When Tom Hannah, Blaine Werner, Scotty Clark and John Koelling enter a room, they quickly command attention. The barbershop quartet, known to businesses in downtown Eugene for its holiday caroling, recently stopped by Willamette Valley Cancer Institute to serenade patients.

From the lobby to the infusion room, the foursome sang renditions of holiday classics, including “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” and “Little Saint Nick.” They were met with applause, and many patients captured the performance on their cell phone cameras. For the Downtowners, who have been performing together since 2002, the opportunity to entertain patients at WVCI brought them as much joy as they were spreading.

“It was a moving experience for us,” Tom says. “A lot of secular Christmas music is filled with ‘happy talk’ about festive feelings, joyfulness and wonderful times. We realized that many of the patients we were singing to were experiencing a difficult Christmas season due to their diagnosis, but by entertaining them, we could provide a temporary distraction from their worries.”

Willamette Valley Cancer Institute appreciates the outpouring and support from community members and groups to lift the spirits of our patients during the holidays and year-round. These gestures of goodwill are deeply meaningful and are a wonderful reminder that we live in a community that cares.