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Siefken hires singers to serenade his sweetie

Barbershoppers croon love tunes all around the Sauk Valley

(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Sauk Valley Food bank Director Carol Siefken applauds after being serenaded Thursday morning by a Rock River Barbershop Chorus quartet. The musical message of love was a Valentine's Day gift from her husband, Russ, director of the United Way of Whiteside County. The two have been mooning over each other for 47 years.

STERLING – Carol Siefken said her husband, Russ, is usually a quiet giver, so she was shocked when a barbershop quartet serenaded her at her workplace on Valentine’s Day.

“I think I had my mouth open the whole time,” she said. “It was very, very nice.”

Carol, 70, is director of Sauk Valley Food Bank, while her 69-year-old hubby of 47 years is executive director of United Way of Whiteside County.

“He is just a super nice guy,” she said.

One of the best parts of her gift: Representatives from local food pantries were there for free food day, so they got a free concert.

Nancy Havener, 72, a board member of F.I.S.H. food pantry in Sterling, was among them.

“I really felt that was a special thing he did,” Havener said.

The Rock River Valley Barbershoppers, based in Rock Falls, had three quartets out and about Thursday – two in the Twin Cities, and one in the Dixon/Amboy/Ashton area – that visited about 40 people to give vocal valentines.

The group has been delivering singing valentines for 8 or 9 years, and they usually sing two or three songs for each recipient, Treasurer Jim Brotheridge said.

Carol’s four singers, wearing black shirts and red rose boutonnieres, gave her a single red rose, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, and a card. They sang “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “Story of the Rose (Heart of my Heart).”

Dick Cox, 77, warehouse manager at the food bank, said the serenade made his gift to his wife seem less impressive.

“After this big thing, a box of candy doesn’t mean much.”

Carol said she and Russ would celebrate Valentine’s Day by having dinner with another pair of sweethearts: Russ’ parents, Russell and Dorothy Siefken, 92, and 93, of Morrison, for whom the holiday was also a 71st wedding anniversary.

Members wanted

Rock River Valley Barbershoppers has about 41 members, and is looking for more. Call Jim Brotheridge, 815-626-1574, to learn more.


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