Hampton Roads’ Frank Cubillo sings Frank Sinatra songs to help those fighting Alzheimer’s

Offbeat and Unique

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Iconic tunes such as “New York, New York,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” and, of course, “My Way” are close to another Frank, not just Frank Sinatra. Former U.S. Marine, Lt. Col Frank Cubillo of Virginia Beach, has been doing it his way for 12 years.

“Frank Sinatra recorded 1,100 songs; I know 400 by heart,” said Cubillo, who is well-known on the music scene in Hampton Roads.

On Friday, Cubillo brought a big heart to a live Facebook concert to benefit the Southeastern Virginia Alzheimer’s Association. The neuron-destroying disease affects memory, the ability to speak, and eventually the ability to live. The regional Alzheimer’s Association is raising awareness and dollars.

The cause is close to Cubillo’s heart. His uncle died of the disease six years ago and that uncle’s sister is also battling Alzheimer’s disease.

“There are still six million in the United States who are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and over 11 million [family members] are caring for those loved ones. They need support right now,” said Emily Rosenberger, who is the constituent events manager for the local association.

William Burke
FILE – In this Aug. 14, 2018 file photo, a doctor looks at a PET brain scan at the Banner Alzheimers Institute in Phoenix. Two experimental drugs failed to prevent or slow mental decline in a study of people who are virtually destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease at a relatively young age because of rare gene flaws. The results announced Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, are another disappointment for the approach that scientists have focused on for many years — trying to remove a harmful protein that builds up in the brains of people with the disease. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

If you want to show support, check out the Frank sings Frank Facebook page for some musical magic. Once there, you will be directed to links where you can donate to the association.

“You’re gonna get all the Frank Sinatra big hits — ‘New York,’ ‘My Way,’ ‘Fly Me to the Moon,’ ‘Come Fly with Me.’ There are so many great songs,” he said.

Cubillo often performs at facilities for dementia patients. He has witnessed how Sinatra songs can soothe the soul.

“I will walk up to a patient or resident and I’ll grab their hands and I’ll look in their eyes and sings these songs — these wonderful songs… The light comes on and they will start actually singing along with me… It’s just heartwarming to see that,” said Cubillo.

“Frank’s goal is $1,600 to reflect the roughly 16 hours of daylight that occur during the Longest Day. He did not set a suggested donation, all donations are welcome of any amount that people are able to give,” said Rosenberger.

The Longest Day is the Summer Solstice on June 20, which the Alzheimer’s Association has pegged as its fundraising day to “fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s.”

In addition, on Saturday, May 15, Lauren Sanchez, a pound fit instructor in Chesapeake, is hosting a two-hour, glow-in-the-dark “Pound-a-Thon” for the Longest Day. Organizers say Sanchez has a $2000.00 dollar goal but has already exceeded that amount. 

For more information contact the Southeastern Virginia Alzheimer’s Association at 434-270-0201.

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