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‘The energy is contagious

Live game shows light up the stage at Seabrook

Created date

July 23rd, 2013

Under the bright lights of the stage, Gary Engelstad makes the call for audience members to participate. A sea of hands goes up. The game show format is something we re all familiar with so we get a lot of audience participation, says Noreen Borst, who lives at Seabrook and has participated in several of the live game shows, including Let s Make a Deal. I almost won that one! she says.

Game for anything

Engelstad, director of resident life, has been hosting live game shows at Seabrook for the past five or six years, he says. There s a certain energy level. My staff knows I m up for anything, he says. He and his staff fill the stage with props, dress in costume, play music, and project questions and answers on a large screen for the audience to see. They truly put on a show. FromJeopardytoFamily FeudtoLet s Make a Deal to spelling and geography bees, the energetic Seabrook crowd is game for anything. The game shows draw more than 120 people to Seabrook s auditorium four to five times a year. Each show is filmed and televised on the community s in-house TV channel for anyone who can t make it to the live show. It s always a good crowd, especially when we do the quiz-type games, Noreen says. The audience can see the answers, but the contestants can t, which makes it fun. Noreen s favorite game is when they ask if you have a certain item in your pocketbook, like something random, and everyone s searching, she says, laughing. People really come prepared! ForFamily Feud, the resident life team faced general services. Residents cheered for their favorite department.Let s Make a Dealuses audience members as contestants, as with Jeopardy and the bees. They come to that event knowing they re not there to watch, they re there to participate, Engelstad says. This is a very competitive community we have here! While Noreen credits Engelstad with energizing the crowd, he credits the audience and staff. I love [hosting the shows] because it s residents and staff doing something together. It s unexpected, and it s fun, he says.

Spirited bunch

Noreen says that s what makes Seabrook stand out from other communities. The residents know all the staff, where a lot of places aren t like that, she says. Engelstad agrees: The relationship between residents and staff here is really unique. It s a family. And anyone could see it in the interaction between him and Noreen. Their comfort level is permeable. Noreen says getting to know every staff member in both fun and professional situations makes her feel safe and secure. The [staff] here really help us. I know that if anything comes up, there are people nearby who will help me right away, she says. In fact, her monthly service fee includes 24/7 home maintenance and security peace of mind that comes standard with her Seabrook apartment home. The monthly service fee also includes use of all amenities, including the on-site fitness and aquatics center, a meal plan for use in the three campus restaurants, and all utilities except Internet and telephone. When Noreen isn t making deals with Engelstad on stage, she enjoys a ceramics class, which she takes on campus. She also brushes up on her geography, history, and Italian language skills in on-campus clubs with her neighbors. Now we know why she aces the game shows! [Seabrook] is a place where there s so much to do, but no one will force you, she says. It s up to you to get involved.