‘Passionate for seniors’

Rondeau named Outstanding Senior of the Year

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Patricia “Pat” Rondeau was named the Outstanding Senior of the Year at the Alpena Senior Citizen Center’s Older Americans Dinner Sunday.

ALPENA — The last thing Patricia “Pat” Rondeau expected when attending the Alpena Senior Citizen Center’s Older Americans Dinner Sunday was to be named the Outstanding Senior of the Year. But that’s what happened when staff at the senior citizens center, and members of her own family, surprised her with the award.

Rodeau said the announcement came as a shock for her and said she really doesn’t think of herself as a senior.

“I am passionate, always have been for seniors,” she said, noting she grew up in a large family, which she said consisted of her parents, grandparents and great uncle.

Rondeau said she later worked as a geriatric nurse.

Seniors Judy Poli and Carole Cadarette were also recognized during the luncheon for their contributions to the senior citizen’s center and the community. Poli and Cadarette were each given a bouquet of flowers.

Director Annie Hepburn and Program Manager BJ Sander were able to narrow the nominations down to three candidates, but Hepburn said “that’s where the trouble began.”

“Each of these three ladies are very respected in our community, very active in our community and all three are very humble about the things they do,” she said. “They stand up for what’s right and each are very passionate about their endeavors.”

But as they continued to go over the three nominations, Hepburn said Rondeau was the one person continued to stand out.

Rondeau serves on the senior citizen’s board of directors and volunteers as needed at the senior citizen’s center. She has been volunteering at the senior citizens center for at least the past 15 years and has written two grants that have helped students at ACES Academy learn about food service and entrepreneurship.

Rondeau said she hasn’t done anything she considers “outstanding,” but said she was very grateful to receive the award.

The Alpena Senior Citizens Center, located at 501 River Street, helps thousands of seniors annually through a number of activities, by serving up lunches and delivering meals and providing transportation services so seniors can get where they need to go and continue to live independently.

More information about the senior citizens center can be found online at www.alpenaseniors.com or by calling 989-356-3585.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at cnelson@thealpenanews.com or 989-358-5687.