By Barbara Waters
Since 1990, the Alexandria Commission on Aging’s Excellence in Aging Awards have honored individuals and organizations that have made superior contributions in advancing issues and projects that make a favorable impact on older Alexandrians. The commission is now accepting nominations for the 2019 awards, which will be presented on May 14 at city hall. Awards are presented in four categories:
The Annie B. Rose Lifetime Achievement Award
The award recognizes an individual 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 citizens. It honors the superior example of Annie B. Rose for her lifetime of outstanding service.
Last year’s honoree was Mary Hamil Parker, Ph.D. Prior years’ recipients include: William “Bill” Clayton and Carol Siegel (2017), Vanessa Greene and Gant Redmon (2016), Jane King (2015), Del Pepper (2014) and John Freeman (2013), who were honored for their outstanding service.
The Lois Van Valkenburgh Excellence in Aging Award
The award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to elevating the quality of life for older adults in Alexandria within the past year. This award is in honor of Lois Van Valkenburgh, a longtime Alexandrian, community leader and past chair of the Alexandria Commission on Aging. Van Valkenburgh was a tireless advocate of and expert in issues related to aging. Her strong spirit, steadfast dedication and extensive network helped to make Alexandria a better place in which its oldest citizens are able to age gracefully.
Recent recipients include Dolores Viehman (2018), Mary Lee Anderson (2017), Wanda Dowell (2016), Mitch Opalski (2015), Anestacia Graham (2014) and Dan Kulund (2013).
The Excellence in Aging Award for an Organization
The award recognizes an organization that has made outstanding contributions to elevating the quality of life for older Alexandrians. Recent awardees have included The Hermitage Northern Virginia (2018), Rebuilding Together Alexandria (2017), At Home in Alexandria (2016), Senior Services of Alexandria (2015), Yellow Cab of Alexandria, Inc. (2014) and the Ronald M. Bradley Foundation (2013).
The Public Service Award
The award recognizes City of Alexandria employees who have advanced, improved or otherwise contributed to making Alexandria a more livable community for all ages during the course of their jobs. Recent awardees have included Margaret Orlando (2018), Debbie Ludington and Arthur Thomas (2017), Robert Fulk (2016), Terah Chamberlin (2015), Mary Ann Griffin (2014) and Shane Cochran (2013).
Nominations are open and are due on April 12. The nomination package is available on the city’s website at www.alexandriava.gov/aging. Look in the “Highlights” section. You can also contact Debbie Ludington at 703-746-5694 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The awards will be presented at 5:30 p.m. on May 14 in the Vola Lawson Lobby of city hall at 301 King St.
The Alexandria Commission on Aging is a 21-member citizen body appointed by city council to advocate on behalf of older Alexandrians.
The writer is chair of the Alexandria Commission on Aging.