Friday, March 27, 2009

90-year old Bonita Springs Accordionist, “Hope Hospice Entertainer” Performs on The Tonight Show


For the past four years, Viola Witt has regularly entertained patients at Joanne’s House at Hope Hospice in Bonita Springs, singing and playing her accordion. Her audience sings along, using pages of printed lyrics. With a smile in her voice, Viola tells them, "We're going to go page by page, and when you get tired, kick me out." She plays energetically for two hours.

Her son contacted The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, which often features seniors with special talents. Viola was invited to the show, where she performed on Thursday, March 26.

“Viola deserves that kind of recognition,” said Hope Hospice and Community Services President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith. “She has been visiting our hospice house in Bonita Springs for years, bringing so much happiness to those in our care. Everyone has fun when Viola is here.” Beckwith added that Hope continuously works to create special moments for their patients, helping them to live their lives to the fullest. “Hospice care is so much more than physical comfort,” Beckwith said. “Emotional comfort, maintaining your dignity and enjoying the moment are all important to those in our care. Meeting those special needs supports our mission to provide exceptional care and support to every individual and their loved ones as they fulfill life’s journey.”

Photo: Samira K. Beckwith, President and CEO of Hope Hospice and Community Services, presents Viola Witt with a Hope butterfly bracelet, in appreciation of her sharing her time and talents with Hope’s patients. Viola wore the bracelet when she performed on the Tonight Show.