SENIOR BEAT

Great communities don’t just happen

Posted July 18, 2011, at 6:12 p.m.

Great communities don’t just happen, they are made by extraordinarily people working from their hearts and changing the lives of those around them. The winners of the 2011 Eastern

Area Agency on Aging Silver Frame Awards in the category of community supporter are two such people.

Gary Page, from Old Town, won for Community Supporter, age 60-75. He was nominated by Val Sauda.

Page is an excellent example of this award. He donates countless hours of his time at Eastern Area Agency on Aging as a State Health Insurance Assistance Program volunteer, informing seniors of their options pertaining to health insurance, wrote Sauda.

SHIP program volunteers continually improve the financial lives of their clients, at times saving them hundreds of dollars a month on their prescriptions and insurance premiums. Page is incredibly knowledgeable about health insurance, especially Medicare and MaineCare, having participated in numerous trainings and spends much of his time informing seniors about their options in choosing an insurance plan. He also educates them on other benefits for which they may be eligible, and gives presentations to community groups to discuss the SHIP program.

Page is eager and enthusiastic about his volunteer work and consistently seeks education on the latest SHIP information to better serve those who have questions or concerns, said

Sauda. “He facilitates SHIP clinics in an effort to reach even more seniors to ensure that they receive all the benefits they can and to save all the money possible. He is so dedicated and a really great guy.”

In 2010 alone, Page donated 175 hours of his time to the SHIP program.

“The number of people he meets with annually is significant because it shows the dedication he puts forth to give clear and concise information to everyone he sees,” said Sauda.

Page also shares his skills and talents with other organizations, including with Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden and Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor.

“Gary has an incredibility generous spirit, does what needs to be done and instills joy in everyone he meets,” said Sauda. “He is the epitome of a community supporter.”

Congratulations, Gary.

Lucille Clarke, from Ellsworth, won for Community Supporter, age 76-plus. She was nominated by Jeanette Griffin.

Clark has been a community supporter for many years, wrote Griffin. “Lucille started out at an early age volunteering in the town of Hancock.”

And nothing has changed. Clark has given of herself to her community in various ways and holds the distinction of being the first female selectwoman in the town. She has donated many hours to the volunteer fire department, including assisting in its initial organization.

From working at a supplemental food program to volunteering at Robert and Mary’s adult day center for people with memory loss, to driving seniors to appointments for Friends in Action, a transportation program, Clarke has been a tireless and diverse volunteer for her community.

Her volunteerism brightens the days of all the people she sees. She is very active in Ellsworth Baptist Church and “many other activities, too many to mention,” said Griffin. “I think you would go a long way to find a more cheerful and active person than she is,”

she added.

Congratulations, Lucille.

Next time, we’ll meet the last of the award winners.

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. Email Higgins Taylor at chtaylor@eaaa.org. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, email info@eaaa.org or visit http://www.EAAA.org. TTY 992-0150.

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