Nominations sought for senior citizen community service award

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The Clark County Commission on Aging is seeking nominations from the community for its Silver Citizen Award, which recognizes seniors who have gone above and beyond in volunteering.

To be nominated, a person must be 65 or older and must have enhanced the community through their work, engagement or volunteerism.

Applicants can have any career background and community members can also nominate a married couple.

“COVID put a big unexpected impact on how we look at service and volunteerism,” said Franklin Johnson, Commission on Aging vice-chair.

The award, which was created last year, came to fruition to recognize senior citizens who dedicated many hours to their communities in Clark County, said Chuck Green, the chair of the commission.

Last year’s award brought in eight recommendations from acquaintances, friends and colleagues of involved seniors, Green said. While the commission intended to select one winner, they decided to include an honorable mention as well after reviewing the nominations.

“It’s made it tough to figure out who’s the award winner and who gets the honorable mention because they’re all worthy,” he said.

The commission presented last year’s award to Vancouver resident Evelyn Hallet, 95, during a meeting in November.

Hallet has served on the Vancouver Housing Authority since 2014, Green said.

“(Evelyn) can put probably half of our commission to shame with as much work as she continues to do at 95,” he said.

The commission wanted to host an in-person presentation for the award ceremony last year, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, the event was held virtually, Green said. The format for this year’s ceremony hasn’t yet been determined. 

Johnson said community members were able to testify to the awardee’s character during the ceremony last year.

During the Aug. 18 Commission on Aging meeting, a three-person subcommittee will be appointed to review and evaluate applications, then they will make a recommendation to the commission.

Green said a decision on who gets the award will be made in September or early October.

All nominations must be received by 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 26 by email at comm-aging@clark.wa.gov, or by mail at Clark County Commission on Aging, Community Planning department, 1300 Franklin St., P.O. Box 9810, Vancouver.

“Hopefully, as this award becomes more familiar and recognized … it might be an inspiration for others to volunteer and to engage in giving back and providing service to the community,” Johnson said.

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