Life@50+ represents the entity’s multi-faceted bid to usher in a new chapter in the lives of its constituents while being of service to communities.
“This is really a celebration of you … of all the real possibilities,” AARP Chief Executive A. Barry Rand told an assembly of scores of members at the Day 2 morning session.
That theme played out via a full slate of festivities and activities — with the center serving as home base — that drew about 10,000 over the three-day period.
Attendees having aged past the half-century mark were greeted by scheduled appearances of luminaries at virtually every turn.
Pro football legend Dan Marino and noted TV personality James “J.B.” Brown led several hundred volunteers in the 2013 conference’s signature kick-off event, the Atlanta Community Day of Service.
“It’s a great satisfying day for a lot of people and it’s good to be a part of it,” said Marino.
The AARP contingent undertook more than a dozen volunteer projects across the city, including home and school makeovers, senior community center revitalization efforts and arts projects among other endeavors.
“It’s not only about helping the community. … It also gets the members together for a common cause, which is helping other people,” Marino said. “It’s something they can build on. … People from different parts of the country get together to help people.
“It’s special from that standpoint — where you can make a difference in other people’s lives and be a part of something that grows with other people in different communities.”
Other celebrity speakers and experts engaged attendees on an array of topics such as health, finances and relationships throughout the conferences run. Nightly events and entertainment, including a Gloria Estefan concert, rounded out the agenda.
A frank, far-reaching conversation between famed actress Whoopi Goldberg and Atlanta-based media mogul Tyler Perry was yet another Life@50+ highlight.
Perry, 44, said he relished the opportunity to appear at the behest of AARP.
“I get a lot of offers to do a lot of things, [but] this was just so appealing to me, Perry said. “In your 20s you think you know it all. In your 30s you figure out you don’t. In your 40s, a light comes on … and around 50 is when you really start to settle in.
“One of my best friends is 70 years old. I celebrate age … I want to soak up as much good energy and as much knowledge from everybody that I can.”