SIDNEY — Donald and Jane Kemp were named Shelby County’s 2019 Outstanding Senior Citizens during annual Senior Citizen’s Day ceremonies at the Senior Center on Tuesday.
The Kemps were two of five nominated for the award, with the other nominees being Douglas Benson, Janet Fischbach and June Laughlin.
The annual event was organized by the special events committee of the Shelby County Coalition on Aging in conjunction with the Area Agency on Aging, in Dayton. Sponsorship was provided by local businesses and individuals.
Although the Kemps were unable to attend the ceremony, Chairman Shelia Nuss, of the Area Agency on Aging, made a special visit to their home after the event to deliver the award to them.
The Community Service Award was given to Veterans Honor Guards throughout Shelby County. This includes Fort Loramie American Legion Post 355, Anna/Botkins American Legion Post 446, Jackson Center American Legion Post 493, Sidney American Legion Post 217, AMVETS Post 1986, VFW Post 4239, and Russia’s St. Remy Catholic War Veterans Post 661.
Attendees at the event were guided down a red carpet as they were led to their seats. A meal was served, courtesy of Sidney Care Center, and a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne was provided at each table.
Event master of ceremony, Amy Breinich, of Sidney Alive, raised a toast.
“I’d like to make a toast to health, wealth, growth, forever youth, and to remind us what hard work and determination can do,” she said.
Pastor Jim Oates, of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, provided the event’s invocation prior to the meal.
Entertainment was provided by Rum River Blend band, whose music had attendees tapping their toes and singing along.
A photo booth was on site, as well, provided and guided by Terri Lenhart, of “3 2 1 Giggles & Grins.”
Several county representatives were in attendance, including Shelby County Commissioners Julie Ehemann, Tony Bornhorst, and Bob Guillozet, as well as Mayor Mike Barhorst, who read aloud a proclamation.
“Whereas during the month of May we join together to celebrate our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month; a time we honor and celebrate the many contributions our mature citizens make in our community and whereas, this year, the theme of Older Americans Month is “Connect, Create, Contribute,” which emphasizes when older Americans connect, create, and contribute they create a stronger and more diverse unity,” he began.
“I, Mike Barhorst, Mayor of the City of Sidney, do proclaim, today, May 7, 2019, as Senior Citizens Day in the city of Sidney, Ohio, and urge the residents of Sidney to take time this month to acknowledge older adults as powerful and vibrant individuals who contribute greatly to organizations and institutions within our community.”
Seniors may be nominated for the Outstanding Senior Citizen Award based on several guidelines, including being 60 years of age or older, a resident of the county for which the award is being presented, and a legal resident of Ohio for the past five years or longer.
Major emphasis is placed on contributions to the community made by the individual after reaching 60, though prior contributions may be considered.
Service in any field of endeavor is considered, and a husband and wife may receive the award jointly when both have been involved in service and various community endeavors.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.