There is only one city where you can do the twist with the vice mayor and have him serenade you too. It’s Burbank!
More than 200 senior adults came out late Thursday afternoon for the Rock-a-Hula free swim party at the Verdugo Aquatic Facility. Backed by Joe Finkle and the 7/10 Splits band, Vice Mayor Bob Frutos lip-synced to an Elvis song and then twirled Tuttle volunteer Priscilla Perez on the dance floor.
“It was great!” Perez said of getting the chance to dance with Frutos. “I go to the City Council meetings often. I told the vice mayor he did a good job planning this event.”
Frutos, shaking maracas, was dressed in a Hawaiian-print shirt and his smile reached from ear to ear.
“This is about community. This is about re-enforcing the City Council’s commitment to look out after our seniors,” Frutos said. “This is part of my commitment to improve the quality of life for our seniors. That is very dear to me and I appreciate that I got the council’s support to make this happen today.”
Park and Recreation staff greeted guests at the gate with colorful leis. Gayle Migden, recreation supervisor for Joslyn Adult Center, gave the official island welcome — kissing both left and right cheeks of seniors. Dee Call, Retired Senior Volunteer Program director, handed out delicious hotdogs while volunteers helped partygoers choose mustard, catsup or relish and potato chips.
Some seniors tossed beach balls around in the shallow end of the 50 meter by 25 yard competition pool while others took the water zumba class.
The swim party should be an annual event, said Bill Anderson, chairman of the Senior Board.
“This is a beautiful event. This is the first time I’ve seen this pool and the pool and the slide and the setting are just gorgeous and to see all these people here — it’s just marvelous and we’ve got a beautiful day,” Anderson said.
Pete McGrath, a member of the Senior Board, believes the city hasn’t had enough social events for seniors, so he liked the idea of having an event, but he wasn’t sure this was the best location, he said.
“We’ll have to see how it works out as far as the sun, the pool and the location. I don’t think most seniors want to swim or want to be in a swim suit in public, so I’m not sure that a pool venue was really the right thing,” McGrath said. “But the idea of having a social event for seniors is fantastic!”
Guests like Pat Hunziker were happy with the entertainment.
“It’s just been a wonderful evening,” she said. “The band is great and gets everybody out there!”
Linette Prutz, 60, and Larry Radulski, 80, kept dancing throughout the event.
Ellen Mize, 81, a regular at Joslyn, thought the swim party was fantastic.
“There are a lot of different age groups,” she said.
Ron Coyne, 74, had only two words for the event.
“Incredible! Fantastic!” he said.