Senior Corner: Commission on Aging presented Excellence in Aging awards

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Senior Corner: Commission on Aging presented Excellence in Aging awards
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By Bob Eiffert

The Alexandria Commission on Aging and Mayor Allison Silberberg presented the 2016 Excellence in Aging Awards last month at City Hall.

The Public Service Award, which recognized a city employee who advanced, improved or otherwise contributed to making Alexandria a more livable community for all ages during the course of their job, was awarded to Robert Fulk.

Fulk is the paratransit coordinator for the department of transportation and environmental
services. He works with older riders as he arranges transportation for them through the DOT Paratransit Program. He is always responsive to client issues and treats everyone with respect.

The Excellence in Aging Award for an Organization, which recognized an organization that made outstanding contributions to elevating the quality of life of older Alexandrians, was awarded to At Home in Alexandria.

AHA is a grassroots nonprofit organization founded by and for individuals age 55 and older who want to remain in their own home, living in- dependently in the community they love. AHA provides significant volunteer services to its members, easy connections to professional services and sponsors numerous educational and social events.

The Lois Van Valkenburgh Excellence in Aging Award, which recognizes an individual who made outstanding contributions to elevating the quality of life for older adults in Alexandria within the past year, was awarded to Wanda Dowell.

Dowell was honored for her service as a volunteer with the Meals on Wheels program and the clothes closet at First Baptist Church. She has been a volunteer instructor at twice-weekly programs for older adults at First Baptist and is a leader in numerous other senior activities at the church.

The Annie B. Rose Award recognizes individuals whose exemplary achievements span a lifetime of public service, and whose achievements have been devoted to significantly enhancing the community, especially to advancing social justice and aging concerns for all residents. This year, there were two recipients.

Gant Redmon was honored for his lifetime of volunteer service to Alexandria, especially to older adults. He has been board chairman of the Goodwin House Foundation for 10 years, which has raised millions of dollars under his leadership to ensure that no resident of the assisted living facility ever needs to leave the community for lack of funds, and contributes matching funds to many local nonprofit organizations that serve older adults. Mr. Redmon exemplifies the meaning of service. People are drawn to him because he takes a genuine interest in them and their needs.

Vanessa Greene was honored for 22 years of service as the director of the Charles Houston Senior Center, also known as the Krunch Bunch. She has worked in the older adult field for 31 years. The Krunch Bunch is composed of many residents and community leaders in the historically black neighborhood of Parker-Gray. Greene’s personal relationships span her entire lifetime as a resident of the area, and she has been an inspiration and friend to hundreds over the years.

The writer is the vice-chairman of the Alexandria Commission on Aging.

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