By Ann Stover, photos by Perry McCabe
For years, Dave Fruth from McPherson, Kan., has organized bus trips to National Older Adult Conference in Lake Junaluska, N.C., from Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa in past years. He and a small committee from the Cedars Retirement Village in McPherson were not deterred from attending virtually this year.
They set about building a cooperative effort with the Cedars, McPherson College, McPherson Church of the Brethren, and the organizing committee of NOAC to gather people in the ballrooms at the Wellness Center at Cedars to watch NOAC virtually on the big screens.
Sixty-six people registered to attend at the Cedars and a few others came for a day or just for worship. The group was able to view the main sessions together, as well as all the workshops in the two ballrooms, the coffee shop, and the library.
All were asked to be vaccinated and wear masks, and tried to social-distance. Folks came from Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado, as well as locally. Larry and Donna Elliot drove the furthest, from Fort Collins, Colo. The oldest attendee was 93-year-old Ethmer Erisman from Warrensburg, Mo.
The Cedars kitchen prepared lunch and supper each day. Since Dave Fruth does not recognize the flavor of “virtual” ice cream, we had real ice cream every night sponsored by the Cedars, McPherson College, and Mutual Aid.
We were amazed at the sessions, workshops, NOAC News, the Bible studies, and worship; but the fellowship was invaluable. We long to return to Lake Junaluska, but this virtual event at Cedars was much needed and appreciated.