Abracadabra....A Red Apple Salute For Tom Verner
What does a college professor do after he's put in his 25 years? Well, he takes a leave of absence and then goes on a magical mystery tour:
Tom Verner taught psychology full-time at a small Vermont college, doing magic gigs on the side. Then one day everything changed. While in Europe to attend a conference, he stopped at a Kosovo refugee camp and performed.Educators by their very nature tend to be nurturing people. Obviously, Professor Verner and his wife hope to spend their golden years serving others as well. We offer our Red Apple Salute to Tom Verner and all the other retired and semi-retired educators that somehow find the time and energy to continue helping children at a time when others think or retirement .
The children were awed, and so was Verner. He couldn't get them out of his mind. So in 2002, he took a leave of absence from Burlington College and founded Magicians Without Borders (www.magicianswithoutborders.org).
Since then, he and his wife, Janet Fredericks, have entertained orphans and refugees in at least 11 countries, and he teaches parttime at Burlington.
After their trips abroad, they visit middle schools around the Northeast to show photos of their work and talk about the refugees. Now 59, Verner is planning a trip in late spring to the tsunami-stricken regions of Burma, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
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