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Print a condensed .pdf copy of this newsletter, two web pages per sheet of paper.

Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue team members
and Angus visit OLLI, Friday, April 15

April 22, 2016

Editor of the Week: Sheri Siesseger

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

Space still available: “Art That’s Changing Lives / Mneme Therapy” Fri, Apr 29 at 1:00 at Tallwood, TA-1. Learn how this therapeutic arts-based activity incorporating a combination of singing, movement, painting, and storytelling enhances the lives of those with cognitive and physical impairments like Alzheimer’s disease. Sign up via the member portal (special event 970).

Two new events have been added to the spring term:

  • Special event 983, Uncovering the Secrets of Ancient Roman Gardens, will be Wed, May 4, at 2:15 at Fairfax Lord of Life
  • 1005BT, Spring 2016, Celebrate Older Americans Month: 50+ Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Panel will be Tue, May 17 at 10:00 at Tallwood

For additional information, check What’s New at our website Register via the member portal.

The Super Salad Social will take place Fri, Apr 29 at noon at the Rose Gallery at Lake Anne in Reston. Register for special event 1102 at the member portal to attend and bring a salad, fruit or dessert.

A Coffee and Conversation gathering in Loudoun will be Wed, Apr 27 at 11:05, Bring your favorite breakfast pastry to share. Email Loudoun site assistant Leigh Knox,, if you plan to attend.


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Fun Facts to Celebrate OLLI’s 25th Anniversary
By Ray Beery, Member, Board of DirectorsA compilation of LRI poetry was published in March 1996 with printing subsidized by LRI. The booklets were sold at $2.50 each. Poems dated back to the first Poetry Workshop in spring 1991. Later Poets of Tallwood was published in 2008; Poets of OLLI in 2012.OLLI is celebrating its 25th year of classes for seniors in 2016. We’ll be publishing fun facts and interesting milestones about the Institute each week that OLLI E-News is published from now until the end of the fall term, 2016.

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Program Planning Survey 2016—to All OLLI-Mason Members

Here is the notice you have been eagerly awaiting—our annual OLLI program idea survey. We would love to have your ideas for classes and activities, and for programs you might help present. Simply click on the link below, fill out the survey, (hit NEXT, to go from page to page), and at the end hit SUBMIT. Quick, easy, and no trees suffer in the process.
Thanks for your time and careful thought about programs for YOUR OLLI.

Russell Stone and Kathryn Russell, Program co-chairs.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email:
or phone: 703-323-4428 703-323-0168

Notes from Teacher Appreciation Reception

By Kelly Damato, George Mason University Public Relations Student

On Thursday, April 14, OLLI held its 25th Anniversary Teacher Appreciation Reception to recognize and honor instructors, faculty, program planners, and other individuals who helped OLLI in 2015. In attendance were OLLI teachers, Mason students and faculty, including Provost S. David Wu and President Ángel Cabrera, who were keynote speakers.

“I am excited to be here! It is a 25-year partnership and a great way for the university to reach out to the community and give back,” said Provost Wu about the longstanding OLLI-Mason relationship.

OLLI has formed a strong bond with Mason since the organization’s founding in 1991. Mason has not only provided classrooms and facilities maintenance, but university professors also volunteer their time to teach courses.

Brian Platt, chair of the Department of History and Art History at Mason, has been teaching courses at OLLI for ten years. He asserts that outreach is an important part of the university mission, and OLLI is one of the most important partners in that regard. “Teaching at OLLI is fun. The students are fantastic examples of classroom citizenship,” he noted during the reception.

To thank Mason for its support, OLLI’s charitable fund donated $18,000 in scholarship monies to various academic departments, $6,500 to Mason students who participated in the Early Identification Program, and $1,500 for the children of Facilities Management staff to defer material costs of attending Mason. Scholarship recipients were honored at the event.OLLI also presented Delegate Ken Plum and wife Jane with honorary lifetime memberships to OLLI in thanks for his dedication to the institute over the past 25 years.

Bridget Lewis, a sixth-year PhD student and scholarship recipient, first came into contact with OLLI members while presenting her research on how to improve transportation safety and efficiency for older adults. She raves about her teaching experience at OLLI, noting that “OLLI members ask the best questions because they are experienced professionals who are engaged, inquisitive, and polite.”

The beautiful event concluded with words from President Cabrera, praising the work of OLLI over the past 25 years: “The world is a better place when we spend our time learning.”

We Want Your Socks!

By Martha Powers, Board Member

National Lost Sock Memorial Day is Monday, May 9. To celebrate this important holiday, OLLI’s Member Services Committee will be collecting unwanted socks for two weeks starting Monday, April 25, and ending May 9. A sock collection box will be in the Annex at Tallwood, at the sign-in tables in Reston, and near the cookies at Loudoun. Please donate clean used or new socks (even single socks with holes are appreciated). On “Kids ‘n’ Critters” day (July 11), grandchildren will convert the socks into catnip toys for homeless cats in our area. Operation Happy Sock is a nonprofit project undertaken by community service groups (especially Girl Scouts and Girl Guides) internationally.

OLLI Volunteers Are Shining Stars

By Evan Douple, Member of the Dirty Knee Club

On Friday, April 8, more than 350 persons attended the 24th Annual Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards breakfast at The Waterford in Springfield, Virginia. The program, presented by Volunteer Fairfax and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, with the theme Celebrating Volunteers, Our Shining Stars, was held to honor 178 individuals and groups who were nominated by community members, local nonprofits, and government agencies as Shining Stars for their dedicated support to the community. Collectively, the nominees donated more than 425,690 service hours, the equivalent of a $10.6 million investment in Fairfax County. More importantly, the efforts of the volunteers contributed to making a positive impact on the lives of many people.

Jeff Goldberg, the Virginia bureau chief for ABC7/WJLA-TV and News Channel 8, emceed the event, and several prominent Fairfax County officials were present. Volunteer Fairfax was celebrating its 40th year and presented awards in several categories. OLLI’s nominee was the Dirty Knee Club (DKC) in the competitive category Adult Volunteer Group. The nomination recognized the long-term service of the club under the leadership of Valerie Braybrooke. Valerie was joined by seven current members of the DKC and OLLI-Mason Executive Director Jennifer Disano.

There were 11 other nominees in the category. While the DKC didn’t win, it was inspiring to hear the experiences of so many other volunteers whose contributions were so meritorious, and to know that although Valerie has stepped down as chair, her committee’s hard efforts have been recognized and appreciated. The colorful gardens and plantings of Tallwood are once again showing their spring glory. As nature’s shining stars they will continue to provide a tranquil, beautiful environment for reflection and learning.

Did You Miss a Doggone GREAT Event at Tallwood?

By Martha Powers, Board Member

On Friday, April 15, OLLI class coordinator Stephanie Trachtenberg arranged for a team from the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue group to visit Tallwood. Lt. Scott Schermerhorn, a FEMA task force representative with the unit, led this informative session. OLLI members were particularly enchanted by K-9 team member Angus, a black lab, and his handler, technician Paul Serzan. (If you heard about a missing 14-year-old autistic girl earlier this month, you should know that Angus and Paul were the ones who found her in just a few minutes, safe and sound.)

Despite the impressive presentation Lt. Schermerhorn offered, the attention quickly turned to Angus and his handler, and the OLLI audience spent a half-hour asking the really important questions: How old is he? Five. How long will he work? Until he’s eight, or at most ten years old. What happens then? He’ll live with his handler as a household pet. How many of the unit’s dogs are female vs. male? Just two are female, while the other five are male. Why? The males do a better job because they listen. (This response brought a collective groan from the female audience members.) The class ended with a doggy demo in the field behind TA-3 where, in mere seconds, Angus located the “missing” lieutenant who was hiding behind a tree.

If you missed this delightful class, take heart! Stephanie hopes to bring the Search and Rescue folks back—hopefully with a K-9 member again—to have a demonstration of the technical equipment used to locate disaster victims. The unit employs listening devices so sensitive that they can determine which coin (penny, dime, or nickel) is dropped yards away, plus they use microcameras with microphones so that they can communicate with victims while they are being extricated from various situations.

Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop


Nature has made you
unable to see
the iridescent, incandescent,
beauty of your wings.

Your rare, refreshing unawareness
too fragile, too fleeting for us
to follow your flight to
our own metamorphosis.

–Claire Hasselbeck

Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, next ten days
By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff WriterFor tickets for either Center for the Arts (CFA) or Hylton, call 1-888-945-2468, buy tickets online through the event calendar (see links below), or visit the venue’s box office. For more information, see the CFA ticket page or the Hylton ticket purchase page.

At the Fairfax Campus Venues

Virginia Opera: The Flying Dutchman
Sat, Apr 23, 8:00
Sun, Apr 24, 2:00
Pre-performance discussion: Dr. Glenn Winters
Concert Hall
Admission: $98, $80, $48.

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Awadagin Pratt, piano
Sat, Apr 30, 8:00
Pre-performance discussion at 7:00: Join David Ginder of WETA 90.9FM, with Maestro Christopher Zimmerman and special guests.
Concert Hall
Admission: $58, $46, $34.

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Mason Student & Faculty Performances
(see for additional student recitals)Mason Dance Company: Spring Dance Concert
Fri, Apr 22 and Sat, Apr 23, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $10.Mason’s School of Theater: The Annual Ten-Minute Play Festival
Fri, Apr 22 and Sat, Apr 23, 8:00
Sat, Apr 23, 2:00
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $10.New Sound Collective Concert
Fri, Apr 22, 8:00
deLaski 3001
Admission: Free.Dr. Balakerskaia Piano Studio Recital
Sat, Apr 23, 7:00
Choral Room A323
Admission: Free.Guitar Ensemble Concert
Sat, Apr 23, 7:00
Dewberry Hall, Johnson Center
Admission: Free.Mason Jazz Vocal Night
Sun, Apr 24, 7:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

Jazz Workshop Concert
Mon, Apr 25, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

University Chorale: “New York-New York” – Broadway Showcase
Fri, Apr 29 and Sat, Apr 30, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Adults, $12; seniors, $8.

Mason Improv Show
Fri, Apr 29, and Fri May 6, 8:00

International Jazz Day Celebration & CD Release Concert!
Sat, Apr 30, 1:00
Concert Hall
Admission: Adults, $12; seniors, $8.

American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras Concert
Sun, May 1, 11:00
deLaski – Room 3001
Admission: Free.

National Jazz Workshop Concert
Sun, May 1, 4:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

Scholarship Benefit Concert: Concerto Soloists with Mason Symphony Orchestra
Sun, May 1, 7:00
Concert Hall
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors, $15.

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At the Hylton Center

Land beyond the Water, Peter Stern, Artist
Continues through May 15
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00 – 6:00, Thu, 10:00 – 8:00 and two hours before performances.
Admission: Free.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Sun, Apr 17, 4:00
Pre-performance discussion: Member of the company
Merchant Hall
Admission: $50, $43, $30.

Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Sixth Anniversary Gala
Sat, Apr 23, 6:00
Admission: $300.

Music Celebrations International: Four Freedoms Choral Festival
Sun, Apr 24, 2:00
A salute to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Merchant Hall
Admission: Free.

Shakespeare Opera Theater:
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Sun, Apr 24, 3:00
Sun, May 1, 8:00
Fri, May 6, 8:00
Sat, May 7, 3:00
Sun, Apr 24, 8:00
Fri, Apr 29, 8:00
Sun, May 1, 3:00
Sat, May 7, 8:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: Apr 24, $20 (preview), afterwards, single show, $45, double show, $75.

Clifford the Big Red Dog® – LIVE! A BIG Family Musical
Sat, Apr 30, 2:00 and 5:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $50, $30, $20.

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For further details on any of the above events, please see the CFA event calendar and the Hylton Center event calendar

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Meetings & Clubs

The following list covering the next two weeks is extracted for your convenience from the master online calendar maintained by the office, with direct web links added when available. The list is accurate as of mid-week but to check anytime for the latest information, please view the latest forecast of upcoming events on our website (News/OLLI Calendar). Note: All OLLI members are welcome at, and encouraged to attend, meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, kickoff coffees, etc. (bolded below).

Sat Apr 23 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Wed Apr 27 1:45pm
Bridge Club–TA-3
Spanish Club–TA-2
Fri Apr 29 9:00am
10:00am 10:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Board of Directors Meeting–Loudoun Rm 211
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer, etc–Annex
Sat Apr 30 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Wed May 4 1:30pm
Mah Jongg–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Special Events Committee–Annex
History Club–TA-1
Fri May 6 10:00am Annual Meeting and Picnic–TA-1

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About OLLI E-News

OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.

Editorial Staff
Chief Editor/Technical Editor: Irene Osterman
Associate Editor: Sheri Siesseger
Weekly Editorial Team: Jean Boltz, John Nash, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere,
Paul Van Hemel

Proofreaders: Nancy Michel, Marilyn O’Brien, Susan Van Hemel
Backup Chief Editor: Alice Slayton Clark

Submissions. Members are encouraged to submit letters to the editor, letters to Ms. Ollie Ettakit (on etiquette matters), OLLI-related news items, articles and photos. Submit material to:
Deadline – 6:00 Tuesday for that week’s issue (6:00 Monday for letters to the editor); early submissions are greatly appreciated. Please limit articles to about 250 words.
Note: You can view past issues of OLLI E-News on the DocStore. To search the content of issues, use Search Our Site or put your search term in Google followed by “” without the quotes.

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