Thanks for celebrating positive aging with us! In case you missed it, the full broadcast for the 16th Annual Inspire Positive Aging Awards is available on our YouTube Channel.
The IPAA Luncheon celebrates and honors older adults across King County that exemplify positive aging. In 2021, Sound Generations recognized recipients in the following six categories: Advocacy + Activism, Community Service, Health + Wellness, Intergenerational Impact, Lifelong Learning, and Defining Inspiration. To learn about all of the amazing nominees, check out our program booklet.
2021 IPAA Winners
Congratulations to the 16th Annual Inspire Positive Aging Award Winners!
Advocacy & Activism
Cynthia has been a powerful force for equity and human dignity for many years, serving as a child welfare worker and as a mental health therapist, then establishing businesses to support families and keep children from out of home placements. She is a fierce fighter for equalizing services for all ethnic communities, in particular for African American and Native American families, because she understands that these groups (and others) are often disproportionately affected by family separation, economic disparity, legal injustice, and fear of involvement in community. In fact, she was a critical change agent in organizing racial disproportionality efforts in King County.
Pushpakant (Push) is always willing to help anyone in need regardless of age, and has been helping people for over 40 years now. He noticed early on when he moved to Seattle that there were seniors that could not drive, so he decided to help and has been giving rides to those seniors for any medical reason to either clinics or hospitals. For Pushpakant, age is just a number. Even at 82, he is very active and always helping people. This just goes to show that one does not have to slow down their helping or volunteering just because they are aging!
Born 96 years ago in Tacoma, Washington, Ray was a WW2 Veteran, avid gardener, and incredible storyteller. He was warm and personable, always engaging audiences with his life’s stories and infectious laughter. Ray’s family and friends have learned a great deal about friendship, generosity, gardening and appreciating life, taking each day as it comes and finding joy in all that it has to offer. Sadly, Ray passed away before he could accept his award, but his message will live on through all those who have had the opportunity to cross paths with him.
Health & Wellness
Ampy, known as the Queen of Social Dancing, strives to make sure everyone feels warm and welcome. She is a connector between generations and cultures, and serves with love and enthusiasm. Although Ampy experienced two strokes, she was constantly seeking new ways to volunteer and give back to her community. According to her husband, when she heard her doctor’s gloomy diagnosis about being bound to a wheelchair, she said “Just watch me!” and pulled herself out of her wheelchair. She has been on her feet ever since, and has continued to play an active role in her community.
Mary has been volunteering as a Foster Grandparent Mentor at Homage for a number of years and the teachers and students rave about their interactions with her. They are eager to have her back every day in their classrooms and as one of the principals said “Mary, you ARE one of our valued staff members.” In addition to volunteering anywhere from 10-15 hours a week with kids in schools as a mentor, Mary is often keeping her eye open to folks in her apartment complex who might be open to volunteering. To quote Mary, “I keep telling them – those kids need you and you could really be helping them out. Come join me!” Mary shows that older adults can make a significant contribution even (and especially) in their later years. Mary’s good humor, positive attitude and zest for life are a great example for the children she serves.
Rebecca’s work and outside interests almost all circle around healthy aging, aging with wisdom, defeating ageism, and how to handle the challenges of aging with resilience. The impact she has made on countless lives is exceptional! he immerses herself in learning, and her schedule looks straightforward at first glance. For example, she might be attending a presentation on a topic like brain health, age discrimination, or the impact of race on aging, or giving one of her excellent presentations, such as “Happiness is an Inside Job,” or writing an article for a local newsletter or magazine. But one thing that is different about Rebecca compared with others is, she shares everything she learns. On daily walks, she freely exchanges what she has recently read, learned, or heard. She incorporates her new learnings into her next project. She’s truly a lifelong learner and teacher. And that’s always inspirational.