Even though I have worked at Eastern Area Agency on Aging for more than 11 years, I am still amazed by some of the seniors I meet. They are truly inspirational. So, in honor of Older Americans Month in May, EAAA is holding the sixth annual George Hale Silver Frame Awards: the Picture of Active Aging in Eastern Maine.
George Hale typically needs no introduction, but for those of you who may be new to the area, he is a broadcasting icon. Currently George co-hosts the WVOM (FM 103.9) show “Maine in the Morning” with Ric Tyler and does a sports commentary on WABI TV5 on Fridays.
“We are very excited about these awards because there are so many seniors doing great things in Eastern Maine who deserved to be recognized,” said Noelle Merrill, executive director of Eastern Area Agency on Aging. “And George is the perfect person for whom to name the award as he is inspirational and the epitome of 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 exceptional role models in any one of the following categories, added Merrill:
• Fitness or Outdoor Enthusiast/Adventurer;
• Life-Long Learner/Entrepreneurial;
• 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, which means living life to the fullest extent possible.
“Many senior athletes demonstrate that as people age they don’t have to give up their physically active nature,” said Merrill.
Then there is Life-Long Learner/Entrepreneurial. Lifelong learning is an attitude of being open to new ideas, and decisions, or an eagerness to learn new skills.
“Lifelong learning throws the axiom ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ out the window,” said Merrill. “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. Given that Maine is the oldest state, it shouldn’t be hard to find those entrepreneurs or life-long learners in our midst.”
Community Supporters spend their lives helping others and the communities in which they live.
I am sure by now that most of you are brimming with ideas of who to nominate, so here are the nuts and bolts of the contest.
Write us a letter explaining why the person is a good candidate for a George Hale Silver Frame Award, and complete the entry form available by calling Eastern Area Agency on Aging. Then send both to Noelle Merrill, EAAA, 450 Essex St., Bangor, ME 04401.
“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 letters on our website.”
The winners in each category will be honored with a celebratory lunch next summer, a silver frame and a commemorative key chain. Depending on availability, the winners will have a picture taken with George Hale.
Deadline for nominations is May 1. EAAA staff, board of directors and advisory council members are not eligible for the award deserving though they may be.
“We look forward every year to read about all the really incredible seniors out there who are doing amazing things with their lives,” said Merrill.
Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. Email Higgins Taylor at email@example.com. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.EAAA.org. TTY 992-0150.