PORTSMOUTH — Giving thanks. That was common place at this year’s Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) Annual Appreciation Brunch, which was recently held at the Southern Ohio Medical Center Friends Center in Portsmouth.
During the event, several individuals and groups throughout the Agency’s 10-county district were recognized for their service and dedication to not only the agency as a whole, but more importantly, the communities and seniors served by the agency. The Area Agency on Aging District 7 serves the following counties: Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.
Special awards that were presented at the event to individuals or groups included:
William A. Jenkins Award (Outstanding Contributor to Our Southern Ohio Aging Network)
This year’s Area Agency on Aging District 7 “William A. Jenkins Award” was presented to Jane Taylor, past state director of the Ohio AARP, who recently retired. The AAA7 presents the award annually to an outstanding contributor to the southern Ohio aging network. The announcement of the recipient of the award is kept secret until the day of the appreciation brunch. The award is named in memory of William A. Jenkins, a native of Gallia County, who helped build the aging network in southern Ohio through the Area Agency on Aging District 7.
During the award presentation, Pam Matura, executive director of the AAA7, acknowledged Taylor for the significant impact she made during her career throughout the aging network, not only in the local district and Ohio, but also her contributions to providing input and change on a national level.
Intergenerational Educator of the Year Award
The Area Agency on Aging District 7 “Intergenerational Educator of the Year Award” was presented to nine local university/college programs that, over the years, have assisted the AAA7 with student placements to enrich the learning experience for their students and give them a real life work environment.
The universities/colleges that were recognized included: Ohio University Social Work Program in Athens, Ohio University Chillicothe Campus Social Work Program, Ohio University Southern Campus in Ironton Social Work Program, Ohio University Nursing in Athens, Shawnee State University Department of Nursing in Portsmouth, Shawnee State University Department of Business Administration Health Care Administration in Portsmouth, University of Rio Grande Social Work Program in Rio Grande, Southern State Community College Human and Social Services in Hillsboro, and Morehead State University at Ashland Social Work Program in Kentucky.
This year’s Area Agency on Aging District 7 “Partnership Award” was presented to the University of Rio Grande Esther Allen Greer Museum for their wonderful work with the AAA7 during the annual Senior Citizens Art Show and Poetry/Essay Contest that is held during May and June each year on the campus of the University of Rio Grande.
Staff at the Museum have been a huge supporter and friend of the event for many years, providing use of the Museum for the actual hanging and preparation of the Art Show, as well as the two weeks the art is exhibited and the closing Meet the Artists Tea that is attended by artists, guests, and the community. The AAA7 Senior Citizens Art Show, which began in 1982, has grown over the years and during this time, the University of Rio Grande has been a steady supporter and partner. Their continued assistance has been a vital asset to the success of the event, which is a favorite among many seniors in the district.
Caregiver of the Year Award
The Caregiver of the Year Award was presented to Aaron Bollinger of Lawrence County.
Informal caregivers are those unpaid individuals such as a spouse, partner, family member, friend, or neighbor who are involved in assisting others with activities of daily living or medical tasks. 65 million caregivers make up 29 percent of the adult population providing this care in the United States.
A Gallup survey in November 2012 found 72 percent of caregivers were caring for a parent, step-parent, mother in-law or father in-law, with 50 percent of these caregivers being employed full-time. Working caregivers often must rearrange their work schedules, decrease their work hours, or take unpaid leave to care for their loved ones.
The Caregiver Support Program at the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) was created in 2001 through Older Americans Act funding to assist informal caregivers with information about caring for themselves and their loved ones, providing respite services, and linking caregivers to other needed services.
Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Volunteers
Chelsea Adams, Ronda Bivens, Carol Carter, Daniel Farley, Jeannette Hayburn, JoAnn Hilderbrand, Lois Ann Lemley, Nancy Miley, Dena Morris, Debra Neal, Joan Phillips, Maryellen Pratt, Elizabeth Prayner, Lavon Shields, Gerald Towler and Kathy Wolf-Utter.
Wellness Coach Volunteers
Cher Belllar, Linda Black, Libby Brisker, Etta Charlebois, Ashley Daniels, Brittany Farley, Cindy Goodman, April Greer, Diane Hewitt, Kim Johnston, Tami Jolly, Joyce Lewis, Colleen McCambridge, Dee Meddock, Marty Newman, Terri Pearson, Susan Pitts, Cathy Shipley, Sandy Shirey, Tracey Smith, Patty Snyder and Sandra Williams.
Art Show and Essay/Poetry Contest Volunteers
Joan Arrowood, Shelia Arrowood, Kathy Bays, Rita Baker, Clara Borden, Alice Chinn, Jack Chinn, Dennis Crabtree, Penny Crabtree, Ruth Davis, Martha Detty-Foster, Diana Evans, Doris Evans, Phyllis Fulk, Joyce Haag, Mary Johnston, Carolee Lewis, Freda Lowery, Mary Maxson, Rushie McAllister, Annabelle Miller, Maudine Minnis, Pat Parsons, Joan Shasteen, Nancy Shaw, Lavon Shields, Irena Skaggs, Jim Skaggs, Joann Smith, Anna Summers, David Summers and Phyllis Taylor.
Also recognized were winners at this year’s Art Show, including: Alice M. Smith of Adams County – “Victor Potts Best of Show Award” in the Amateur Category; Pat Thompson of Adams County – “Victor Potts Best of Show Award” in the Professional Category”; Rita Haley of Gallia County – “Mary Peck Friend of Animals Award”; Sharon Brown of Jackson County – “People’s Choice Award” – Norma E. Graf of Scioto County for “Best Overall Essay”; and Jeri Ingles of Gallia County for “Best Overall Poem.”
Outstanding Seniors (As Selected by Each County Senior Center)
Adams County – Pastor Phil Fulton; Highland County – Juanita Kelley; Jackson County – Wanda Cross; Lawrence County (Ironton Senior Center) – Doris Roberts; Lawrence County (Sybene-Chesapeake Senior Center) – Lorene Plybon; Pike County – Richard Rundels; and Ross County – Betty Hougland.