Perry Elks StepUp to Provide Memories through Music to Veterans at Perry Lutheran Homes

The community of Perry continues to work together with Perry Lutheran Homes to StepUp for local elder citizens. Most recently, the Perry Elks Lodge No. 407 made a $250 donation to support the life-changing Music & Memory program for veterans living in Perry Lutheran Homes memory care communities at its Willis campus.

Perry Elks Donates to Perry Lutheran Homes to StepUp for local veteran elders.

Loyal Knight Amber Green, Perry Lutheran Homes COO and Administrator Melissa Gannon, Chaplain Eric Derry, and Grant Coordinator Lisa Widick.

"On a national level, the Elks pledge is ‘So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them,’ but on the local level, we try to provide extras for anyone in need here in Perry," said Lisa Widick, Perry Elks Lodge Grant Coordinator. "The StepUp program at Perry Lutheran Homes is such a wonderful thing, and because our local Elks members want to provide as much local help as possible, we chose to donate to the Music & Memory program."

Widick continues, “Several of the lodge members know how important music is in residents’ lives and so to imagine, for just one minute, how wonderful it would be to help an individual with dementia feel better because of music, it made perfect sense to donate specifically to that program.”

Perry Lutheran Homes is one of only 23 Music & Memory certified organizations in the state of Iowa. This program brings MP3 players filled with personalized music selections to residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia to reconnect with memories and enrich their life. Personalized music through the Music & Memory program can be life-changing for those living with dementia. Extensive neuroscience research has proven music’s powerful ability to support memory retrieval, reduce agitation and anxiety, and engage and enrich lives when utilized in a strategic way.

“Perry Lutheran Homes is so grateful to the Perry Elks Lodge for their recent donation and for SteppingUp to support local elders right here in Perry. The donation is being used to purchase specific MP3 players and headphones for our veteran residents living in St. James and St. John’s memory care neighborhoods. We will fill the MP3 players with personalized music selections that will be used to connect with past memories, soothe during moments of anxiety, and bring joy in ways that only music can,” states Melissa Gannon, COO and Administrator for Perry Lutheran Homes.

Since the launch of the StepUp (Serving Together our Elderly with Passion) Movement in May 2018, hundreds of individuals, organizations, churches, businesses and more have joined in SteppingUp so that no elder in our community is ever hungry, lonely, afraid or forgotten.

Anyone looking for a way to StepUp for elderly citizens in Perry can contact Wanda Pritzel at or 515-570-2310. There are many ways, big or small, to get involved. From signing up to assemble or deliver May Day baskets to elders in the community, to sponsoring the Run Through Time 5K, to volunteering to deliver Meals on Wheels and more. Fun, weekly StepUp ideas can be found by following the Perry Lutheran Homes Facebook page.

Perry Lutheran Homes, is Your Christian Caring Community serving Perry and surrounding communities for over 60 years. Perry Lutheran Homes offers innovative, personalized, Christ-centered care at two campuses in Perry, IA – Willis Campus and Spring Valley Campus. Services include independent and assisted living, award-winning memory care, in-home care, respite care, skilled care, rehabilitative therapy, intermediate and long-term care, and end-of-life care.