Older Americans Month 2019: Connect, Create, Contribute


Article Contributed by
Chautauqua County Office for the Aging

Each year, more and more older adults are making a positive impact in and around Chautauqua County. As volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates, and more, they offer insight and experience that benefit the entire community. That’s why Older Americans Month (OAM) has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years.

Each May in honor of OAM, the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the federal oversight for the Office for Aging, provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and to help our communities support and celebrate their diversity.

This year’s OAM theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and local services and resources.
  • Create through activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

Chautauqua County Office for Aging will celebrate OAM by promoting ways that community members of all ages can take part in helping Chautauqua thrive. This month we will be celebrating with the United Senior Council at their annual Trivia Contest. This is a lot of fun and you can win some cash prizes too! Teams of 1-3 people participate in 3 rounds of questions. All are written down and then scored by the USC Trivia committee. WJTN’s very own Dennis Webster will moderate the event. The questions will make you remember how things were in days gone by, recall significant events in our county and US history, make you laugh about an old advertising jingle, or tickle you with some obscure fact. There are always lots of laughs and some great munchies too. We hope you will join in the fun at North Harmony Seniors on May 9th at 10am. 1st Prize is $100, 2nd is $75 and third is $50. To enter is $7.00 per person. Call a USC member or NY Connects for more details.

In May, we also honor an older adult in our community who has made a significant contribution through their years of volunteerism. This year’s honoree is Judy Hunt from Findley Lake. Among other achievements, Judy has been instrumental in the formation of Community Connections at Findley Lake, a not-for-profit which acts as an extension of OFA by helping seniors in Findley Lake area. Judy is the President of the Young at Heart senior group. She is on the county board of Parks and Recreation and on the board of the Findley Lake Nature Center. She has been involved with girl scouting for many years. Judy exemplifies the theme of OAM as she works every day to connect her neighbors to programs and services, encourage friends to explore and their share their creative talents, and demonstrates the value of giving back to the community through her volunteer efforts. Judy is an inspiration and we are so pleased to name her as Chautauqua County’s Volunteer of the Year. Judy will be honored at a ceremony in Albany later this month and will be presented with her award at the Chautauqua County Senior Picnic at Midway Park on July 19th.

As we emerge from a very long winter, I hope we can help inspire you to “Connect, Create, and Contribute by calling NY Connects (753-4582, 366-4582, 661-7582) for information on programs and services, opportunities to learn new things and share your own gifts, and contribute to our community through the many volunteer and work opportunities. Join us in strengthening our community – this May and throughout the year. For more information on Older American Month Visit the official OAM website at https://acl.gov . For these and other events happening in May including our annual Perennial Plant sale May 22nd through the 25th check out our Chautauqua County Office for Aging Facebook page. Happy Spring!