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Senior Hall of Fame awardees honored for care, compassion

The 2009 Ottawa County Senior Hall of Fame Awards were presented during the semi-annual “Senior Day” held last month  at Camp Perry.

Each recipient received a plaque commemorating his or her service to the seniors and citizens of Ottawa County.

The recipients include Winnie Chasteen representing the Elmore Golden Oldies Senior Center; Norma Schuster representing the Genoa Senior Center; Sue Briggs representing the Oak Harbor ‘Harbor Lights’ Senior Center; Richard Mowery representing the Danbury Senior Center, Barbara Gerogosian, representing Port Clinton Senior Center and Sue Duff, representing the Put-in-Bay Senior Center.

The nominations included the following testimonials to the awardees’ service and compassion:
• Winnie Chasteen has really stepped up to the plate to help at the community, county and senior center level. As a member of the Elmore Golden Oldies Senior Center, she is willing to help with just about anything you can think of.

But her efforts do not stop there. She is also involved with the Historical Society in Elmore, community bake sales and giving rides to those who may need transportation.

Her other positive characteristics include her compassion and caring, which has never been more evident then in her care for her ailing husband for whom she continues to provide the support and love he needs.

Her challenge became her strength. A fellow senior put it this way. “She is willing to help out in what ever way she can.”
• Norma Schuster has definitely learned to step forward when it comes to supporting her senior center and community. She currently serves as an active member of the Ottawa County Senior Advisory Committee, the Ottawa County Senior Activity Committee and the Ottawa County Senior Nutrition Committee. Her other community and civic involvement includes her involvement in the Genoa Christian Church, the Genoa American Legion Auxiliary, the Luther Home of Mercy Auxiliary and the Genoa Firettes.

Her helpful and “doing” personality did not start at her senior center. Becoming a widow at a young age, she went to work as a direct care worker with the Luther Home of Mercy for 19 years. It was stated by many of her residents that they loved her caring and understanding.
• Sue Briggs exemplifies the Hall of Fame criteria to the Oak Harbor “Harbor Light” seniors. She received the most nominations for the award this year. Sue is usually the first one to arrive at the center, helping to set up tables with place settings for lunch.

She also serves as secretary of the United Methodist Women in the Oak Harbor-based church, where she also helps with the church dinners, the children’s programs, and regularly bakes goodies when called upon.

Her biggest assets include her fellowship, her ability to follow-through on projects and never-ending compassion and caring for others. When her brother was a resident of Riverview, she regularly visited him and gave of herself to other residents when visiting.

She has faced many challenges. Health issues have seemed to plague many in her family and she has remained the rock for them. Despite the many hardships she has faced, she is always positive and willing to lend a hand. As one fellow senior put it, “She is a blessing to know.”
• Barbara Gerogosian might be considered the “Face of Port Clinton Senior Center” as she often serves as greeter, welcoming the newcomers to the site and “showing them the ropes.”
• Richard Mowery has been very active with various programs in the community, including Riverview Healthcare Campus, Danbury Schools concessions and of course, Danbury Senior Center. He has served as a very active and consistent volunteer in his church activities, and has served as a reader in the
student-reading program.
• While Sue Duff, honoree of the Put-in-Bay Senior Site, has had to face many personal challenges surrounding her mother and aunt for whom she is one of the primary caregivers, she never lets the challenge stand in her way. She continues to forge ahead.

The 2009 Ottawa County Senior Hall of Fame Award winners included (front) Winnie Chasteen, Sue Briggs, Barbara Gerogosian, Norma Schuster and Sue Duff; and (back) Richard Mowery, with County Commissioners, Mark Stahl, Steven Arndt and Jim Sass.

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