On June 16th, Sound Generations celebrated 23 aging adults within the categories of Advocacy & Activism, Community Service, Defining Inspiration, Health & Wellness, Intergenerational Impact, and Lifelong Learning. We are so happy we were able to bring this event back in person to celebrate the uniqueness and beauty of aging. If you’d like to see the full program please view the recording below.
If you’d like to check out some of the images from the event, head over to our Facebook page!
Questions about this event? Want to get involved for 2023? Reach out to Dom Anderson, email@example.com
Thanks Again to Our Amazing Sponsors
2022’s IPAA Winners
Congratulations to the 17th Annual Inspire Positive Aging Award Winners! In case you missed it, the full broadcast for last year’s show is available on our YouTube Channel.
Advocacy & Activism
Celia Austria has worked all her life to inspire others by bringing equality to her Filipino community. Celia’s hard-working and kindhearted nature allows for her to touch the lives of so many within her assisted living community, Park Place. As the president of the Park Place Resident Resource Group, Celia hosts monthly Resident Resource Group meetings to advocate for the need for increased mental health services and offers free counseling sessions to her peers. As a passionate advocate, Celia also lobbies to the state government to garner more funding for assisted living communities. She seeks to gain insight and opinions from those within her community, taking these concerns to executive management to inspire change.
Ms. Turnesh Gura has dedicated herself to ongoing volunteer service at 82 years old. She has made a measurable impact volunteering as a chef for the East African Senior Center program for 10 years. Her dedication stretches so far, that she travels on 2 buses to get to the center. Ms. Turnesh generously gives her time and talents to ensure that other East African adults receive culturally appropriate meals. She engages with others by inviting her peers to volunteer in the kitchen, exercise, and socialize. This has allowed Ms. Turnesh to maintain close personal relationships with family, friends, and her community members. Her continuous contribution has taught those she encounters to think differently about aging, and that it is possible to be active, strong, and serve your community at any age.
Glenda West is an inspiration to all, pursuing many creative talents and doing them all successfully with heart and passion. Glenda is a person that demonstrates by the way she lives her life what is possible for everyone to achieve as they walk the aging path. Glenda sends an important message that living a fulfilling life through family, the arts, volunteering, supporting causes you believe in, and being who you are leads to a life that is successful and fulfilling. As an active community member, Glenda is involved in many groups including Ballard NW Senior Center, Cancer Lifeline, GenPride, Seattle Reparatory Theatre Public works project, and Aging Ballard Life Exchange. At Ballard NW Senior Center, she leads monthly conversation groups and volunteers to drive the center van on fun member outings.
Jerald Forster is passionate about helping others articulate their strengths and view themselves in a positive light, helping build confidence and a feeling of well-being in the community. Despite weathering several bouts of cancer, he manages to keep positive and focus on the future. At Shoreline UU Church, he helped develop and facilitate a group called Appreciating Elderhood, hosting 8-20 regular attendees ranging from ages 60-98. Keeping busy after retiring from teaching at UW in 2000, Jerald recently co-authored a book with his stepdaughter titled Articulating Your Strengths: A Mindful Practice for Developing Your Positive Identity. To complete a project like this at his age is truly remarkable!
Health & Wellness
Dr. Margaret Boddie’s commitment to healthy aging and to supporting older adults, especially African American older adults, is inspiring. She brings endless empathy to those she serves and works hard to help others understand the barriers they face and the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated those barriers. When the pandemic hit, she worked tirelessly to engage both older adults and staff, not willing to put people on hold. In longstanding partnership with UW Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC), Dr. Boddie helped to develop and spread the Program to Encourage Activate, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS). Despite initial skepticism due to ongoing issues of racism, historical trauma, and mental health stigma, she brought compassion and grit to the program, allowing PEARLS to be accessible to older Black adults living with complex health issues and poor access to care. This work includes hiring Black professionals as PEARLS care managers to build trust and rapport, and training staff to talk about depression in ways that are both culturally fitting and age appropriate.
Harry Williams is a true example of selfless service and a great leader in his community of Kent. Every Monday, Harry volunteers at the Kent Food Bank to help pack food. Additionally, Harry is a member of the Rotary Club of Kent, supporting the community through the pandemic. Harry is involved in the local Kent School District’s Music4Life program invested in supporting students’ musical success through the donation of musical instruments. “He has truly been inspirational. I see him volunteer weekly and it makes me think about what I can do. He makes a difference in many lives and I hope to age like him”, says Satwinder Kaur, fellow Rotary Club of Kent member.
Heather Stark demonstrates the epitome of lifelong learning, embracing education for the purpose of making significant contributions to society. Despite facing significant health concerns and surviving cancer, Heather continues on at full speed. In her seventh decade of life, she just recently completed her Ph.D. in Psychology, a pursuit that spanned an entire decade. In addition, Heather has plans to work on two additional Master’s degrees. She is an advocate for social justice, raising awareness around domestic violence and women’s rights. Heather’s constant professionalism and ability to treat all she encounters with kindness and respect has provided a stunning example of her wisdom and grace.
Past IPAA Recipients and Nominees
Since 2006, the IPAA Luncheon has honored and recognized hundreds of nominees and stellar award recipients, chosen by a panel of board members, staff, and members of the community.