James Madison Lifelong Learning Institute, Harrisonburg, Virginia By Rosemarie Palmer

By all standards, our “LLI 10th Anniversary Celebration” was a smashing success! It was a free event for adults 50 and over, held at the JMU Festival Student Center on Wednesday afternoon from 2 to 5PM on August 16, 2006. Fortunately we had a beautiful day to start with. An estimated 400 turned out for the event, 192 of whom were non-members.

A trail of purple, gold, and silver balloon bouquets led their way into the building. Inside the lobby, they were greeted with a variety of attractive arts and crafts exhibits, all creations made by members who had attended LLI classes. Also on display were course syllabi for upcoming fall courses, oftentimes accompanied by the appropriate instructor who was available for questions.

A large banner and handsome floral arrangement signaled the hospitality desk, where visitors were given name tags and were able to sign up for membership and fall courses. There were a total of 40 memberships paid, with 28 of them being new members. Thirty members registered for fall classes.

Entertainment commenced in the spacious conference room, where 250 chairs were set up initially and had to be added to throughout the afternoon. Refreshments of decorated “birthday” cakes, punch, and mints were served by member hostesses at the back of the room. Adair McConnell played old favorites at the piano with some sing-a-long participation, during which a power point production was cycled on the giant screen up front. This consisted of our past ten-year history of LLI in photos and words and was produced by Barbara McSweeney and Bev Moore, who gained their technical expertise in an LLI class.

Bob Bloomquist very capably emceed the program and introduced the other performers: the comedy team of Ted and Lee, and the “mature” tap-dancers from Diane and Company in Staunton, both very well received. We laughed at the clever satire and marveled at the stamina and high kicks of the chorus line.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and the 10th Anniversary Committee and all those members who volunteered to help are to be commended for their excellent planning, setup, and coordination. Committee members are Barbara McSweeney, Chair, Paul Graham, Mary Alice Robertson, Rosemarie Palmer, Charles Lotts, Cathy Hunter, Boel Bennett, and Bev and Sam Moore.




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