Each year, Senior Services presents the Everett N. Luce Award to an individual and an organization for their leadership and contributions toward improving the quality of life for older adults in Midland County. This year’s award recipients were announced during Senior Services’ Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 3, 2022. Renee Waldie received the Individual Community Champion Award and the Chippewa Nature Center received the Organization Community Champion Award.
Dr. Everett Luce spearheaded the development of Midland County’s organized efforts to provide for the needs of older citizens, especially those in failing health or in impoverished circumstances. He led the team of local leaders who attended the first White House Conference on Aging in 1960. Returning with the determination to make a real difference in the quality of life for seniors, Dr. Luce and his colleagues established the Midland County Committee on Aging. Under his leadership, within a few years, the committee was incorporated as the Midland County Council on Aging (known as Senior Services), launching the organization that now serves 2,500+ County seniors a year.
Senior Services has chosen Renee Waldie, a registered nurse with MyMichigan Home Care, for the Individual Community Champion Award. Renee is being recognized for providing foot care services to those in need since January 2017. Foot care is often a challenge for older adults as many simply do not have the strength, agility, or vision to care for their own feet. When foot care clinics were canceled during the COVID pandemic, hundreds of phone calls were needed to be made to reschedule and Renee offered to make every one of them. She is not only providing a professional service but is always interacting and genuinely connecting with each individual client and continually putting their needs first. She shows a keen interest in each individual, lifting their spirits as she cares for their feet.
Chippewa Nature Center (CNC) has been chosen to receive the Organization Community Champion Award for its continued commitment to improving the lives of older adults in Midland County by providing accessible programming and recreational opportunities for older adults. In the last several years, CNC has increased its number of accessible spaces, trails and features, as well as dedicated staff time and resources to serving older adults through targeted and multi-generational programs. CNC has also demonstrated its willingness to serve older adults in the community by ensuring their inclusion in the planning and delivery of programs and infrastructure updates for mobility-limited individuals.
Each award recipient has demonstrated outstanding leadership and advocacy toward improving community conditions or services provided to older Midland County residents and we are proud to recognize their achievements.