OHIO VALLEY — Many individuals were recently recognized for their contributions to the community and the programs and services through the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) at the AAA7 Annual Appreciation Brunch held at the Southern Ohio Medical Center Friends Center in Portsmouth.
The AAA7 serves ten counties in southern Ohio including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.
A tribute to former AAA7 Executive Director Pamela K. Matura, who passed away November 2018 after 29 years with the Agency, was a special part of the program with Matura’s family, friends and colleagues in attendance to share special memories.
Special awards that were presented by the Area Agency on Aging District 7 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 posthumously to Pamela K. Matura, former Executive Director of the AAA7. The AAA7 presents the award annually to an outstanding contributor to the southern Ohio aging network. 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. Matura’s family was in attendance at the special event to accept the award on her behalf.
Matura joined the Area Agency on Aging District 7 as Executive Director in 1989 and had previously served as Superintendent of the Gallipolis Developmental Center in Gallipolis, Ohio. She was very involved throughout her profession in the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging, American Society on Aging and the Ohio Association of Gerontology Educators.
Matura was an advocate for rural aging issues and established a national rural aging interest group that has resulted in additional research and monies to rural programs. Her dedication to seniors and those living with a disability defined her life-long career. Through Matura’s vision, the Agency has grown to provide a number of invaluable services and programs that have changed the lives of individuals and families living in rural, southern Ohio. Her commitment to serving others and her staunch advocacy for those in need is something that will always be admired and remembered.
In her memory, the AAA7 and Matura’s family have established the Pamela K. Matura Fund at the Area Agency on Aging District 7. Matura’s dream was to create a fund that would provide monies as needed to help secure funds for new programs or help those in most need with existing services. The AAA7 believes this is a beautiful way to honor their leader of 29 years, who was so instrumental in working on behalf of older adults and those living with a disability on the local, state and national levels. Contributions to this special Fund can be made to the Area Agency on Aging District 7, F32-URG PO Box 500, Rio Grande, Ohio, 45674.
Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Associates
Ombudsman Associates were recognized for their volunteer work with visiting nursing homes on a regular basis to help lessen the isolation and loneliness many residents experience, and to provide an essential voice for residents, providing advocacy and assistance for those who have concerns about their care.
Volunteers recognized included: Wendy Bartholomew, Sharon Bell, Sharon Hallam, Jeannette Hayburn, Sue Henson, Charles Hoy, Mary Huffman-Sheridan, Frances Marcum, Kris Moore, Dena Morris, Deborah Neal, Oscar Perry, Stephanie Rollins, Sharon Stout, Brittany Tatman, Teresa Wharff, Madison Williams and Joseph Young.
The following AAA7 Ombudsman Associates received recognition from the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudman: 100-plus hours achieved were Sharon Hallam, Sharon Stout and Dena Morris. Dena Morris was recognized for five years of services as an Ombudsman Associate and Sharon Stout was recognized by the Governor for her nomination for the 2019 “Serve Ohio Award”.
Wellness Coach Volunteers
Wellness Coach Volunteers help others in their hometown or county discover ways to live with their chronic diseases and become empowered to take better care of themselves through classes and workshops that discuss caregiving, chronic disease, chronic pain, diabetes and falls management.
Volunteers recognized included: Sharon Bell, Teresa Carr, Don Davis, Lillian Elkins, Brittany Farley, Patricia Fleming, Cindy Goodman, Mary Grote, Tiffany Hadsell, Jacqueline Jones, Cheryl Lytten, Doreenia Meddock, Amy Montgomery, April Porter, Mary Stout and Donna Williams.
Art Show and Essay/Poetry Contest Volunteers
The AAA7 appreciates the assistance of RSVP of the Ohio Valley, who helps provide volunteers to host gallery hours at the AAA7 Annual Senior Citizens Art Show that is held each Spring.
Volunteers recognized included: Joan Arrowood, Jane Bragg, Dennis Crabtree, Penny Crabtree, Diana Evans, Doris Evans, Hazel Fields, Joyce Haag, Virginia Horn, Bonnie Harris, Carolee Lewis, Mary Maxson, Rushie McAllister, Annabelle Miller, Lavon Shields and Irena Skaggs.
Also recognized were winners at this year’s Art Show, including: Carl Murdock of Lawrence 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; Elaine Morris of Highland County – “Mary Peck Friend of Animals Award”; Judith Clay of Lawrence County – “People’s Choice Award”; Anita Gail Belville of Gallia County for “Best Overall Essay”; and David Brown of Gallia County for “Best Overall Poem.”
Outstanding Seniors (As Selected by Each County Senior Center)
Adams County – Mark Tolle; Jackson County – Marlene Sexton; Lawrence County (Sybene-Chesapeake Senior Center) – Ramona Kelley; Pike County – Robert Downing; and Ross County – Gary Watkins.
Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame
The Ohio Department of Aging inducted 12 outstanding older Ohioans into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame on May 30th at a special ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. Members of the Ohio General Assembly, Governor Mike DeWine and his cabinet, and leaders from Ohio’s aging network were on hand to congratulate and thank the inductees for their lifelong contributions to their communities, their professions, and their vocations.
The Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame was established in 1977 to honor Ohioans age 60 and older for achievements and contributions to others, the roles they play in their communities, state and nation, and for what they do to promote productive and enjoyable lives. Their stories are compelling and represent lifetimes of dedication, ingenuity, perseverance, kindness and compassion. This year’s inductees range in age from 70 to 92. With their additions, the Hall of Fame boasts 486 members.
One of this year’s inductees represented the AAA7’s district, Marianne Campbell from Gallipolis in Gallia County. Campbell is a respected leader and mentor in her southern Ohio community. She helped launch WJEH-AM, the longest running radio station in the region, and drove efforts to raise funds for and grow the Holzer Medical Center. Today, she is an active volunteer for the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce and the Community Improvement Corporation. The AAA7 was proud to have Campbell as a representative of our southern Ohio region in the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.
The Area Agency on Aging District 7 was pleased to host another successful Appreciation Brunch to extend its thankfulness and appreciation to all the individuals and groups who make the district so special.
Information provided by Jenni Lewis, director of community outreach and training, on behalf of the AAA7.