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Senior Center seeks nominations for Older Americans Month

April 12, 2012
The Alpena News

May is Older Americans Month, a perfect opportunity to show appreciation for older adults in the community.

As part of Older Americans Month, the Alpena Senior Citizen Center is looking for nominations for "Outstanding Older Citizen." This honor is awarded to an Alpena County resident, 60 plus years of age, who has touched the lives of others in some significant way through mentoring or teaching, volunteering, or exceptional service to the community at large.

It is requested that nominations include a brief article explaining who the nominee is and why they should be selected. The deadline for nominations is April 20.

The center also hosts a 100-Plus Club, comprised of Alpena County residents 100 years or older. If you know of an Alpena Centurion, please contact the center so they can be included in the club.

The center is joining in the national celebration of Older Americans Month 2012 with a variety of activities and events to promote intergenerational engagement and recreation.

The week of May 6-11 will be deemed "Celebrate Your Socks Off Week." This tongue-in-cheek week will start on Monday of that week when the center will host "Put Your Best Foot Forward," asking for donations of socks to be given to a local charity.

Fact Box

Nominations needed for:

* Outstanding Older Citizen Award

Submission deadline - April 20

* 100-Plus Club

Alpena County resident 100

years or older

For more info: 356-3585

Tuesday will be "No-Sock Day," inviting people to leave their socks at home and let their feet breathe for the day. Wednesday there will be a "Lost Sock Memorial" board to showcase those lone socks that never made it out of the dryer with their mates.

There will be more fun with a "Wild Sock Fashion Show" on Thursday, and finally, the week will end with a "Sock Hop" on Friday.

May 18 will be another important day at the center, with a focus on improved health and fitness. Once again, the center is sponsoring the "Let's Keep Moving Alpena" moving for fitness program.

A 7 a.m. kick-off breakfast will get the program rolling for 2012. The breakfast will be followed by a Mini-Health Fair, allowing folks an opportunity to gather important health information.

Let's Keep Moving Alpena is open to anyone, with a registration fee of $5. The 100-day program is designed to keep participants moving by encouraging exercise on a regular basis. Participants are challenged to walk or complete an equivalent activity, then keep track of the miles completed.

Every mile counts toward improved fitness. As an added incentive to keep participants moving, when they turn in miles on time, their name will be entered in a drawing for prizes.

Finally, the celebrations will round off with the center's Older Americans Month Celebration Dinner on May 20. The "Outstanding Older Citizen" will be announced and the "100-Plus Club" members honored. Tickets will be available at the center, 501 River.

Since 1963, communities across the nation have joined in the annual commemoration of Older Americans Month a proud tradition that shows our nation's commitment to celebrating the contributions and achievements of older Americans.

The theme for Older Americans Month 2012 is Never Too Old to Play! It puts a spotlight on the important role older adults play in sharing their experience, wisdom, and understanding, and passing on that knowledge to other generations in a variety of significant ways.

As large numbers of baby-boomers reach retirement age, many communities have increased their efforts to provide meaningful opportunities for older adults, many of whom remain physically and socially active through their 80s and beyond. Current trends show that people over age 60 account for an ever-growing percentage of participants in community service positions, faith-based organizations, online social networking as well as arts and recreational groups.

Lifelong participation in social, creative, and physical activities has proven health benefits, including retaining mobility, muscle mass and cognitive abilities. But older adults are not the only ones who benefit from their engagement in community life.

Studies show their interactions with family, friends and neighbors across generations enrich the lives of everyone involved. Young people who have significant relationships with a grandparent or elder report that these relationships helped shape their values, goals and life choices and gave them a sense of identity and roots.

While Alpena Senior Citizens Center provides services, support and resources to older Americans year-round, Older Americans Month is a great opportunity to show special appreciation for some of the area''s most beloved citizens.



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