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MAYOR PRESENTS SENIOR RECOGNITION AWARDS

 

Mayor Mufi Hannemann congratulated 79 senior honorees today at the 43rd Annual Mayor’s Senior Recognition Program, held at the Hawaii Convention Center before a capacity audience of family, friends, and well-wishers.

 

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.”

 

Named 2009 Outstanding Male and Female Volunteers were Charles Clark, nominated by the State Executive on Aging Senior Medicare Patrol; and Michiko Motooka, nominated by Project Dana and Moiliili Hongwanji Mission.

 

Also recognized were four Akamai Living Award winners: Lawrence Morisako, Victorio Macatumbas, Serafina Gangemi Smith, and Antonio Garcia. These seniors represent the many who generously help others cope with life’s difficulties or assist organizations that deliver health care, recreational or social services.

 

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. 

 

Stacy Loe and Keahi Tucker of KGMB 9 were the event’s masters of ceremony. The program featured entertainment by Karen Keawehawaii, the Royal Hawaiian Band, and the Na Kupuna O’ Makua Alii seniors. 

 

            The 43rd Mayor’s Senior Recognition Program was produced by the Honolulu Committee on Aging and the Elderly Affairs Division, City and County of Honolulu.  The Hawaii Medical Service Association and First Hawaiian Bank were principal sponsors of this program.

 

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Contact:  May Fujii Foo: 768-7709, mfoo@honolulu.gov

 

 

 

 

The 43rd Annual Mayor’s Senior Recognition Program

Outstanding Senior Male and Female Volunteer 2009

 

 

OUTSTANDING MALE VOLUNTEER – Charles Clark, age 81.  Nominated by the Senior Medical Patrol, Charles makes presentations to senior groups, retiree associations, civic organizations and college classes to inform people how to detect Medicare and Medicaid fraud, abuse, errors and how to protect themselves from becoming victimized.  Charles is the founder and national president of Radiated Veterans of America.  He founded the organization to address the financial and physical needs of senior veterans who suffer the effects of exposure to radiation.  He has served on the board of Shriner’s Hospitals and raises funds for the March of Dimes and has also served on several community boards.  An active member of AARP, Charles served as District Coordinator.  His nominator says, “Charles’ volunteer work on behalf of persons with disabilities, senior radiated veterans, crippled children, and babies born with defects goes beyond duty; it comes from his heart.  Charles has made profound contributions to the quality of life for seniors and others.”

 

OUTSTANDING FEMALE VOLUNTEER   Michiko Motooka, age 80.  Nominated by Project Dana and Moiliili Hongwanji Mission.   Michiko has been a Project Dana volunteer for over 20 years assisting frail elders who suffer from loneliness, helplessness and really need understanding, patience, and compassionate care.  Her friendly visits reassure the homebound seniors that someone still cares.  Michiko visits elders at hospitals and nursing homes.  Michiko also volunteers for the Moiliili Hongwanji preschool and the Maunalani Nursing Home.  She has served as secretary for the Buddhist Women’s Association, a Board member of her church and has been a Sunday School teacher for over 30 years.  Her nominator says, “As a Project Dana volunteer, Michiko is kind, compassionate, selfless and so giving, and understands the role of caregiving.”

 

PLATINUM AKAMAI LIVING AWARD WINNER –  Lawrence Morisako, age 79.  Nominated by the Moanalua Senior Citizens’ Club.  Volunteering is Lawrence’s middle name.  He volunteers many hours for the Moanalua Senior Citizens’ Club, the Moanalua Gardens Foundation, the Army Community Theater, the Hawaii Theater Center, the Korean War Veterans’ Association, the Kaiser Moanalua Medical Center and the Mapunapuna Clinic, the Hawaii United Okinawa Association, the Ginowan Shijin Kai, the Leeward Community College Theater, and the list goes on and on.  Lawrence mostly believes that “charity begins at home.”  He is always available to help his elderly neighbors with their cleaning, yard work and small repairs or provides meals for those unable to cook.  Sharing his aloha is what Lawrence is all about.

 

GOLD AKAMAI LIVING AWARD WINNER  Victorio Macatumbas, age 82.  Nominated by Kokua Kalihi Valley Elderly Services Program.   Victorio not only volunteers Monday through Friday, but is also available evenings and on weekends. He 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.  Victorio helps frail seniors who are unable to do household cleaning, chores and yard work as well as supporting their efforts to remain as independent and active as possible.  If that isn’t enough, Victorio is also the Senior Center’s Building and Grounds maintenance and beautification person.  Wow!  His nominator says, “Victorio’s unofficial title is ‘Dynamic Volunteer’ because of his tireless assistance to the seniors and of his support to the organization. Going the extra mile is just part of who he is.”

 

Silver Akamai Living Lifetime Award winner: Serafina Gangemi Smith, age 89.  Nominated by the Honolulu Branch of the American Association of University Women.  Serafina has provided over 20,000 hours volunteering for the American Association of University Women and served as their past president.  She also volunteers for Al-Anon, Suicide Crisis Center, Hospice Hawaii, Pacific Institute of Chemical Dependancy, and the American Society for Public Administration.  Serafina is an artist and often donates her work for fund raisers.  Serafina’s nominator says, “Serafina is a gem and a great role model.”

 

BRONZE AKAMAI LIVING AWARD WINNER – Antonio Garcia, age 76. Nominated by the State Executive Office on Aging Sage Plus Program. Antonio not only volunteers many hours for the Sage Plus Program, but his skills and knowledge of Veteran’s benefits supports the “Endearing Section,” a special project at the Veterans Administration.  Antonio also volunteers as an AARP Tax Aide, assisting individuals find ways to ensure that they obtain the best benefits when preparing their tax returns correctly. He also helps the Hawaii Food Bank as part of the “Odd Fellows Organization.”  The volunteer spirit is part and parcel of Antonio’s character. 

 

 

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