New board members elected, community supporters honored at Senior Resources’ 52nd Annual Meeting

The Board of Directors at Senior Resources held its 52nd Annual Meeting on January 31, 2020, to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year, elect new board members and recognize the support of several key community partners. The FY2019 Annual Report was also presented at the meeting, and can be viewed online at seniorresourcesinc.org/annual-report.

Installed as new board members were William Beaman, Director of Healthcare Services with Colliers International South Carolina; Jack Heinsohn, Pastor at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church; Kathi Price, Director of Service Operations for Colonial Life, Erinn Rowe, Treasury Sales Analyst for Bank of America, and Cam Varner, President of Recruiting Solutions.

Officers of the Board of Directors were also elected. Todd Timmons, an attorney for the Department of Employment and Workforce, will serve as president.  Connelly-Anne Ragley, a legislative liaison for the Department of Social Services, will serve as vice president.  Rachel Elliott, Supervisor of Rates & Regulatory Accounting for Dominion Energy, will serve as treasurer.  Debra Slaughenhaupt, Business Systems Analyst for First Citizens Bank, will serve as secretary.

Six annual awards were given to individuals and agencies within the community who showed extraordinary support for Senior Resources in FY2019.

The Community Partner Award, given to a corporation, church or organization that has provided major support to Senior Resources through financial donation, sponsorship, or assistance with a major project or needed service, was granted to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department – Project H.O.P.E.  The Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion senior volunteer programs are fortunate to have the Project H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Precious Elderly) program as active community partners.  Project H.O.P.E. is sponsored by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and is composed of retired law enforcement officers who assist and protect the seniors in Richland County.  The Project H.O.P.E. staff are guardian angels, serving our seniors with passion and commitment.  They offer resources, a helping hand, and security to our seniors.

The Corporate Support Award, given for significant support of Senior Resources through financial donation or in-kind service, was given to Food Lion.  Food Lion has provided fundamental support for Senior Resources for years. Their generosity to end hunger in our communities is admirable, and we are grateful to be an organization to receive their support.  Food Lion grants us funding each year through its Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation to provide Meals on Wheels to our elderly neighbors. They also support our March for Meals 5K with a sponsorship and in-kind donations of fruit and water for our participants.

The Leonard L. Price Fundraising Award recognizes an individual or group who has gone above and beyond in their fundraising efforts for Senior Resources’ programs, including using their resources to help raise awareness which has aided in the agency’s fundraising efforts.  The award was presented to BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.  They have been our presenting sponsor for our fall fundraiser for the past three years.  In addition, they are recognized as our largest organizational donor, year after year.  BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina continues to donate their time, services and dollars for our clients.  Along with their sponsorships, their creativity to engage their employees to give back speaks volumes and goes above the simplicity of writing a check.  Their Blue Jean Days, allows employees to donate $5 to wear jeans on a Friday, and we were the fortunate recipients of the fun.  Not only do they provide their financial support, but you will also find their employees frequently packing and delivering Meals on Wheels, and serving on our Board of Directors.

The Season of Service Award is given to a volunteer who has served Senior Resources over time with dedication, enthusiasm, passion and distinction.  This year’s award was given to Catherine Jackson.

She’s been a Senior Companion Volunteer for six years.  The Senior Companions assist elderly clients with light housekeeping, meal preparation, and provide respite care to caregivers.  They also provide a human connection that helps prevent loneliness and isolation.  Whenever Mrs. Jackson meets someone and the opportunity arises, she represents Senior Resources by sharing all the wonderful services that are available.  She is very compassionate when it comes to serving her clients.  She is a true advocate for them in every sense of the word.

The Billy Webster Award is given to a person who exemplifies the spirit of giving. This year, the award was given to Perry Lancaster.  As the owner of Brittons of Columbia on Devine St., Mr. Lancaster had an idea to slow everyone down, and spread the act of kindness at Devine Street’s annual Devine Night Out event by hosting Senior Resources at his store that evening, to raise money for Meals on Wheels.  With a $20 donation to Meals on Wheels, the donor received a 20% off coupon at Brittons.  In addition to his dedication to giving back financially, he is a regular in our Meals on Wheels kitchen on Fridays, delivering a route with his rotary club.  His persistence in giving back to the community exemplifies the spirit of giving.

The Deborah Bower Leadership Award named for our former Executive Director, Deborah Bower, who lost her battle to cancer before she was done serving the seniors of our community, recognizes outstanding leadership provided by an individual in support of our mission.  This year’s award is given to Pam Dukes.  As the Executive Director of Senior Resources from 2013-2019, her dedication to Senior Resources for 6 years was instrumental in delivering respectable services to many more vulnerable seniors in our community.  During her time with our organization, the agency doubled the number of meals delivered each day through the Meals on Wheels program.  She also led efforts to rebrand the agency, establish a Senior Care Pantry in the wake of the 2015 floods, launch the Senior Wheels transportation program, build a new Meals on Wheels center, and launch a food truck to support the agency’s mission.  This is to only name a few of the enormous impacts she made on our community and organization.

About Senior Resources, Inc.

Senior Resources is a non-profit organization that coordinates services, provides resources and encourages the personal choices that allow Columbia’s senior citizens to remain independent.  All activities, services and programs of the agency are geared toward promoting independent living, with the goal of helping seniors remain in their homes as long as possible through the support of staff and volunteers, and delaying or preventing institutionalization.

Since 1967, Senior Resources has served Columbia’s frail and elderly residents in three areas:

1) In-home services, including Meals on Wheels, home care, respite care, senior companion services, and case management;

2) Community-based services, including congregate meals, wellness centers, transportation, and physical fitness;

3) Volunteer services, including the Senior Companion and Foster Grandparent programs.

With local, state and federal government funding, as well as contributions from United Way, personal donations and fundraising activities, Senior Resources offers a variety of programs so that our clients can select the assistance they need to maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle.