COLUMBUS - Nomination deadlines for two of the Ohio Department of Aging's highest recognitions for older adults are fast approaching and Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the department, encourages all Ohioans to nominate outstanding elders they know for the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and the Joined Hearts in Giving Award. Nominations for the Hall of Fame will be accepted through Sunday, Dec. 2 and for Joined Hearts in Giving through Monday, Dec. 31. Nomination forms are on the department's website at www.aging.ohio.gov/news/nominations/.
"Our elders are vital members of society who continue to grow, thrive and contribute throughout their lives and our state and its communities are stronger because of their efforts," Director Kantor-Burman said. "Whether they volunteer in the community, lead companies, drive innovation or mentor and inspire others, we owe each of them a debt of gratitude and it is both our honor and our duty as a state to recognize them."
The Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame celebrates the achievements and contributions of older adults, as well as the vital role our elders play in their communities, across the state and nationwide. Honorees personify the benefits of active, productive and purposeful living at all points in our lives. Nominees must be age 60 or older and be native-born Ohioans or residents of the state for at least 10 years. Posthumous nominations are accepted. Nominees will be evaluated on their contributions in areas of endeavor including, but not limited to the arts, business, education, health, activism and science. Selected individuals will be inducted during a special ceremony held in May in recognition of Older Americans Month.
The Joined Hearts in Giving Award is presented in conjunction with the First Lady of Ohio, Karen Waldbillig Kasich and honors Ohio couples who share a lifelong commitment not only to each other, but also to their community through volunteerism. Eligible couples have been married for at least 40 years with one of the spouses being at least 60 years old. Each spouse must actively participate and volunteer in community service, and the couple's primary residence must be in Ohio. The Joined Hearts in Giving Award is presented during a special reception hosted by the First Lady at the Governor's Residence in observance of Valentine's Day.
The department accepts nominations for these honors as well as the Elder Caregiver Award year-round. Nominations received after the annual deadlines will be held and considered for the following year. The individuals being recognized must be aware of and consent to the nomination. Nominations are evaluated by a panel of department staff and state and local partners based on objective criteria.
About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging works to ensure that our elders are respected as vital members of society who continue to grow, thrive and contribute. We work with state agencies and community partners, including area agencies on aging, to help integrate aging needs into local plans and ensure that aging Ohioans have access to a wide array of high-quality services and supports that are person-centered in policy and practice. Our programs include the PASSPORT Medicaid waiver, caregiver support, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.
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