Fest bridges generation gap

By Ginger Riehle

There will be fun for all ages at noon on Saturday at the East Lagoon, when NIU hosts its Second Annual Generation Fest.

Julie Lorensen, an NIU student who helped start the event last year, said NIU’s Lincoln Hall staff and the Student Nurses Organization are sponsoring the fest. She said the guests will include older adults from the Feeding Our Older DeKalb program and children from the Salvation Army’s Day Care program. NIU students also are welcome.

Lorensen said she decided to do the fest again this year because of the response from those who attended last year. She said, “We hope it goes off as well as it did last year. We had a lot of people say, ‘This is nice. Are you going to have another one next year?'”

She said the hardest thing to do was trying to get the NIU students involved. She said this year they expect 80 older adults and 43 children, but they hope to get a lot of students as well.

“Student’s should attend. It gives you a chance to get away from this class and that class and the university, especially around finals. You feel like you’re a part of the community,” she said.

She said there will be a picnic at noon with food provided by the Lincoln Residence Hall’s food service. They plan to play a number of games including bingo, which was popular last year. She said they also will be giving away prizes donated by local businesses.

“People aren’t required to participate in the games if they don’t want to. If people are having a good time we don’t want to stop the momentum by saying, ‘OK, let’s stop talking so we can play a game now,'” she said. “People get talking, and that’s good, that’s what the fest is for.”

NIU student Doris Adler helped with the fest last year and is working on it again this year. She said it was a bit cold last year, but it turned out OK.

Adler said she didn’t think the fest involves too much work to organize, because there are a lot of people helping. She said the fest is a lot of fun, and she is looking forward to it again this year.

“I had a lot of fun, and I thought it was a really cool experience. There was a good turn out last year and I think more might come this year,” she said.

Adler said students should attend this year, because they will have a good time, and she said the students helped bridge the gap between the older adults and the children.

Lorri St. Aubin, a Residence Hall Assistant who is working on the fest, said she didn’t attend last year’s fest, but is looking forward to the event this year.

“It was a lot of work, but everything’s coming together pretty well. I am anxious to go to see the interaction between the three generations,” she said.