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Veterans spirits lifted through virtual concert

Rockin' Robin took center stage on screen
Posted at 6:13 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 18:13:23-04

BATAVIA, N.Y. (WKBW) — It was time for 71-year-old veteran Lloyd Chilson to break out to break out the disco lights and dance. Residents at the VA Western New York Health Care Center in Batavia sat in the doorways of their rooms, lining the long hall with eager smiles. Rockin’ Robin was about to take center stage… on screen.

Chilson said it’s been lonely since social distancing started. All residents stay in their rooms.

“We try to communicate through our doorways, which is kind of ridiculous, but I guess it works,” Chilson said. “But it's getting better. It could be better.”

Rockin’ Robin is why it’s getting better. Robin Grandin and her sister-in-law put on concerts for the veterans.

“We have an absolute blast. The veterans love it. The veterans love us. We love them. It doesn't get any better than that,” Gradin said.

But now, they can't perform in person. That’s why patient therapist Nancy Kaszynski broke out the I-Pad and gathered everyone in the hallway.

“They literally had not seen each other in the four weeks we have been here. Getting everyone to the doorways was transformative in that they got to see their buddies that they were accustomed to spending every day with,” Kaszynski said.

“I haven't seen so much smiling since, I don't know when,” said Gradin.

“It's a God send. It's a great thing. It keeps everybody's morale up,” Chilson said.

“I can't wait to get back there and give them each a hug and tell them how much they mean to us,” Gradin said.

Until then Robin will be playing for the Veterans virtually every Tuesday.