The Board of Directors at Senior Resources held its 54th Annual Meeting on Monday, December 13 to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year, elect new board members and recognize the support of several key community partners. The FY2021 Annual Report was also presented at the meeting and can be viewed online at: seniorresourcesinc.org/about-us/annual-report.
Installed as new board members were Rebecca Gillespie, a former Pharmacist with Long’s Pharmacy, Jonathan Knicely, an Attorney with Nelson Mullins, and Jeff Manning, Vice President Business Banker for South State Bank.
Officers of the Board of Directors were elected. Connelly-Anne Ragley, SC Department of Social Services, will serve as president. Chris Zecopoulos, Extra Mile Consulting, will serve as vice president. Rachel Elliott, Duke Energy, will serve as treasurer. Tara Wise, AllSouth Federal Credit Union, will serve as secretary.
Six annual awards were given to individuals and agencies within the community who showed extraordinary support for Senior Resources in FY2021.
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 Lourie Life & Health. When our world went virtual in 2020, many seniors were lost and isolated looking for ways to stay engaged and connected to their communities. Joel Lourie and his team invited Senior Resources to brainstorm ways to continue to provide access to resources in our community, keep seniors connected, and reduce isolation. This collaboration and conversation resulted in one of our newest programs, The Senior Network, a monthly virtual webinar providing informative resources to seniors. In addition to the support for development of our virtual programming, Lourie Life & Health joined us as a sponsor for our 2021 Biscuits & Bluegrass brunch.
The Corporate Support Award, given for significant support of Senior Resources through financial donations or in-kind service, was given to Dominion Energy. Dominion Energy 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. Dominion Energy grants us funding each year through its Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation to provide senior meals to our elderly neighbors.
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 Palmetto GBA. Palmetto GBA goes above and beyond with their support for our community in so many ways. From food and toiletry drives for our Senior Care Pantry, to employees volunteering with Meals on Wheels, and financial contributions, their team’s investment in our senior community is worthy of recognition. Senior Resources was selected as the recipient of their February giving campaign. Through a company-wide event, departments were challenged to raise the most dollars, and provide support for our senior meal programs — together they provided support for 488 home-delivered meals.
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 granted to Debra Slaughenhaupt. Mrs. Slaughenhaupt has served on Senior Resources’ Board of Directors for 6 years. She has been instrumental in the growth of our organization— meeting the needs in our community and guiding us through significant challenges, i.e. the floods of 2015 and our current pandemic. Mrs. Slaughenhaupt has been volunteering with Meals on Wheels for many years, for it was important to her to serve the food insecure in our community. She is philanthropically minded, caring, enthusiastic, engaged, and invested in providing for seniors in our community who face hunger and isolation daily.
The Billy Webster Award is given to a person who exemplifies the spirit of giving. This year, the award was given to Dr. Christie Griffin. With the support of her team and her patients, Dr. Griffin has hosted many food drives for our Senior Care Pantry, pet food drives for Pet Pals, and has provided financial support for our senior meals programs and Pet Pals. She most recently agreed to partner with us for veterinarian care for our furry companions. Through grant funding provided by Meals on Wheels America and PetSmarts Charities, Dr. Griffin provides low cost wellness exams and preventative care so our seniors can continue to love on their pets. The care of our furry companions is so important to limiting isolation and provides a reason for our clients to remain active as they care for their pets.
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 was granted to Director of South Carolina’s Department on Aging, Connie Munn. Director Munn has been actively engaged in all of our organizations’ plans and programming to address the pandemic and ensure seniors are cared for. We hosted Director Munn at our first Senior Lunch Bunch, where she welcomed our participants and her guided intentions to expand programs like the Senior Lunch Bunch for seniors across our state. Director Munn has capably led the aging network through the largest public health emergency in our lifetime, enabling seniors in Richland County and throughout the state to receive emergency and ongoing assistance needed to stay healthy at home and connected to their communities.
We are also recognizing our partners in the community who helped provide service opportunities in the wake of COVID-19. These partners have stepped forward for our Foster Grandparents volunteers with AmeriCorps Seniors. With the doors to our schools closed to visitors, these partners opened theirs to offer our volunteers the opportunity to continue to give back and provide critical resources to children in our community. We are grateful for these new and continued partnerships and their willingness to welcome our Foster Grandparents with open arms.
Our Emergency Response Partnership Awards were granted to:
- Ezekiel Ministries
- Salvation Army of the Midlands
- United of the Midlands’ Reading Consortium
- Vital Connections
About Senior Resources
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. With the support of our staff and volunteers, our services touch the lives of more than 4,000 Midlands residents.