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State Honoree

Chavis Newman-Keane

Alaska

created a musical entertainment program called “Musical Smiles” to cheer up elderly residents of two assisting-living facilities. The program started when Chavis’ grandfather was placed in a local nursing home while recovering from a stroke. Chavis visited frequently and played the piano for his grandfather, and soon many other residents were enjoying Chavis’ music. He wrote a proposal for “Musical Smiles” and submitted it to the nursing home’s administrator, who gave Chavis approval to conduct a piano recital each month. Wanting to spread as many smiles as possible, Chavis soon recruited other musicians to join his program and began presenting monthly recitals at a second facility as well. “This project puts my personal talent to good use,” said Chavis. “If everyone used their talents for the benefit of others, the world would be a great place.”