May is Older Americans Month!
Senior-Friendly Business of the Year: The Humane Society of Tampa Bay
When you think about the Humane Society, you probably think about all they do to find homes for abandoned dogs and cats. But we are honoring them today because of what they do for local seniors and disabled adults who own pets.
If any of you are pet lovers, you know how our dogs and cats become important members of our families. Well imagine the companionship a pet provides to someone who is homebound and living alone.
Currently, they deliver dog and cat food to 131 people every month, allowing them to feed 133 dogs and 444 cats. They also spay and neuter these pets for free and provide basic vaccinations to keep them healthy. Last year, their food assistance program gave away just under 145,000 pounds of free cat and dog to people who needed help, many of whom were senior citizens.
Congratulations to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, the 2017 Senior-Friendly Business of the Year.
Congratulations to Pamela Baron,
Winner of the 2017 Salt and Pepper Award for Business & Entrepreneurship
Presented by Deborah Black, AARP of Tampa Bay
This year’s Salt & Pepper Award for Business & Entrepreneurship goes to someone whose business acumen is applied directly to improving the lives of seniors and those who care for them. As Director of Senior Services at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of the SunCoast, Pamela Baron has worked tirelessly for this cause for more than 40 years.
One of the most difficult issues that older adults face is that of Transportation. Pamela’s business collaboration with several funding sources allowed her organization to help start an Independent Transportation Network to serve the greater Sarasota-Manatee community. Now, iTN Suncoast is a key provider of transportation to older adults in the community, and is projected to supply 15,000 rides in 2017. Pamela also facilitated the funding of 2 handicapped-accessible vans, which provide door to door transportation to all JFCS programs for older adults.
For anyone who has ever been a family caregiver, you know this labor-of-love can be incredibly demanding and stressful, especially as your loved one’s health fails and their memory declines. Pamela was instrumental in the expansion of caregiver support programs at JFCS, which now offers 8 weekly support groups for caregivers, onsite respite for their care-partners, including a socialization lunch program, and a weekly social activity group.
In 2010, her organization received funding for an Alzheimer’s disease Supportive Services Program to provide an evidence-based counseling and care management program to family-caregivers in the community. This allowed JFCS staff to positively impact 300 families by providing services as well as connecting them to community resources. JFCS has received many additional grants and collaborated with numerous community organizations to further their goal of developing the dementia resources for our community through education, caregiver respite and counseling. These partnerships have infused approximately $2 million to directly benefit the caregivers and families in our community.
Congratulations to this year’s winner of the Salt & Pepper Award for Business & Entreprenurship, Pamela Baron
Congratulations to Luis Fresquez,
Winner of the 2017 Salt and Pepper Award for Community Service & Philanthropy
Presented by Mary McDonald of Suncoast Credit Union
The winner of this year’s Salt & Pepper Award for Community Service & Philanthropy is Luis Fresquez, who is the embodiment of what caring for the community is all about. In 2004, Luis Fresquez contacted NU-HOPE Elder Care Services, to determine how he could positively contribute to the lives of the seniors of Highlands County. NU-HOPE had a critical need for volunteers who were willing to deliver meals to seniors living in Highway Park, a small impoverished community. When Luis heard about the opportunity, he immediately volunteered. Perhaps he called upon the experience and skills gained during his 20 years of service to the United States Marine Corps, because he was able to look beyond any negative aspects of this task and focus, instead, on meeting the needs of this community.
Thirteen years later, Luis continues to be a fixture of the Highway Park community. The seniors look forward to his visits and the strong relationships that have emerged are based on mutual respect and understanding.
In 2009, Luis joined NU-HOPE’s Board of Directors. Within months, Luis was busy fundraising, translating documents, and serving on multiple committees, and quickly assumed the position as President of the Board of Directors. Despite the many hours involved in advocacy and leadership, Luis continued to deliver meals to those in need.
In September 2010, the agency’s Executive Director Sandy Foster passed away unexpectedly. Luis jumped in to help, ensuring that services would continue without interruption. He also stepped up to the plate to oversee the expansion of the Lake Placid Thrift Store, a major source of revenue and matching grant funds for Nu Hope.
With over 13 years of volunteerism, Luis possesses a passion for helping his fellow older adults in the most compassionate and professional manner imaginable. It is, indeed true that he bring nourishment to many seniors in need. However, he also delivers something that cannot be measured…a sense of self-worth and belonging to older adults who could have easily been forgotten.
Congratulations to this year’s winner of the Salt & Pepper Award for Community Service & Philanthropy, Luis Fresquez.
Congratulations to Paddy Moses,
Winner of the 2017 Salt and Pepper Award for Education & Mentoring
Presented by Kristi Campbell of Home Instead Senior Care
The definition of a mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. The recipient of this year’s Salt & Pepper Award for Education & Mentoring certainly fits that definition. Paddy Moses has made it her mission in life to play an active role in her community. In doing so, she exemplifies what it means to be a mentor and a role model.
First and foremost, Paddy has a passion for helping disadvantaged women and children. Her involvement with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay started out as a volunteer and led to her serving on their Board of Governors for over 30 years, including co-chairing this year’s Great Futures Breakfast. While on the Board, Paddy started a Grandparents program where retirees would come in and tutor
boys and girls in reading and math.
Paddy is actively involved with and has served as President of the Athena Society, an organization that works to improve the status of women and girls and provides them with educational and career development opportunities.
She is Past-President of the Business & Professional Women’s Association and Past President of the Private Industry Council. As such, she was the first employer in Tampa to hire seniors back into the work force in the early 1980’s. She also found jobs for survivors of domestic violence from The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women and The Spring.
She is an Honorary Commander of 927 Air Mobility Wing at MacDill Air Force Base and a member of the Commander’s Group. For many years Paddy was the Chair of the Military Affairs Committee, now known as the Military Alliance, which helps military spouses find jobs and supports the families of deployed military forces.
And last but not least, Paddy is Chair of Memorial Hospital’s Governing Board, where she has donated numerous hours connecting the hospital to legislators, representing the hospital at community events and advocating for the hospital in the community.
At a recent community event, Mayor Bob Buckhorn recognized Paddy Moses with the following comments: “Thank you to Paddy Moses for the amazing work that you do and have done for decades…if ever there is a good cause, Paddy Moses is involved in it.”
Congratulations to this year’s winner of the Salt & Pepper Award for Education & Mentoring, Paddy Moses.
Congratulations to Noreen Schramm,
Winner of the 2017 Salt and Pepper Award for Health & Wellness
Presented by Jamie Douglin, Senior Connection Center Health & Wellness Director of Healthcare Initiatives
The winner of this year’s Salt and Pepper Award in Health & Wellness is someone whose contribution to the health and wellness of her community also includes her work in preventing injuries from falls, and extends to also delivering life-saving assistance, and lots of other things in between.
For more than fifteen years, Noreen Schramm has served as a volunteer on Sun City Center’s emergency squad, serving in such roles Chief, CPR Instructor, Emergency Medical Responder Instructor and Emergency Medical Technician. In addition to these hands-on roles, Noreen has been involved in multiple aspects of Emergency Medical Services in the county and state level, sharing her wisdom and providing guidance on various issues including the direct impact that emergency medical policies and legislation can have on emergency squads.
Since nearly 30% of the emergency calls received by the Sun City squad are related to falls, Chief Schramm felt it imperative that fall-prevention education be provided to the residents of the community. She was instrumental in bringing a fall-prevention program to the squad, which has since given fall-prevention instruction to more than 2000 residents.
On top of all this, whenever the squad experiences a shortage of EMTs, you will probably find Noreen working multiple duty days to ensure Basic Life Support Services are provide to the residents of Sun City Center. During her more than fifteen years as a volunteer EMT, Noreen has provide care for more than 1700 patients.
Congratulations to this year’s winner of the Salt & Pepper Award for Health & Wellness, Noreen Schramm.
Congratulations to Jerry Messerman,
Winner of the 2017 Salt and Pepper Award for Arts & Entertainment
Presented by Lori Golden of Baldwin Krystyn Sherman
The winner of this year’s Salt & Pepper Award in the Arts & Entertainment Category is a gifted musician, with a heart of gold, who uses his talent to lift the spirits of people who are going through what is oftentimes the most difficult time of their lives. Jerry Messerman has been playing the piano in the main lobby of Moffitt Cancer Center for patients, guests and employees, every week since 2007 and has donated more than 500 hours of his time to this endeavor.
Jerry’s skill and level of playing could have easily led to a professional career in music, but he chose instead to become a successful businessman and family man. Throughout his life, Jerry continued to play the piano, especially his beloved standards. Now that his career days are behind him, Jerry is sharing his love of music and his amazing talent to brighten the lives of patients who are battling cancer, as well as their family members and friends, who are waiting at Moffitt Cancer Center while their loved ones are undergoing treatment.
Here are some of the words that summarize what Jerry’s colleagues at Moffitt wrote about him when nominating his for this award, “We have been privileged to be able to listen to Jerry play in our main hospital lobby Every Monday for over 10 years. In all this time, he has never once expected to be praised or asked to be recognized in any way. His reward comes from seeing the emotional reactions and beautiful transformations on the faces of his listeners.
It is an understatement to say that for thousands of people, Jerry has truly made their day. He touches their hearts, their minds and their spirits. Not only has he made Moffitt Cancer Center a more caring, patient, and family-centered place, but also a more healing place. His weekly contribution to the happiness and satisfaction of patients, families, visitors and staff is a significant contribution to the overall success and healing environment of Moffitt, as well as the community.
We feel he should be honored for his commitment to volunteering, his dedication to our community, and the beautiful sounds of his piano playing, by receiving the Salt and Pepper Award.
Congratulations to this year’s winner of the Salt & Pepper Award for Arts & Entertainment, Jerry Messerman.