Several employees and volunteers from Miller’s Senior Living Community in Plymouth attended the 17th Annual REAL Service Age of Excellence Awards banquet held at South Bend’s Century Center Thursday, May 19th. The Age of Excellence provides an opportunity to recognize individuals “who support loved ones and the community through daily acts of kindness, compassion, and selflessness”.
Volunteers from the Plymouth Miller’s campus nominated for Age of Excellence awards were Juanita Stapan and Annette Ray. They were among over 100 nominees in nine different categories. Each nominee received a beautiful red rose and a delicious meal.
REAL Services Board of Directors Chairman ,Steven C. Watts welcomed the nominees and others in attendance to the Age of Excellence awards ceremony. The invocation was given by Sister Laureen Painter, Vice-President of the Mission and Outreach, St. Joseph Regional Health Systems. WNDU Channel 16 news anchor Terry McFadden introduced the keynote speaker for the event; Amy Grant.
Grant is a well-known singer and songwriter but what many don’t know is that she was also a caregiver to her mother who had Alzheimer’s and also to her father who now suffers from the disease. Grant played guitar and sang some of her newer songs dealing with family and memories and also shared helpful tips on caring for aging parents and loved ones. Though unique in so many ways, Grant is one of 42 million Americans caring for an aging parent or relative.
“It takes courage to grow old,” said Grant. “This is the last great lesson our parents will teach us!”
Although caring for the aging can be challenging Grant is pleased she has had the opportunity to be with her parents and learn from them.
“Dementia does not take away who someone was,” stated Grant. “It is just another chapter in their life.”
The awards banquet ended with McFadden Reading the names of the Age of Excellence category winners and Grant presenting the winners with their awards. Winners were: Vera Burger, Bethany Cullen, Janice Wilkinson, Home Instead, Parrot Heads of Michiana, Ms. Fox’s Class of North Webster Elementary School, David Burke of Culver Meals on Wheels, Tomme Owens, and J. Larry Neff.
Miller’s Senior Living Community is proud of all the volunteers who help throughout the year at both facilities. Anyone interested in volunteering may contact the nursing facility by calling 574-936-9981 and ask for April Cooper or contact the assisted living by calling 574-936-9801 and ask for Cindy Flagg.
Pictured below: Attending the Age of Excellence Awards at Century Center was: Kandi Matthews, Admissions Director; Erin Ginter, Campus Administrator; Annette Ray and Juanita Stapan, Volunteers; and Cindy Flagg, Activity Director.