The Galaxy Restaurant was the site of the 10th Annual Senior Advocate Hall of Fame awards, proudly presented by The Wadsworth Older Adults Foundation and Soprema Senior Center May 17. About 80 guests attended the wine and cheese reception and presentation recognizing those who have made significant contributions to improve the quality of life for older adults in the community.
A video montage chronicling activities, events, and actively involved people entertained as guests enjoyed the refreshments prior to the evening's presentations. WOAF President Bev Long began the program by inviting past honorees, local government officials, and sponsors to stand and be recognized. She then paid a special tribute to 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award winners Robert and Phyllis Leatherman, whose contributions to the community are legendary.
Master of Ceremonies Michael Kovack, 2009 Hall of Fame inductee, introduced WOAF Vice President Rob Andrews, who promoted the more than 90 community partners forming the Wadsworth Professional Friends who assist the Foundation. Andrews encouraged everyone to support them as a way of saying thank you for all they do; they are listed in the free, newly-published WOAF directory. It is the mission of WOAF to be proactive in providing supplemental support to the programs and services affiliated with the Wadsworth Soprema Senior Center.
The first presenter of the Senior Advocate Awards, Laura Toth, introduced Hall of Fame inductee Cindy McQuown, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Chemical Dependency Counselor. Her areas of expertise include the treatment of chemical dependency and eating disorders. She has presented extensively, both locally and nationally, on the topic of older adults' unique vulnerability to problems with medication, alcohol, and other drugs. McQuown has been frequently published. She attributes her ability to do the things she does to the loving support of a wonderful husband and loving family.
Jim Dull presented Hubbell Power Systems, Inc., the next recipient as an inductee into the Hall of Fame. The company manufactures Ohio Brass high voltage lightning arresters used in the power grid, which protect everything from the transformer outside our homes to the huge towers and substations moving electric power around the county. Unknown to many people is that Hubbell has been a generous financial supporter of the WOAF for many years; their unsolicited generosity enables the foundation to provide much needed support for the activities and programs offered by the Wadsworth Soprema Senior Center. Accepting were Debbie Tefs and Chris Davis.
2016 Hall of Fame Inductee Joyce Giles presented 100+ Women Who Care Medina County, started by a group of women in April 2011. There were 70 members at the first meeting, but the membership has since grown to more than 200 members who vote on a local charitable organization each quarter of the year to receive a donation. As of April 2018, the group has raised $250,000 for Medina County non-profit organizations. In 2017, the WOAF was chosen. The funds from this generous donation are being used to support, expand, and extend the congregate meal voucher program at the Wadsworth Soprema Senior Center. Accepting for 100+ Women Who Care Medina County were Sue Simmons and Lisa Rice.
Soprema Senior Center Executive Director and 2011 Leatherman Lifetime Achievement Award winner Nancy Likens presented the last of the four Senior Advocate Awards to 97.1 Wadsworth Community Radio, a local, non-commercial radio station supported and underwritten through the backing of its listeners and local businesses, along with the time, talents, interest and enthusiasm of community volunteers. The Morning Show with hosts Tom Stugmyer and Tina Heiberg focuses on local news, weather, traffic, and sports of interest to Wadsworth, and also includes a mix of classic musical hits. Joe Jastrzemski is the driving force behind local news, plus highlights of Browns, Indians, Wadsworth Grizzles, Ohio State, and Akron Rubber Ducks. The 24-7 broadcasts are all about community, which includes keeping seniors informed about local programs and activities for senior citizens.
2010 Hall of Fame inductee, Wadsworth Mayor Robin Laubaugh, introduced this year's Leatherman Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Stanley "Stan the Man" Wolczyk, who celebrated his 100th birthday December 20. This alert and lively decorated WWII veteran and former teacher and school principal is showing no signs of slowing down. After retiring, Wolczyk volunteered for Meals on Wheels, as well as at Children's Hospital, where he logged more than 2,500 hours. He is still a very active member and volunteer at the Senior Center, and particularly enjoys participating in its theater group.
Event Chair Pam Myers and her committee - Jill Bell, Dick Davis, Nancy Likens, Bev Long, and Jim Riley - planned the evening. Event Sponsor was Home Instead Senior Care, and Advocacy Sponsors were Russell Realty, The Village of St. Edward, Avenue, KAZ, and WOAF.