after found passed out in car

A woman was arrested at a Starbucks in The Villages after she was found passed out in her car.

28-year-old resident of The Villages arrested after altercation over pills

A 28-year-old resident of The Villages was arrested Wednesday after an altercation over medication.