Illinois residents can cast their vote for the state’s outstanding senior volunteer at salutetoseniorservice.com through April 30. The Salute to Senior Service program is sponsored by Home Instead Inc., the franchiser of the Home Instead Senior Care network. The program honors the contributions of adults 65 and older who give at least 15 hours a month of volunteer service to their favorite causes.
Among this year’s nominees are Yvonne Johnson of Sycamore and a DeKalb resident identified only as “Elizabeth M.”
Winners will be selected in each state, and a panel of senior care experts will then select the national honoree from the pool of state winners.
Home Instead Inc. will donate $500 to each state winner’s favorite nonprofit organization, and their stories will be posted on the Salute to Senior Service Wall of Fame. Also, $5,000 will be donated to the national winner’s nonprofit charity of choice.
Last year’s state winner was 83-year-old Doreen Lagoni of Libertyville. Lagoni was honored for her work with Bear Magic in Lake County. She collected and organized the distribution of teddy bears and Beanie Babies to nearly 2,000 foster children all over the world.
The 2012 national winner is Clark Paradise, an 85-year-old volunteer from Toms River, N.J., who, with his wife, Jean, founded a growing mission in his community that serves more than 1,000 homeless and disadvantaged people each month.
The national U.S. judging panel includes the 2012 winner; Dr. Jane F. Potter, chief of geriatrics and gerontology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; Sandy Markwood, CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging; and Dr. Harry R. Moody, AARP vice president and director of academic affairs.