Better than banana splits

Lisa had a great idea, acted on it and changed Harrisonburg.

When I was growing up in Harrisonburg, the most exciting thing for kids to do was go to the soda fountain at McCrory’s, a “five and dime” on Court Square, pick one of dozens of balloons that were strung on a wire above the counter and pop it to find out how much you’d pay for a banana split. If you got lucky, you’d pay only 19 cents — or on an unlucky day, you’d have to pay the full price of 79 cents. Today’s children are infinitely more fortunate because of the dreams and leadership of Lisa Shull (’85, ’91M), executive director of the Harrisonburg Children’s Museum and our newest posting on JMU’s Be the Change Web site. Today, HCM provides a wonderful place for children of all ages to explore, learn, create, experiment and play.  Parents love it, children love it and the community has embraced it. Lisa tells me that HCM wouldn’t have happened, though, had it not been for hundreds of volunteers — many associated with JMU. Still, it took an idea, but more importantly, it took someone like Lisa to act on the idea.  In doing so, Lisa, her volunteers and HCM have changed the complexion of downtown Harrisonburg, helping to make it family friendly and a great place for kids.  And in an ironic little twist, right now the museum is located in the building that used to house McCrory’s, but later this year HCM will move into a much larger space just down the street next to the regional library. Lisa’s dream is still growing.

Read more about Lisa and the Harrisonburg Children’s Museum at:

And read about all of our Be the Change champions at:


About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

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