11-year-old pianist spreads holiday cheer at assisted living centers

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Alia Steele, an 11-year-old girl, has hit the road this holiday season. With her keyboard in hand, ready to spread Christmas cheer to local assisted living centers.

“I’ve been just playing for family, and family couldn’t come this year,” Alia said, “and I was like, well, I want to spread the joy for other people, too, so I just decided, my mom and I, just called up some nursing homes and found some that we could do.”

Her first stop: the Brookdale Fort Myers Lakes Park Senior Living Center.

And residents could not get enough, as they sang Christmas carols together and rang bells.

It was the holiday cheer even resident program coordinator David Pincus couldn’t resist joining in on.

“Just overawed by the kindness and the thoughtfulness,” Pincus said.

And with the help of her mom Roxanne and grandmother Margie, Alia gave a performance to remember.

“I’m very proud of her,” Roxanne said. “The last two years, she was practicing so hard, and we’re like, instead of just doing it for family, you should let other people listen.”

Alia wrapped up her performance with homemade cookies in hand, and she said she wants to make this a new holiday tradition.

“Hoping that I’ll continue doing this,” Alia said. “I want to do it next year too. Just spread joy and do whatever you can to make people feel happy and welcome.”

Alia will continue spreading holiday cheer to local assisted living centers this month, with her next visit being on Dec. 19 at the American House.

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