You are here:  Main / Customer Services / Public Communications Division / 2008 / City Honors Top Seniors



The 42nd Annual Mayor’s Senior Recognition Program was presented Friday, April 11, at the Hawaii Convention Center from 9 – 11:30 a.m. today.  Mayor Mufi Hannemann congratulated 80 senior honorees before a capacity audience of family, friends, and well-wishers.


Norberto Baysa nominated by the Wahiawa Rainbow Seniors Club, and Gladys Takamoto, nominated by Councilmember Rod Tam and Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center, were named as the 2008 Outstanding Male and Female Volunteers, respectively.  Also recognized were four Akamai Living Award winners: Nellie Aina, Gloria Lopez, Gladys Watanabe, and Florence Menor.  These seniors represent the many who generously help others cope with life’s difficulties or assist organizations that deliver health care and recreational or social services.


Honolulu is truly blessed to have so many senior volunteers who serve unselfishly to help those in need,” said Mayor Hannemann.  “We deeply appreciate all the ways they help from their hearts to make our city, our home, the best place in the world to live, work, and raise our families.“


This year’s theme, “Healthy Living by Sharing Aloha,” recognizes that volunteering benefits one’s health and well-being, while providing valuable service to the community. 


Kim Gennaula and Guy Hagi were masters of ceremony for the event.  The program featured entertainment by Karen Keawehawaii, the Royal Hawaiian Band, and the Na Kupuna O’Koolau seniors.


          The 42nd Mayor’s Senior Recognition Program was produced by the Honolulu Committee on Aging and the Elderly Affairs Division of the Department of Community Services.  The Hawaii Medical Service Association and First Hawaiian Bank were principal sponsors.


The 42nd Annual Mayor’s Senior Recognition Program


Outstanding Senior Male and Female Volunteer 2008



Norberto Baysa, age 75

Nominated by Wahiawa Rainbow Seniors Club

Dr. Baysa serves as the club’s president.  He always looks for ways that will benefit seniors.  When conducting meetings and group activities, he never lets the meeting end without leading a group exercise.  Dr. Baysa volunteered his services during an unexpected major physician shortage at the Wahiawa Clinic.  He continues to serve on the various boards for Wahiawa General Hospital and its affiliated companies.  He is also a volunteer internist with the Aloha Medical Mission, helping uninsured patients and contributing thousands of hours to help the poor, including medical missions to the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Dominican Republic.  He has volunteered as team physician for the Waialua High School football team, season after season regardless of their win/loss record.  As a member of the Kiwanis Club, he has participated in numerous community service projects.  Dr. Baysa has never looked for recognition and his love of tennis has been minimized as his commitment to the community continues to be a high priority.  He is a superb example of a local boy who assimilated the values of community service, had a dream to really make a difference, and dedicated his life to serving the community.



Gladys Takamoto, age 91

Nominated by Councilmember Rod Tam and Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center

Gladys’ nominator says, “May I look this good and be so healthy and mentally sharp as this nominee is at age 91.”  Gladys has been volunteering at the Lanakila Multi-purpose Senior Center for over 23 years.  She helps in the front office, answering phones and assisting senior callers with their problems.  She also makes sure seniors keep their AARP Tax Assistance appointments.  She shares her quilting skills by conducting a quilting class and is very involved with all the activities of the Japanese Cultural Club including serving in many leadership positions.  Gladys participates in recreational activities with the patients at St. Francis Hospital and makes sure that gifts are wrapped and delivered during the holiday season to patients at Kuakini Hospital.  As if that’s not enough, she also serves as an escort shopper for frail seniors.  Gladys says, “volunteering fosters camaraderie, laughter, and good fun.” 



Nellie Aina, age 72

Nnominated by the Waimanalo Seniors

Nellie volunteers for the Waimanalo Senior Program, the Alu Like Kupuna Program, the Waimanalo Food Bank, the Kailua Food Bank, and the Neighborhood Watch Program.  At the Alu Like program Nellie arrives early to prepare for the day’s activities and assists with the meal service.  She leads the whole group with singing and entertains with her ukulele, along with teaching others how to make haku lei.  Each week she helps frail seniors in the neighborhood with household chores and shares food.  Living in Waimanalo, there are many homeless families along the beach.  Nellie greets them with her aloha and delivers food along with blankets and clothing to them.  Sharing her aloha, is what Nellie is all about.



Gloria Lopez, age 71

Nominated by Kokua Kalihi Valley Elderly Services Program

Gloria not only volunteers Monday through Friday, but is also available on weekends. She is the primary resource in keeping seniors informed about programs available to them and follows through on what needs to be done to get needed health and social services.  Gloria also assists with the Health Maintenance Program helping with daily blood pressure screenings, and teaches dancing and exercise movements making it a positive and enjoyable activity.  By setting an example, Gloria is a major source of encouragement to her fellow seniors.  She regularly assists frail seniors with their shopping, as well as supporting their efforts to remain as independent and active as possible.  She helps with numerous community projects, such as Neighborhood Watch and the Weed and Seed program.


Silver Akamai Living Lifetime Award Winner

Gladys Watanabe, age 76

Nominated by Aiealani Seniors

An active member of the Aiealani Seniors, Gladys has served as treasurer and is currently serving as their recording secretary.  She provides transportation for members unable to drive.  An avid recycler she initiated the club’s recycling program, collecting items and donating them to the neighboring schools’ recycling events.  Gladys is also active in the Honolulu Rose Society, serving as past secretary and currently as historian.  She’s often referred to as the “Rose Lady” because of her skill in raising award winning blooms.  Gladys also assists the Aiea Public Library with various programs, and she entertains residents at the Aiea Rest Home.



Florence Menor, age 76

Nominated by the Lanakila Multi-purpose Senior Center

Florence has been helping in every aspect of the center’s activities, including staffing the reception desk, helping with fundraisers, and serving as recording secretary for the Japanese Cultural Club.  Florence is among the center’s hula performers who entertain at nursing homes, day care centers, and hospitals.  Florence also volunteered at St. Francis Medical Center, St. Theresa School, and Kapiolani Women’s and Children’s Medical Center.  She assists friends and neighbors with their shopping or picking up their prescriptions and even provides meals for those who are recovering from an illness. The volunteer spirit is part and parcel of Florence’s character. 



Friday, April 11, 2008

© Copyright 2002-2008 City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii
Privacy Statement | Technical Support | Customer Service | Policy | Accessibility | Diversity Statement