The Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD), along with the Lake White Club, hosted the annual Adams, Brown, and Pike County Senior Companion Recognition dinner on Friday, May 31 at the Lake White Club, the event’s location for five consecutive years.

“Thirty-two Senior Companions sponsored by the Pike Community Action Committee, as well as those sponsored by the Adams-Brown County Community Action agencies” were honored at the event, according to Annya Thompson, Social Service Liaison Manager for the Community Action Committee of Pike County and the Senior Companion Coordinator for the Pike County area.

“There are 22 Senior Companions in our Pike County region,” Thompson said.

Local and state dignitaries who participated in the Senior Companion recognition were Robert Junk (Pike County prosecutor), Tony Montgomery (Pike County commissioner), Valerie Riley (director of Pike County Job and Family Services), Sara Junk (deputy director of Pike County Job and Family Services), Nick Johnson (Social Worker II for Pike County Job and Family Services), Tammy Jones and Sherry Williams (OSU Extension Office), Wendy (Leading Respiratory Services), Mary Smith and Susan Deering (representing Judge Randy Deering), Pamela Crawford (director of Social Services, Community Action Committee of Pike County), Janice Caughlin (Human Resource Division of the Community Action Committee of Pike County), Daryll Gray and a Brown County Commissioner with spouse and Dianne Kinnett (Adams-Brown County Board members). Bonnie Ward, southeast regional liaison for Governor Mike DeWine’s office, presented a proclamation recognizing senior volunteers for their “commitment and dedication” to the Pike/Adams/Brown County Senior Companion program.

Frank Perry conducted the American Legion Post 142 Color Guard Presentation.

“We ask the color guard to be a part of the presentation in order to recognize the service that they do for our community and we also have veterans and spouses of veterans serving as Senior Companion volunteers,” Thompson said.

Reverend Carl Alcorn led the convocation and prayer.

“Pike Pickers” provided musical entertainment for the event.

Twenty door prizes were donated and distributed to Senior Companions. The following businesses and individuals donated door prizes for the event: Waverly Kroger, Waverly Walmart, Waverly Save-A-Lot, Waverly Rural King, Leading Respiratory Services of Waverly, the Glass reFactory in Georgetown, Pam Crawford, Lorraine Hatfield and Charlene Fithen.

“We are most appreciative of the local businesses who are so kind and generous to support this program,” Thompson said.

Others involved in area senior volunteer programs are Charlene Fithen (Adams-Brown County Community Action executive assistant/Senior Companion coordinator, incoming), Lorraine Hatfield (Adams-Brown County Community Action executive assistant, retiring), Linda Loshe Smith (Foster Grandparent Program/Senior Companion Program coordinator Area II), Melissa Kimmel (COAD Senior Program Divisions director), Ali Moyer (COAD Senior Programs administrative assistant), Cher Bellar (Foster Grandparent Program/Senior Companion Program Manager III), and Ron Rees (COAD executive director).

“The Senior Companion volunteers are healthy older adults who help other adults live independently,” said Melissa Kimmel, director of the COAD Senior Program Division. “They assist with grocery shopping, providing support to family caregivers and with other tasks of daily living necessary to help their clients to maintain independence. Without the help of Senior Companions, many older adults would not be able to continue living at home and would need more expensive care.”

“I would like to give special thanks to Mr. Keith Pitts, executive director of the Community Action Committee of Pike County, and Ms. Pamela Crawford for allowing our agency to sponsor such an important and needed volunteer program, and also all other attendees who were not mentioned. I appreciate your support,” said Thompson.

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