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Honor a senior with nomination for George Hale Silver Frame Awards

By Carol Higgins Taylor

It’s that time again — time to start taking notice of the inspiring seniors in your life. Then put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and let Eastern Area Agency on Aging know about them. Through the years, we have met some incredible seniors with amazing attitudes.

In May, in honor of Older Americans Month, Eastern Area Agency on Aging will hold the fifth annual George Hale Silver Frame Awards: the Picture of Active Aging in Eastern Maine.

While we are honoring them with this award, we feel honored just to know them and hear their stories.

George Hale, beloved broadcasting icon, is cohost of the George Hale-Ric Tyler Show on WVOM-FM 103.9, a Blueberry Broadcasting station. He also does a sports commentary on WABI-TV Channel 5 on Fridays.

“We are very excited about these awards because there are so many seniors doing great things in Eastern Maine who deserve to be recognized,” said Noelle Merrill, executive director of Eastern Area Agency on Aging. “And George is so inspirational that he’s the perfect person for whom to name the award. He epitomizes active aging.”

EAAA is in search of nominees in two age groups: 60 to 75, and 76 and older, who have shown themselves to be excep-tional role models in any one of the following categories:

Artistic/Creative,  Fitness or Outdoor Enthusiast/Adventurer, Life-Long Learner or Entrepreneur, and Community Supporter.

“The Active/Creative category includes painters, quilters, gardeners and others who are living vital lives and sharing their talents with the world, and we want to know about them,” said Merrill.

The second category is Fitness or Outdoor Enthusiast/Adventurer, for those who live life to the fullest extent possible.

“Clearly our many senior athletes demonstrate that as people age they don’t have to give up their physically active nature,” said Merrill.

The last category is Life-Long Learner/Entrepreneur. Life-long learning is an attitude of being open to new ideas, and decisions, or an eagerness to learn new skills.

“It’s said that brain fitness can be developed by formal education, being actively, mentally engaged in life, continuing to learn and exercises designed to challenge cognitive skills,” said Merrill. “Given that Maine is the oldest state in the nation, it shouldn’t be hard to find those entrepreneurs or life-long learners in our midst.”

And the Community Supporter category celebrates and recognizes seniors who devote their time to helping others and their communities at large.

I am sure by now that most of you are brimming with ideas of someone to nominate, so here are the nuts and bolts of the contest.

To enter a person, you must complete a nomination form, which is available by calling EAAA or printing off the form from our website at www.eaaa.org. Send the form with a letter describing why the person is a good candidate for a George Hale Silver Frame Award to Noelle Merrill, Eastern Area Agency on Aging, 450 Essex St., Bangor, ME 04401. You may enclose a photo, but it is not necessary.

“Please check with the nominee first because some people don’t want to receive public recognition,” said Merrill. “But we think that those who remain active and involved in the community are examples of greatness for the rest of us. We would also like to publish these essays to our website.”

The winners in each category will be awarded a silver frame and commemorative key chain and will be honored during a celebratory luncheon in their communities. Winners will have their pictures taken with George Hale.

The deadline for nominations is April 15, 2011. Eastern Area Agency on Aging staff, board of directors and advisory council members are not eligible for the award, although each one is deserving.

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging.

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