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Seniors honored for service, leadership

“Our seniors deserve the best our country has to offer. This month, we pay tribute to the men and women who raised us, and we pledge anew to show them the fullest care, support and respect of a grateful nation.”

Those words are contained in this year’s presidential proclamation for “Older Americans Month.”

And that idea was on display last Tuesday at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center in downtown Springfield, as hundreds of people attended United Senior Services 43rd annual Senior Day. They ate lunch, heard some wonderful entertainment from the Billy Wilson Trio and Bob Ford, and enjoyed fun that included door and raffle prizes.

The event also featured a number of awards.

The 2013 Clark County Council on Aging Outstanding Senior Award was presented to Madeleine Rahrle of Springfield. After moving to Springfield in 1952, she and her husband raised five children. While the sons were active in Boy Scouts, she served as a leader.

She has been active in the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority for 71 years, coordinating fundraisers that allow the organization to support community groups. In 1993, she received Beta Sigma Phi’s highest award.

During tax season, Rahrle volunteers with the tax assistance program through United Senior Services. Rahrle also helps with special events, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program operations and the Kiwanis Club. In the past five years, the 90 year old has contributed more than 675 volunteer hours to those projects.

If that was not enough, she has logged more than 1,550 hours volunteering for the St. Vincent DePaul food pantry.

United Senior Services Executive Director Maureen Fagans presented the 2012 Excellence in Service and Leadership Award to Enon resident Charlot Wade.

She is a 50 year member of American Dietetic Association. After a long career as a dietary consultant for several area health care facilities, Wade served as a Clark State Community College instructor until retiring in 1993.

She is a long-time member of Covenant Presbyterian Church, serving as an elder, director of Christian education there and at Northminster Presbyterian Church, and as coordinator for the Miami Presbytery Resource Center. Wade is a charter member of the Enon Historical Society, and remains active in the Clark County Historical Society and Enon Emergency Relief Committee.

She was previously honored as Enon Citizen of the Year.

This year’s Outstanding Service Award went to Jessee Mildred Peters of Springfield, for her 60 years of service to her family and her community. She retired after 27 years of working, 19 of which were spent with developmental disabilities patients at the F.F. Mueller Residential Center of Clark County. Soon after, Peters became involved in the Elderly United Trips and Tours Program, and spent 10 years as trip coordinator.

For 18 years she has been a dedicated volunteer at United Senior Services. She also volunteers at St. Vincent DePaul and recently learned she will also be honored by the American Business Woman Association for 25 years of service.

Those honorees, other Senior Day participants and numerous still-active older residents are true inspirations. They are also living examples of this year’s Older Americans Month — “Unleash the Power of Aging.”

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