Chicagoan, Broadway singer performs free concerts for seniors during COVID-19 pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago gal and a Broadway singer Colette Hawley is sharing her talents with people who can truly appreciate them.

The one-woman traveling show has been giving free outdoor concerts for shut-in seniors since the COVID-19 pandemic first started.

"We were blindsided," said Howley, better known as "Coco." "To know they weren't going to leave their room all day; to know they weren't going to see a family member and hadn't seen a family member now for months, I thought, 'there's got to be a way that I can reach these guys and I can cheer them up and bring them some kind of joy.'"

Coco has been to facilities all over the area, including to see veterans at the Lovell Federal Health Center.

"People wait at one of these places. They hear that I'm coming for a week and because they've had no entertainment because of COVID, they're waiting at their windows or outside an hour before. They're waiting for Coco to come," she said.

And that joy she brings certainly doesn't go unnoticed.

"The residents of the Community Living Center have, for all intents and purposes, have been on lockdown," said Dr. Robert Buckley, Director at Lovell Federal Health Care Center. "They've not been able to go outside and interact. There is such a fear that they might get exposed to someone with the virus."

Dr. Buckely said Coco's performances area huge morale booster, and it goes both ways.

"I'm also isolated. I'm also stressed out. I'm also feeling the impact of this time in our lives. So it's a complete joy," Coco said.

She said she's made it her mission to share her message.

"You are so important and we want you to know that not only me but these people are thinking about you. So I'm going to suit up and show up," Coco tells her audiences.

Coco plans to keep doing these outdoor concerts into the winter months.

You can reach Coco on social media at @HawleyColette on Twitter and on Instagram at @ColetteHawleyProductions . She said anyone can reach out for a free show.
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