Cassia in the News

“Reach Out” Video Shares Energy of an Inspiring Community

How do you capture the unique character of a community and the partnerships within it? Augustana Care Activities Director Sarah Jo Royce wanted to share what she knew about the extraordinary partnerships at the Cora McCorvey Health and Wellness Center, a Minneapolis health and wellness community owned by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA). Inspired by videos she’d seen at LeadingAge conferences, Royce decided to make a video honoring the inspiring lives of older adults and the dedication of staff at the Cora McCorvey Health and Wellness Center. View the “Reach Out” video here.

Royce enlisted her husband, Video Writer/Producer/Director Owen Royce, to put the project together. With the support of Feeney Manor Program Director Kelly Carlson and Augustana Care Regional Director Mary Jo Thorne, the Royces worked on filming three days worth of pure energy and fun, inspiration, and knowledge of what you’ll find at the Cora McCorvey Health and Wellness Center, named for MPHA Executive Director Cora McCorvey who served MPHA for 25 years.

How the Video was Made

“To begin, we had to identify a song,” says Sarah Jo Royce, who discovered that almost everyone at the center knew “Reach Out” by the Four Tops. After making sure the song could be used via the YouTube permission process, Royce began creating cue cards for each group of people participating in the video.

The Royces then began to engage 152 video participants, including staff members, residents, clients and people in the community. Scenes were created and participants rehearsed their sections. On the day the group shot on the staircase was filmed, staff leaders at one site held a mandatory meeting (with pizza as an extra perk) and the singing group Alive & Kickin, made up of older singers throughout the city, showed up as well.

The stair case scene was filmed with an Osmo handheld 4K camera and filmed by videographer Tim Schraber. According to Royce, it took 20 minutes to get everyone together and 45 minutes to film. “Filming that scene really brought a smile to everyone’s face,” Royce recalls.

“Our goal with the Reach Out music video is to inspire people to embrace the aging process just as our partnerships here at the center do for our community,” says Royce. She and her husband also made a video that shares interviews allowing each of the featured partners to share their mission with viewers.


Under McCorvey’s direction, MPHA assembled a set of unique providers to serve older adults with low incomes under one roof. Housing is offered for those who need memory care and enhanced assisted living services. These services are provided by Augustana Care, which also offers assisted living services at Heritage Commons nearby. Residents at Thomas T. Feeney Manor have the following services right outside their doorstep:

  • Alive & Kickin is a non-profit organization that features a talented ensemble of performers ranging in age from mid 60s to 90s that entertain multi-generational audiences through popular contemporary music and personal stories. The group is managed and directed by award-winning performing arts professionals.
  • Augustana Open Circle offers programs, recreation, personal care and social connections to individuals with memory loss or other emotional or physical needs
  • Augustana Care’s Learning Lab for Eldercare Technologies connects older Minnesotans and caregivers with home health and safety technologies that help them live independently within their chosen communities.
  • Grace Home Health and Grace Hospice were launched through a partnership between Augustana Care and Mount Olivet Careview Home. Grace Hospice offers physical, emotional and spiritual care to people facing the end of life. Grace Home Health provides Medicare-certified, specialized home health care to people recently discharged from a hospital or rehabilitation.
  • Minneapolis Highrise Representative Council represents public housing residents in all MPHA highrises, organizing and supporting resident councils, including Feeney Manor’s.
  • The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority works to promote and deliver quality, well managed homes to a diverse low income population and with partners, contribute to the well-being of the individuals, families and community we serve.
  • Northside Funders Group is a collaborative of private, public, and corporate funders aligning investments and strategies to catalyze comprehensive, sustainable change in North Minneapolis.
  • NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center is a multi-specialty medical, dental and mental health center and human service agency located in North Minneapolis, working to improve the physical and socio-economic health of the North Minneapolis community through an integrated model of health and human services.
  • YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities operates the fitness center and conducts exercise courses for older adults with certified trainers. The Y is available to residents on site and older adults in the community.

Meet the partners in this interview video.

To learn more about the partnerships, please visit