Red Hats lift sick friend's spirits through song in Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH — "We're all here and we're going to sing a song for you," Rene Alfred-Cortellessa told Janet from her cellphone Tuesday at 15 Point Road restaurant.

Janet is a fellow "sister" from The Curvaceous Dolls of Rhode Island, a chapter of the women's social organization known as the Red Hat Society. She couldn't make it to this monthly meeting along the waterfront, however, because she's undergoing chemotherapy treatment for stage 4 cancer.

To boost her spirits, members made up a bouquet from the daffodils they purchased through the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days fund-raiser. Megan and Jill from the Cancer Society helped deliver more than 300 daffodils for the Red Hats.

Shortly after the luncheon started, the ladies called Janet and sang "You've Got a Friend" — modified to "You've Got Your Sisters." Then they sang "We Love You Janet" — based on the melody of "We Love You Conrad" from "Bye Bye Birdie" — which included the line, "Praying your recovery will be soon."

"Oh thank you!" exclaimed Janet after the private concert ended.

Several business helped make the event happen. Sean and Carly Smith, owners of 15 Point Road, normally serve dinner only but opened their doors to the gals for the Tuesday luncheon and even waived the rental fee.

Kirsten Van Dijk, owner of The Passion Flower, donated a vase for the "Janet bouquet" and Floral Symphony owner Deborah Metaxes donated ribbon for 28 bouquets. Bill Banahan from 136 Express Printing donated the "Daffodil Thank You" poster.

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