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First Fridays Program Set for April 3

RELEASED: March 24, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — Karen Alexander and Nancy Hanson-Rasmussen will highlight the warmth and humor in all of our struggles to be humane with each other, whether we are able-bodied or disabled, during the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's First Fridays program for senior citizens on April 3.

A free continental breakfast will precede the formal program at Christ Church Cathedral, located on the corner of Lake and Farwell Streets in downtown Eau Claire. Doors will open for breakfast at 8:30 a.m., and the presentation will begin at 9 a.m.

Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, more people interact daily with students, customers and clients with disabilities and want to do so knowledgeably and sensitively. Fifty-four million Americans have chronic illnesses or disabilities that require accommodations in the ways they live their lives. As people age, more of people gain personal experiences with disabilities and want to know how to adjust.

A family caregiver and volunteer group leader for the Alzheimer's Association, Alexander is a retired English as a second language elementary school teacher. Hanson-Rasmussen, a lecturer in UW-Eau Claire's College of Business, does research on disabilities in the workplace.

For the safety of the program's senior citizen audience, the event will be cancelled if the Eau Claire Area School District has cancelled or delayed classes in the case of hazardous weather.

First Fridays occurs on the first Friday of each month October through May, with the exception of January, at no cost to the senior community. Those who have season passes stamped each month will be eligible for a grand prize drawing at the May presentation.

The program is funded in part by the UW-Eau Claire Foundation Community Outreach Program for the Arts, by contributions from the Great Harvest Bread Company and Elliot Roberts.

Now in its seventh season, First Fridays is coordinated by Jennifer Brockpahler and Amanda Seveland of the Activities and Programs office and is hosted by Robert Rademaker, the dean of Christ Church Cathedral. Scott and Heather Kirby are First Fridays' community partners.

The mission of First Fridays is to provide no-cost entertainment and educational experiences for senior citizens of the extended Chippewa Valley community through shared community and university sponsorship.

For information about First Fridays or to be placed on a mailing list, call 715-836-2787 [ARTS].

-30-

JB

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