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Intergenerational Games at Mt. Lebanon Village, PA

Posted: October 17, 2011

Mt. Lebanon Village held its annual intergenerational summer games on August 13th. Activities included a one-mile run/walk, zumba, tai chi, soccer, checkers, chess and a picnic.The games provide a chance to exercise, raise money for and increase awareness of Mt. Lebanon Village.

More than 200 people, ranging in age from 2 to 92, turned out last year for the Mt. Lebanon Intergenerational Summer Games, a competition that matches older adults with younger competitors.

“We had tremendous good feedback about the day,” said Larry Evans, a board member for Mt. Lebanon Village, a nonprofit group that helps adults age 50 and over remain in their homes.

And so, Mt. Lebanon Village decided to hold the summer games again this year.
The games will start at 9 a.m. Aug. 13 at Mt. Lebanon Park with a “Chase Your Elders” one-mile run/walk, which staggers the start so the younger runners try to catch up with the older runners.

After the run, Mt. Lebanon Village has scheduled a whole day of activities, including a zumba class, tai chi, soccer, checkers, chess and a picnic.

“The games have been an opportunity to bring the entire community together,” said Ann Bateman, executive director of Mt. Lebanon Village.

The games provide a chance to exercise, raise money for, and increase awareness of Mt. Lebanon Village. The organization, started in 2009, is the 39th village established in the United States and the first in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The group's leaders hope events like the intergenerational games will encourage other communities to begin efforts to address what they said is a common problem, especially in Western Pennsylvania. Older adults want to stay in their homes but worry about how they will get to the doctor, the grocery store and other places.

“This organization, which is unique at the moment in southwestern Pennsylvania ... this program has an answer to their problem,” said Tom Ferrall, a retired public affairs director with U.S. Steel Corp. who has been working with the organization.
Members of Mt. Lebanon Village pay an annual fee, and then volunteers are available to assist them in getting to doctors appointments and other places.
The high level of interest in the intergenerational games shows that people support the mission of Mt. Lebanon Village, said Penny Richichi, the development director for the organization.

“People love the mission,” she said. “They love the idea that the community is doing something for older adults in Mt. Lebanon, to help them have independence and offer them a choice.”

Pre-registration for the games is $15 for adults and $10 for students. Children 6 and under are free. Register in advance at www.mtlebanonvillage.org or by calling 412-343-4054.

More information: call 412-343-4054.
Kaitlynn Riely: kriely@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1707.
Copyright ©, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2011, all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.