Bagpiper lifts spirits, shows solidarity at Colorado location during COVID-19 pandemic

Bagpiper lifts spirits, shows solidarity at Colorado location during COVID-19 pandemic

Fort Collins, Colo. – You didn’t have to have Celtic roots to appreciate a recent gift to the Good Samaritan location in Fort Collins, Colo. You just needed to listen.

Mike West stood outside of the location at sunset and played his bagpipes. He couldn’t go in because the facility is currently limiting visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So he walked the perimeter.

“It was very moving,” says Jenny Langness, activity director for Good Samaritan – Fort Collins Village.  “The lockdown makes for some lonely days and nights. Residents miss their families. We all needed an uplift.”

West’s gift was part of Sunset Solidarity, a movement of bagpipers associated with law enforcement and firefighters. He is the fire chief at Front Range Fire Rescue in Milliken, Colo., and a member of the Colorado Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Band. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the bagpipers have played at sundown as a sign of hope, solidarity and recognition that another day has passed in the fight against the virus.

"Playing for people who aren’t able to get out right now has been the best part of my week," said Mike West.

“As a first responder and a bagpiper I’m often exposed to the very worst days in someone’s life,” West said. “During this crisis, we feel that we have been able to share a little hope and optimism. Playing for people who aren’t able to get out right now has been the best part of my week.”

Langness heard West play in her own neighborhood and reached out to him about the residents and employees at Fort Collins Village. “Many of our residents were told the day before so they could be near their windows when he came,” Langness said. “Everyone loved it.

“The fact that someone would go out of their way to share this gift of music with them was very touching. They felt that others in the community cared about them and the difficult circumstances in which they are living,” Langness said.

To ensure that the Good Samaritan has the resources necessary to swiftly respond to health care threats like the COVID-19 outbreak, support a local Emerging Threats Fund with your gift today. 100% of your gift goes to the Society location you choose.

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