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The second annual Seniors Helping Seniors and their Caregivers event drew a large crowd on Friday, Oct. 12.
“We felt like it was a big success,” Jim Fish, BSRI executive director, said. “About the same number of people attended this year as last year.”
This year the event was at the South Brunswick Islands Center in Carolina Shores; last year it was at the Southport Senior Center.
“The reason we move these around from year to year is because we want to make it as convenient as possible and bring it to a different region of the county,” Fish said. “We felt like it was a success. The seniors’ feedback was that it was a great forum and they got a lot of information that they needed.”
The event was the result of collaboration between BSRI and Brunswick Senior Alliance. Gordon Walker, CEO of the Jefferson Area Board for Aging in Charlottesville, Va., delivered the keynote address in which he discussed the idea that planning for seniors means planning for all ages.
“He shared statistics about the way the demographics are shifting and that it’s important to the way it’s shifting to include intergenerational activity and components,” Fish said. “A community-based approach is needed instead of the current model where services exist by ages. He asked communities to review that model and find ways to integrate all of those generations.”
In Brunswick County it is believed that within the next 20 years there will be more people older than 55 than people younger than 18.
“Most of our volunteers aren’t seeking any recognition,” Fish said. “We just want to take a few minutes and in a quiet way honor them.”
At the conclusion of the Seniors Helping Seniors event, BSRI celebrated its volunteers.
“Every senior has a unique story and a unique journey. I can’t tell you how lucky I am to wake up every day and stand shoulder to shoulder with the seniors. What a blessed life it is to just be around the seniors,” Fish said.
BSRI’s Volunteer Awards
Outstanding Volunteer: Bob Cozzi
Outstanding Faith-Based Church: Camp United Methodist Church
Outstanding Community Based Volunteers: St. James Service Club
Outstanding Community Based Volunteers: Ocean Ridge Charities Association (ORCA)
Outstanding SHIIP Volunteers: Mary Fitzgerald, Will Farnham and Celeste Korpon
Outstanding Medical Transportation Driver: Geneva Davis
Outstanding Meals on Wheels Drivers: Tom and Noreen Gilmartin
Making a Difference in Brunswick County: BSRI's own, Jim Fish, Executive Director