by Jim Cisler, Recognition and Awards Committee Chair
On June 2, 2017, the State Executive Office on Aging Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs hosted the 54th annual Older Americans Month Awards Ceremony and Luncheon at 15 Craigside Place in Honolulu.
Each year, the Federal Administration for Community Living provides a national theme to celebrate the accomplishments of our older citizens. This year’s theme — AGE OUT LOUD! — was meant to spotlight many important issues and trends.
This event was intended to recognize and
celebrate what “getting older” looks like today.
Increasingly, our kūpuna engage in their communities, strive for wellness, focus on independence and advocate for themselves.
Doris “DD” Davis and Anthony “Tony” Ancheta were Hawai‘i County’s honorees. DD, vice president of the Pahala Senior Club, serves meals at the club’s nutrition center, helps delivered meals, and assists with sewing and art classes. She’s active with the Baha’i Faith Spiritual Assembly in Ka‘ū, Friends of the Ka‘ū Libraries, and the Adopt-a-Highway program.
Tony is a volunteer van driver. He a board member and coordinator for “Da Guys,” the men’s group at the Waimea Senior Citizen’s Club. He served in the Hawai‘i Army National Guard for 30 years. He assisted Hamakua plantation employees in their transition to become landowners and farmers. He even learned their language so he could help them with tax and insurance issues.
Honorees also included Sanae Morita and James “Jim” Jung from Kaua‘i County. A retired elementary school teacher, Sanae has worked with the Kaua‘i Association for Family and Community Education for more than 50 years. She is a docent for the Grove Farm Museum, a greeter at the Kaua‘i Museum and a member of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council.
Jim is a retired public defender who volunteers at Kaua‘i Hospice and serves as an AARP driver safety instructor. The U.S. Coast Guard veteran is also an ocean safety educator with the Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association. He is a professional storyteller at the Kaua‘i Museum focusing on Polynesian migration and ocean voyaging.
Anthony “Tony” Baccay from the City and County of Honolulu was also honored. Tony is a 21-year U.S. Air Force veteran who spent another 21 years working with the county’s Elderly Affairs Division. He volunteers for Project Dana, shops for the home-bound, transports patients to doctor visits and teaches seniors how to manage medical challenges. He is also a USO volunteer at the Joint Base Peral Harbor Hickam.
Maui County residents Yaemi Yogi and Cornelius Feenstra were also honored. Yaemi, 91, has volunteered at Kaunoa Senior Services and the Maui Adult Day Care Centers for the past 17 years. She helps also helps with office tasks.
Holland native Cornelius is a concentration camp survivor. After the war, he participated in relief efforts, human rights campaigns, blood drives and fundraising for war victims. He now volunteers with the Maui Medical Center Aloha Committee, the Good Neighbors Club and the Kīhei Adult Community Center.