There’s always a lot going on at Glenaire, and Lara Lee Waters is usually the reason. As the community’s Life Enrichment Coordinator, she says she’s Glenaire’s “Queen of Fun.”
Lara Lee is part of the community’s Wellness Team, and their goal is making sure the residents have access to programming that will feed their Mind, Body and Soul. Typically, Lara Lee likes to program four or five special activities or events a week. These may include musical performances, speakers on specific topics, or educational presentations on topics like health or self-defense. Most programs come from resident suggestions and represent what the residents are interested in attending.
Musical performances are very popular, Lara Lee says. Over the holidays, for instance, the community had a visit from a Celtic Christmas choir, and a number of local groups use Glenaire’s auditorium as a rehearsal space, allowing the residents to sit in and enjoy the music.
She also works with the Creative Arts Committee to schedule art classes of different types – pastels, pottery, beading, tie dying and so on – taught by both outside instructors and residents. Another group, the Enlighten Steering Committee, suggests different distance learning topics and Lara Lee arranges to have presenters come in once or twice a month. For those events, she partners with the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) to bring in experts from museums, authors who have written on the topic, and other knowledgeable speakers.
Arranging day trips to places like the Special Forces & Airborne Museum in Fayetteville are also part of what she does. Groups of residents go out for lunches and dinners about once a month, go to the movies, take in plays and the symphony – whatever the residents suggest, she works to make it happen.
It’s a job she genuinely loves. She came to Glenaire in January of 2018 after having spent ten years doing the same job at her alma mater, William Peace University in Raleigh. The big difference, she says with a smile, is that college students wanted parties and events to start at 8:00 pm, and Glenaire folks want them to end about 8:00 pm.
Working at Glenaire is like working at the college in one important way, however. “It’s a family atmosphere, which I really appreciate coming from a small school,” she says. “The people who live here are genuinely super nice. I got a hug and a kiss yesterday from somebody for helping them with a poster. Everyone is just loving. It’s such a great community.”
And if you ask the residents, they’ll tell you that she is part of what makes it so great!