Council on Aging holds Service to Seniors Awards Banquet
By Elizabeth Cook
Most see the proverbial glass of water as half empty or half full, Mary Frances Edens says.
But the people honored Friday at Rufty-Holmes Senior Center “see the glass of water and look for someone who’s thirsty,” she said.
Edens was speaking at the Rowan County Council on Aging’s first Service to Seniors Awards Banquet, sponsored by Citizens South.
Carolyn Blackman, president of the council, said people involved with programs for the aging put the awards banquet together to recognize those who contribute to the center’s success and and to older Rowan citizens’ quality of life.
– Greta Connor, who develops and coordinates a monthly Seniors Day Out at Trinity Presbyterian Church.
– Jim Hurley, who chaired the committee that raised funds for Rufty-Holmes’ original construction, starting with $1 million from his own family, and continues to support its programs.
– Esther Mobley, who is involved in several senior activities, such as Walkabouts and the center’s garden club, and makes regular visits to nursing homes.
– Martha Richardson, who has directed the Silver Liners program at Trinity Wesleyan Church for 18 years and is known as “Martha 911” for her ability to calmly respond to any need.
– Beth Wraight, who, at the age of 89, continues a longtime personal ministry to older adult shut-ins and nursing home residents.
– AARP Tax-Aide Program, represented by Bill Behrendt and Don Michael: Volunteers have helped seniors with tax returns for more than 20 years. This past tax season, 21 volunteers helped 851 families file returns and provided additional help for seniors to file for their economic stimulus check.
– The Blanche & Julian Robertson Foundation, represented by board chairman Hurley: The local foundation has awarded $1 million to support older adult agencies and projects in Rowan since 1998.- First United Church of Christ Community Foundation, represented by chairman Diane Goodnight: The foundation gives an annual grant to Rufty-Holmes and encourages its older members to be involved with community volunteer services.
– Rufty-Holmes Computer Club, represented by Steve Hunter and Eleanor Qidirah: This group has provided leadership in computer education for older adults and supports the center. More than 1,000 seniors have taken computer classes through the club.
– Salisbury-Rowan AARP, represented by its president, Bob Bruce: The organization supports the AARP Tax-Aide program, sponsors driving refresher classes and coordinates a Day of Service in which members volunteer on a community project.
– Day Enterprises, represented by Billie Williams: The owner of the local KFC franchises sponsors the Senior Without Partners Club and the Senior Pen Pal Program ó refreshments and all.
– Great American Publishing Co., represented by owner Cindy Hart: The business publishes Senior Savvy, a monthly dedicated to stories for and by senior citizens.
– Victory Wreath Management, represented by Mary Moose: For eight years, Victory Wealth has sponsored consumer education events for older adults, with an emphasis on preventing scams and fraud targeted toward seniors.
– Salisbury Post, represented by Elizabeth Cook, editor: The daily newspaper publishes Rufty-Holmes’ calendar of events, PrimeTime, a LifePlus section and news of interest to seniors.
Rufty-Holmes’ executive director, Rick Eldridge, missed the event because he was welcoming his older son, Steven, home from serving in Iraq.