Glitz Gala brings dancing for seniors to Ellis Park: ‘It keeps me moving’

Fancied up in red and silver dresses, suits and dancing shoes, seniors mingled Friday at the glamorous Glitz Gala at Ellis Park .

The third annual event, hosted by the Chicago Park District, included a full-course meal, a live DJ for seniors to groove along with, as well as other entertainment.

“This is a wonderful place for the seniors to come. They make us feel so welcome,” said Jo Credit, 69. “We feel so comfortable. It’s a wonderful place to be.”

The line dancing “keeps them moving, it keeps them energetic, it keeps them young,” said Mikayla Bryant, an activities instructor at Ellis Park, 3520 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in the city’s Oakland neighborhood.

Ald. Monique Scott (24th) used to be a supervisor at Ellis Park and helped to open the field house in 2016, she said. She also helped to start the annual Glitz Gala.

“We thought about a prom and was like, the seniors need to dress up and relax and dance, and just feel beautiful and unwind,” Scott said.

The alderperson said the event has grown each year.

“A little goes a long way,” Scott said. “They’re providing meals, a dessert, live entertainment, a DJ, they line dance, they’re fellowshipping. This is just a wonderful experience for any senior, so I would encourage all seniors in all parts to do this.”

Donations are accepted for the event, which help to fund Ellis Park and its other year-round activities, such as swimming, strength training, pickleball and basketball for seniors and kids.

“Seeing activities in the area that you grew up in, I grew up in the projects … and we didn’t have the necessary tools for young people to have park districts and so when this building got placed, we were so happy,” Donna Feaster, 68, said.

“It keeps me active,” Feaster added. “It keeps me healthy, it keeps me moving — and it keeps me from going to the doctor.”

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