Fueled by Deep-Seated Community Spirit

Fueled by Deep-Seated Community Spirit

January 17, 2018

For decades, Seymour Frankel and his siblings ran two successful clothing stores their father founded in Springfield. Seymour and his late wife, Edna, built a life around finding ways to show their appreciation to customers—and the greater community—and those mechanisms are still sustaining the region today.

Both alumni of the University of Massachusetts, Seymour and Edna loved live performances. That interest became their incentive for launching the Longmeadow Express, a series of day-trips to the UMass Fine Arts Center, at which residents from Greater Springfield got to take in a show that Seymour and Edna chose. The two served deli sandwiches on the way to the performance on a King Ward bus.

These trips began 30 years ago, and Seymour and Edna did all the work of securing the transportation and ordering the food. Ten years ago, before Seymour moved to Glenmeadow, our nonprofit took on the job of transporting theater-goers to the FAC, and several years ago, after we launched our Glenmeadow Getaways program, we began organizing the trips in their entirety. This assist is one way we show our commitment to helping older adults engage in enlightening activities.

Seymour remains grateful for the help. “It took such a load off of me,” he says, noting he is deeply satisfied that the program he and Edna founded is still going—and still popular—30 years after its start.

In the coming months, we invite you to join us on trips to the FAC to see Jessica Lang and a performance of Cabaret.

On Feb. 8, Lang, one of the era’s most talked-about contemporary ballet choreographers, will offer a performance seamlessly incorporating her striking design elements. Lang’s works are artfully crafted, emotionally engaging, and packed with stunning movement. Her upcoming performance at the FAC promises to be one of the hottest shows of this chilly winter.

Cabaret—Sam Mendes’ and Rob Marshall’s Tony award-winning production—will be performed at the FAC on March 6. The scene will be the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where emcee Sally Bowles and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd—and leave their troubles outside. Come with us, and leave your troubles outside!

Both evenings begin with a three-course fine dining experience at the University Club. Learn more or register!

Seymour is appreciative of the relationships he has formed with staff at the FAC and still engages regularly with the theater venue’s board and management team.  He says, “They want to clone me.”

FAC leadership isn’t alone in its praise of Seymour. He has been behind many other long-standing fundraisers, including a golf-tennis-bridge-and-canasta tournament that supports JGS Lifecare—and is also in its 30th year—and a walk that raises money for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Also a volunteer driver for Rachel’s Table, Seymour came to live at Glenmeadow four years ago. He says, “Residents showed me outfits they bought at my store, saying ‘Look what I’m still wearing.’”

Seymour is pleased that the Getaways trips to the FAC expose his fellow residents to Broadway shows and other performances. And as it has become tradition, he still brings two bags of goodies with him to the FAC, handing out chocolates and hard candies from two different bowls as the Glenmeadow van heads back home.

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