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  2005 Press Releases  

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CONTACT: Januari Smith
Phone: 1-217-558-1544, Cell: 1-217-725-8212

October 11, 2005

Department on Aging inducts four into Senior Hall of Fame and presents Governor’s Unique Achievement Awards

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging Director Charles D. Johnson recently inducted four people into the Illinois Senior Hall of Fame and presented several Governor’s Unique Achievement Awards during a special ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield.

The Illinois Senior Hall of Fame was created in 1994 to honor the contributions of extraordinary Illinoisans age 65 and older. The Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement recognizes groups, individuals and programs that make a positive impact on the lives of seniors in the state.

“These individuals and organizations have left a lasting mark on our state. They are a good example of the bright, vital people who make up the diverse population of older people in Illinois,” Director Johnson said. “Older people have taught us how to live, how to work hard, serve the community and lead by example.”

The 2005 inductees into the Illinois Senior Hall of Fame are:

Lou Brown (Princeton, Illinois), the winner in the community service category, has volunteered her time to various organizations for more than 50 years. At age 77, she serves as the Vice President of the Henry Thomas Museum Board, co-chairman of the Bloodmobile, President of the Perry Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Board and chairman of the Homestead Festival Publicity. Lou is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the “Outstanding Jayshee” award from the Springfield Jayshees, “Woman of the Year “ award from the East Moline American Business Women’s Association and the “Illinois Reached Out” award from former first lady Brenda Edgar. She was also the first woman to win the “Community Builder” award from Princeton Masonic. She is the founder of the Princeton Junior Woman’s Club. Over the years, the Club has raised and donated more than $70,000 back to the community to help prevent child abuse, conduct baby-sitting clinics, provide reading programs for children and retain historic sites around the city. Lou also helped organize the Boys Club of Springfield and the Upper Rock Island YMCA.

Robert “Bob” Chappell (Belleville, Illinois), the winner in the labor force category, has directed the Senior Community Service Employment program for the Southwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging for the past six years. In that time, he has placed 38 low-income individuals into permanent employment, surpassing the goal by 200 percent. At the tender age of 77, Bob is also a full-time caregiver for his sister. He is a member of the Work Force Investment Board WIA Area 22, Illinois Employment Training Association and the Illinois Employer Council. Over the years, Bob had volunteered his time to the Easter Seals, the Cerebral Palsy Association, Greater Alton Chamber of Commerce and the United Way.

Eunice L. Gingery (Decatur, Illinois), the winner in the education category, has taught music for 34 years. Ms. Gingery played an integral part in saving the Suzuki Music Program in Decatur’s public schools. She is also the founder of the Creative Center for Learning and a member of the Decatur Senior Center Board, Decatur District 61 School Board, East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging Advisory Board, Symphony Guild Board and First Presbyterian Church Mission Committee. She received the “Woman of Excellence Award” from the YMCA, and the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Illinois Music Educators Association Sigma Alpha Iota also presented her with the “Diamond Sword of Honor,” an international award that is only given to 5 people a year.

Ed Lewis, Jr. (Canton, Illinois), the winner in the performance/graphic arts category, has owned and operated Lewis Pharmacy/Emporium for 60 years. A pharmacist by trade, Ed is the author of three books: Reflections of Canton in a Pharmacist’s Show Globe, Prairie State Pharmacy and The Heald Collection 1895-1903 and has had more than 50 articles published on the history of Canton and the history of pharmacy in the Illinois Pharmacist and Illinois Journal of Pharmacy. Mr. Lewis has served on the Fulton County Arts Council, Canton Heritage Committee, University of Illinois Board of Trustees and the Canton Chamber of Commerce. He has also been named the “Illinois Pharmacist of the Year” and “Canton Citizen of the Year.”

The winners of the 2005 Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement are:

ZION Development Corporation was nominated for the 2005 Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement by the Northwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging. ZION has improved the quality of life for low-income seniors by building Longwood Plaza Apartments and creating the Walter D. Williams Wellness Program for the individuals that live there. The program provides residents with a health risk assessment, appointments with certified nutritionists, smoking cessation classes, exercise classes and much, much more. Participants have shown great results by drastically lowering blood their pressure, weight loss, improvements in cholesterol and blood sugar levels. ZION is currently in the process of applying for additional grants to expand the Walter D. Williams Wellness Program into other senior facilities.

Quad Cities Senior Olympics, Inc. (QCSO) was nominated for the 2005 Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement by the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging. QCSO promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for individuals over the age of 50. QCSO, with the blessing of the U.S. Olympic Committee, has held competitive games since 1991. Each year a different theme is selected for the games that include athletic, artistic and mental acuity activities. This year’s theme was “Seniors Exercising Mind and Body,” where 98 separate events were held at seventeen locations over a three-day period.

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (C-UPHD) was nominated for the 2005 Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement by the East Central Area Agency on Aging. C-UPHD has made a significant difference towards healthy living for older adults in the Champaign-Urbana area since 1937 through health screenings and education, home visits, counseling, arranging for meal deliveries and flu and pneumonia vaccination clinics.

Jersey Community Hospital Wellness Center (Jerseyville, Illinois) was nominated for the 2005 Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement by the Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland. The Center, established in 1999, provides outpatient rehabilitation services and wellness and fitness programs to individuals of all ages in five counties: Jersey, Calhoun, Greene, Macoupin and Madison. They offer many exercise classes for seniors, including swimming and cardio.

Clyde C. Jordan Food Bank, Kenneth Hall Regional Hospital and Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center and Foundation (E. St. Louis) was nominated for the 2005 Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement by the Area Agency on Aging of Southwestern Illinois for their “Eating Better and Moving More” program. The program provided nutritional and fitness education to more than 50 area seniors over the age of 60 for a three month period, resulting in lower blood pressure, increased fruit and vegetable intake, improved mental status and an increase of the number of laps they could walk.

Fern Gregg was nominated for the 2005 Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement by the Egyptian Area Agency on Aging. She began volunteering for the American Red Cross at the age of 76. Seven years later, she serves as the Director of the Little Egypt Network of the American Red Cross and helps out at her church library. She has donated her valuable time to many disasters, including a train derailment in Tamaroa and spent three weeks at ground zero after the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

Carla J. Rozyki (Chicago, Illinois) was nominated for the 2005 Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement by the Suburban Area Agency on Aging. She is concluding her term as Chairperson of the Area Agency Board of Directors. As a partner with the Law firm of Jenner & Block Attorneys, Carla was able to provide the Suburban AAA with hours of legal assistance free of charge.

Ralph and Barbara Cianchetti (Highland Park, Illinois) were nominated for the 2005 Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement by the Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging. Ralph has served on the Area Agency Advisory Council and Board of Directors since 1991 while Barbara plays an active role in the AAA’s Celebrity Chefs Brunch, which benefits the Holiday Meals on Wheels Program.



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