AARP Chooses Chicago to Host

AARP is bringing its third annual Life @ 50+: A Celebration of You! National event to Chicago, September 5-7, 2003. Helping to make this the biggest and best event ever will be legendary soul man, Ray Charles; the reigning king of late night comedy, Jay Leno and the talented Three Mo’ Tenors; the ever popular Dr. Phil; and more than 15,000 AARP members and guests.

AARP members from all over the United States will flock to Chicago’s McCormick Place for three days of fun and excitement that will feature top-notch entertainment; interactive exhibits; and lifestyle, education and feature sessions with noted experts and celebrities.

Friday, September 5
AARP will open the festivities with its 45th Anniversary Celebration that includes a tribute to founder and former Chicagoan Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus and features Ballet Hispanico. Then, “life strategist” Dr. Phillip C. McGraw, host of the nationally syndicated television series, Dr. Phil, will bring his “tell it like it is” style and common sense approach to address strategies for Life @ 50+. Then we’ll open the doors to more than 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, and AARP’s 45th Anniversary celebration will shift into high gear. Other program highlights for the day include: famed author Amy Tan speaking on caregiving; Weekend Today Show host Soledad O’Brien will discuss the changing face of news; noted movie critic Leonard Maltin will kick off the new AARP Celebrates Cinema; author Tom Blake will speak on “Finding Love After 50,” and much more. Friday evening is a time to recognize Chicago’s strong community ties to its sports heritage with “A Welcome to Chicago and Sports and Blues Party.” Capping the day will be a concert by soul man Ray Charles & the Raelettes.

Saturday, September 6
The day begins early with a morning fitness walk led by fitness guru Dr. Bob Arnot. It is followed by AARP’s 2011 Council panel discussion taking a hard look at all aspects of influences and impact from the much talked about “boomer” population-looking at issues around politics, business, entertainment, and academics. New members for the 2003 panel include “boomer” influentials writer and producer Alan Zweibel, Columbia University Professor Todd Gitlin and former Presidential advisor and political consultant Mary Matalin. Educational lifestyle sessions continue with Dr. Ruth Westheimer leading a discussion on “Staying Healthy through Healthy Relationships.” Participants will have a chance to get a glimpse at AARP’s 2004 National Event at the “Viva Las Vegas” party. And the celebration will continue into the night with a concert by comedian Jay Leno and Three Mo’ Tenors.

Sunday, September 7
Who better to show attendees how to have fun than Rue McClanahan, star of the sitcom classic, The Golden Girls, sharing her thoughts on aging gracefully? Other sessions for the day include: Mark Victor Hansen, famed author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” who will share his secrets for positive attitude; actor Lou Gossett, Jr., who will lead a feature session on community service; and Paul Kangas of PBS Nightly Business Report will reminds attendees of how to find their financial security. Closing the show will be political satirist Mark Russell.

Each afternoon throughout the three-day event, the AARP University will offer attendees engaging sessions to learn more about the issues important to them and AARP. These include: The Medicare Dilemma & The Future of Prescription Drugs, Your State of Long-Term Independence, Re-careering, and Volunteering. Additionally, the exhibit hall will be open daily and will showcase health and fitness, personal finance, advocacy, travel and entertainment and community service. As part of the new AARP Celebrates Cinema premiering this year, AARP will show feature length films, as well as some shorts, from independent and foreign film makers throughout the three-day event.

[email protected]+: A Celebration of You is open to members, friends and family. Members and non-members can register by fax or mail or on-line through or call the toll free number, 800-833-2784 and for international callers, 972-349-7613. Special rates are available for exhibit, program and entertainment packages starting at $10 for members and $15 for non-members for the daytime program. One-concert packages are available for $40 for reserved seating and $20 for general admission and two concert packages are $65 for reserved seating and $40 for reserved seating and $40 for general admission. Additionally, attendees can sign up for several optional tours to get a real flavor for the “windy” city. These include the Museum of Science and Industry, exploring ethnic neighborhoods, Frank Lloyd’s Wright’s Oak Park and of course a shopping trip to the famous Marshal Field & Company.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making life better for people 50 and over. We provide information and resources; engage in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy; assist members in serving their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members. These include AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; Segunda Juventud, our quarterly newspaper in Spanish; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our Web site, We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.