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OCU to Host Senior Follies June 11 and 12

Oklahoma City University alumna Jane Jayroe Gamble, an author, speaker, former news anchor and former Miss America, has been named Mistress of Ceremonies for the Oklahoma Senior Follies. The production will be staged in Oklahoma City University’s Kirkpatrick Auditorium June 11 and 12. Tickets go on sale Monday.

Inspired by the Ziegfeld Follies of the past, the Oklahoma Senior Follies was created both to revitalize Oklahoma’s senior citizens and help Mobile Meals of Oklahoma County by raising funds and public awareness for the nonprofit. Mobile Meals has suffered drastic cuts in much-needed funding due to the state budget crisis.

“We are thrilled to have Jane Jayroe as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the Oklahoma Senior Follies,” said Oklahoma Senior Follies Founder / Producer Bobbie Burbridge Lane. “Not only is Jane an incredible performer and speaker, she is an author with several books to her name, a devoted volunteer and a proud mother and grandmother. Her endless vitality is an inspiration to others and embodies the vibrant spirit of the Oklahoma Senior Follies.”

A third generation Oklahoman, Jayroe was crowned Miss Oklahoma in 1966 and was chosen to be Miss America in 1967. An accomplished singer, she has performed starring roles in Musical Theatre in both Oklahoma City and Dallas/Ft. Worth. Her credits include a lead role in “The Sound of Music” with Yvonne DeCarlo in the Dallas cast of the musical. In 2007, she was active in the Oklahoma Centennial commemoration, joining Johnny Bench as host of the Oklahoma Centennial Parade and performing in the Centennial Spectacular with four of the state’s former and current Miss Americas.

In addition to her work on the stage, Jayroe’s career includes many aspects of the communications field including prime time news anchor in Oklahoma City and Dallas/Ft. Worth, public relations executive, professional singer, spokesman for the Oklahoman Health Center, Oklahoma Cabinet Secretary of Tourism and spokesman for Oklahoma City University.

Jayroe has also written extensively. Her latest publication is the highly-acclaimed “Devote Forty Days,” a book of devotionals written by her and other faithful Oklahoma women. 

The Oklahoma Senior Follies will also star some of the state’s greatest senior talents of stage, screen, television and radio. The brainchild of Burbridge Foundation Board Chairman and life-long civic volunteer Bobbie Burbridge Lane, the event is a project of Oklahoma City University and the Burbridge Foundation.

“As a long-time advocate for the senior population, I’ve been searching for something that would help revitalize our senior citizens. A few years ago, I was asked to sing in Dallas’ Spectacular Senior Follies and was overwhelmed by what it did for the Dallas’ senior community. At that moment, I knew we needed to bring something like that to Oklahoma,” said Lane. “It is my hope, that after seeing the follies, older Oklahomans will be inspired to dust-off their talents –whether they be performing, volunteerism or another wonderful skill. This will raise the quality of life for our seniors as well as bring a lot more joy into their lives.”

Directed by OCU’s Director of Opera and Musical Theatre, David Herendeen, Ph.D., the star-studded program will feature incredible scenes and costumes. Mark Carroll, creator and director of the wildly popular Spectacular Senior Follies in Dallas, is the consultant for the Oklahoma Senior Follies.

In addition to energizing Oklahoma’s seniors, the Oklahoma Senior Follies has another focus, raising funds and awareness for Mobile Meals of Oklahoma County. A nonprofit organization serving the Oklahoma City metro area, Mobile Meals of Oklahoma County delivers hot, nutritious meals to the homes of approximately 1,000 elderly, frail and homebound citizens.

“Mobile Meals of Oklahoma County’s services have been severely impacted by the recent cuts in state funding. There are many homebound elderly Oklahomans who are at daily risk of going hungry without this incredible program. Since many of them live alone, their food delivery may be the only human contact they have all day. For these people, the food provided by Mobile Meals is not only a hot meal, it is a lifeline,” said Lane.

The Oklahoma Senior Follies will be held at 7 p.m. June 11 and 3 p.m. June 12.

Tickets to the event are $25 and can be purchased beginning today in person at the OCU Ticket Office or by calling (405) 208-5227. Tickets can also be ordered online 24 hours a day at www.okcu.edu/ticketoffice. Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit cards are accepted. Groups larger than 10 are encouraged to inquire about the group discount.

Presenting Sponsor and Producer for the event is The Burbridge Foundation. Sponsorships for the Oklahoma Senior Follies are still available. For more information about sponsorships or to learn more about the event, contact Bobbie Burbridge Lane at info@okseniorfollies.com.