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2011 Governor's Engaging Aging Award

Fred and Rose Trotter, of Loves Park

Nominated by the Northwestern Area Agency on Aging. 

The Trotters are retired teachers and became the Area Agency's first Stanford Chronic Disease Self Management (CDSMP) facilitators, in 2010. They accepted the role and graciously volunteered countless hours to assist and administer a new grant to help people with chronic health conditions. Even with their other commitments, they found time to facilitate four six-week long workshops within the last year. Participants, who attended the workshops to learn life changing health habits, give the Trotters rave reviews. The Trotters are true servants.

Carol Kern

Nominated by the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging. 

Kern has been director of the Mendota Area Senior Services since 1985. She was instrumental in implementing a transportation program in the 10 area townships. Under her leadership, her agency was able to purchase four wheelchair-accessible vans. When Kern feared Mendota Area Senior Services might have to close, she worked to partner with more organizations in Mendota and the surrounding areas to raise funds to maintain services.

Mabel Van Dusen

Nominated by Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging. 

Van Dusen, of Hanna City, has a tremendous history of community service. She founded the Rural Peoria Council on Aging which started more than 20 years ago, as a Care Coordination Unit. Currently the Executive Director of the Peoriarea Blind People's Center, Van Dusen has a history of being a champion for older people and people with disabilities.

*Coordinated Point of Entry for Macon County

Nominated by the East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging. 

*This collaboration includes: Starting Point, the Aging and Disability Resource Center at the Macon County Health Department, Community Home Environmental Learning Project (or CHELP), and Decatur Macon County Senior Center. Coordinated Point of Entry has served more than 3,000 older adults, in the past year. Service includes eligibility screening for programs such as Circuit Breaker, completion of applications for benefits and assistance, counseling about options for home and community based services and supports, referrals to evidence-based healthy aging programs, coordinating with the Center for Independent Living serving Macon County and targeting services to older adults in social and economic need.

Lucille Lucy Drake, (posthumously)

Nominated by the West Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging. 

Drake was an active volunteer at the Quincy Senior and Family Resource Center, in Quincy. But those who actually knew her say she was one of the best employees at the senior center. She operated the printing equipment, helped collate documents, and greeted people coming into the center. Lucy Drake died unexpectedly and is missed by her friends at the Quincy Senior and Family Resource Center.

Central Illinois Senior Celebration

Nominated by the Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland. 

In 1997, agencies serving Springfield seniors came together with a common goal to provide an annual event, free of charge, for persons 55 years of age and older, to raise awareness of services and resources available to assist in planning and maintaining their dignity and independence. The Central Illinois Senior Celebration event is held each year in May for Older Americans Month. Partner agencies include:

  • Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland

  • Illinois Department on Aging

  • Illinois Department of Insurance SHIP

  • Memorial Medical Center's Department of Volunteers and Community Services

  • St. John's Hospital Third Age Living

  • Illinois State Library

  • University of Illinois Extension, Sangamon Menard Unit

  • Sangamon County Department of Public Health

  • SIU Healthcare

  • Senior Services of Central Illinois

  • Springfield Park District/Illinois Senior Olympics

Senior Services Plus and Executive Director Jonathan Becker, of Alton

Nominated by the Area Agency on Aging of Southwestern Illinois. 

Becker and his staff, of Senior Services Plus, transformed a school building into a senior center. The onetime gym, now the School House Grill, offers breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday. The Grill posts the day's menu on a huge blackboard and offers a full service gym setting with a wellness coordinator.

Sister Rose Matthews

Nominated by the Egyptian Area Agency on Aging. 

Sister Rose is affiliated with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, in Ruma, where she has been a teacher and a principle. Since 1998, she has served as a volunteer with the Shawnee Alliance Volunteer Money Management Program and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. Sister Matthews is said to be very reassuring with clients. Regardless of who or where they are, she says she is happy to be of service to whoever, whenever, wherever.

The Honorable Chief Judge Timothy Evans of the Cook County Circuit Court

Nominated by the City of Chicago Area Agency on Aging. 

Chief Judge Evans has been innovative to the Cook County Court system including, efforts to secure a three-year grant, in 2005, from the U-S Department of Justice, to train judges, law enforcement and senior advocates in creating a seamless system for seniors entering the courts. He created the "Senior Advocacy" area in the Domestic Violence Courthouse to ensure their comfort and safety when coming alone to court for orders of protection, usually against their own family members.

Judge Patricia Banks of the Cook County Circuit Court

Nominated by AgeOptions. 

Judge Banks was recently assigned (by the above mentioned Chief Judge Timothy Evans) to establish an Elder Law and Miscellaneous Remedies Division of the Court. She has involved the strongest advocates for older persons in the region. Judge Banks has organized a rigorous study of best practices and model programs across the nation, and has meticulously identified roles and responsibilities of participants, insisting the assignment and response to senior issues is professional, complete and strategic.