OARD 2024 Group
  • May 17, 2024
  • AD Staff Writer
  • News

Celebrating Older Adults Connecting Their Communities

After a five-year virtual presence, the 59th Annual Older Americans Recognition Day (OARD) luncheon and awards ceremony returned to an in-person gathering bringing honorees and their guests together on Thursday, May 16, 2024. This joyous event, held at the elegant Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, honored over 70 older adults who have significantly contributed to their communities.

Chair of the Board of Supervisors from the Third District, Lindsey P. Horvath, the Los Angeles County Commission for Older Adults (LACCOA)Aging & Disabilities Director Dr. Laura Trejo, her executive team, and staff joined the honorees. These remarkable individuals, aged from 60 to 99 and a half, were celebrated for their active community contributions benefiting people of all ages.

This year’s theme, “Powered by Connection,” emphasized the importance of meaningful relationships and social connections on health and well-being. It highlighted the crucial role these connections play in fostering independence and aging in place.

Supervisor Horvath and Commissioner Barbara Meltzer acknowledged the Third District award recipients. Supervisors from the other four districts also recognized their honorees through special video greetings, with Commissioners John Kotick, Scott Houston, Jerry Gaines, and Fran Sereseres presenting the awards on behalf of Supervisors Hilda Solis (First District), Holly J. Mitchell (Second District), Janice Hahn (Fourth District), and Kathryn Barger (Fifth District).

LACCOA Commissioner and Past President, Kim Bowman Jr., served as Moderator. The Los Angeles County Fire Department Honor Guard presented the Colors, followed by Carol Kemp, Los Angeles County Fire Department Ocean Lifeguard, who sang the National Anthem. LACCOA Vice President Ted Smith led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Helen Romero Shaw, LACCOA President, provided the opening remarks.

Dr. Laura Trejo expressed a renewed sense of joy in her address: “Today is not merely about marking an event; it’s about celebrating each and every one of you who embody wisdom, endurance, and community spirit.” She praised the honorees for enriching the community and laying the foundation for a more compassionate society.

Keynote Speaker Jenna Hauss, MSW, President & CEO of ONEgeneration, inspired the attendees with her words. Supervisor Horvath, congratulated the honorees, praising their resilience and strength, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. She shared her personal experiences with her grandparents and great-grandmother, highlighting the power of intergenerational connections.

Annette Constantino, distinguished for her contributions in Temple City, expressed her joy: “I feel honored. This is so beautiful.” Patti Lendio from Legacy Commons in Palmdale and Charlie Corum from El Monte Senior Center echoed similar sentiments of surprise and gratitude. “It encourages me to continue serving,” Corum said.

Helen Romero Shaw concluded the ceremony, which is part of Older Americans Month (OAM), celebrated every May since its establishment in 1963. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), OAM recognizes the contributions of older Americans, highlights aging trends, and reaffirms commitments to serving older adults.

Congratulations to all the honorees, and heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this event special!

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