2015 AGE Awards Honorees
We are excited to announce the 2015 AGE Awards Honorees! These awards recognize outstanding achievements by individuals and organizations whose leadership, achievements, and contributions have had a significant impact on the quality of life for aging adults and their caregivers in Central Texas.
Willie Kocurek Vital Aging Award
Honors an older community member who exemplifies the concept of vital aging and who is accomplished in the area of self-determination, self-sufficiency, civic engagement, and quality of life
Terrell Blodgett has spent his lifetime helping others through teaching, government service, and volunteer work. Terrell has spent his career encouraging civic engagement and improving the lives of state and local citizens. Terrell began as an administrative and policy assistant for Governor John Connally and later served as City Manager in Austin, Waco, and Garland. He spent a 20 years as the Mike Hogg Professor in Urban Management at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, where he was instrumental in creating the school’s popular certificate in non-profit management. Terrell’s effectiveness as an agent for change is his ability to listen to others’ opinions, scope out solutions, and implement reasonable change that benefits that majority.
What they say about Terrell
“At the age of 91, Terrell maintains a daily schedule of civic activities that would leave many a younger person gasping for breath! Like Mr. Kocurek, the second half of Terrell’s life is as robust as his first. Terrell sets a youthful example for others his own age, and he has a deep desire to make the world a better place.” - Heather Potts, Director of Marketing, Westminster
Nominated by Westminster
Theresa Bond Zelazny, founder Mobile Art Program
Bert Kruger Smith Vision Award
Honors a person or organization whose vision has enhanced the older adult community and who has shown foresight and energy in implementing programs, services, or legislation that serves older adults
While her mother fought a 6 year battle with colon cancer, Theresa witnessed how the process of creating art helped her mother reduce stress and anxiety during her illness and treatment. Inspired by her mother’s experiences, Theresa began taking art materials into local nursing homes on weekends. She discovered a need for art-based activities in nursing facilities and day programs across the city, and in 2007, she founded the Mobile Art Program.
Under Theresa’s leadership, Mobile Art provides art activities to seniors with dementia in low-income nursing homes and senior centers, dementia respite programs, and adult day programs in Central Texas. Theresa believes that when words may fail, a work of art can tell a story, express an emotion, or recreate a memory. Theresa developed the program to provide seniors with ways to cope with what is happening in their lives-- art becomes their vehicle of expression by developing relationships, building self-confidence, as well as integrating experiences that may be difficult to understand.
What they say about Theresa
“I’ve been fortunate to witness Theresa at work. When Theresa first started working with one client in 2007, he was reluctant to speak or make eye contact with her. Today, when he knows she is coming with Mobile Art, he is waiting for her at the door with a smile and warm welcome. He is so confident in his work, he does not hesitate when a new art idea is presented to him.” - Emma Colombo, Program Director, Mobile Art Program
Nominated by Mobile Art Program
Topfer Family Foundation
Honors a person or organization whose extraordinary generosity has supported work benefitting older adults
In 2000, Mort and Angela Topfer established a private foundation. The Topfers, along with their children, formed the Topfer Family Foundation with a single shared philosophy: by inspiring self-sufficiency—particularly in individuals with limited economic or social resources—they could leave an imprint on their communities that would benefit current and future generations. This became the cornerstone of the Foundation's mission: to help people connect to the tools and resources they need to build self-sufficient and fulfilling lives.
Over the past 14 years, the Foundation has made over 70 grants to local organizations that provide housing options for the elderly that ensure access to the support services needed to maintain seniors’ health and independence, such as home modification, home repair, and food and nutrition services. As Central Texas experiences significant and rapid growth in the aging population, the Topfer Family Foundation has set the example for philanthropic leadership and has helped mobilize the community to address the needs of seniors to age in place.
What they say about Topfer Family Foundation
“The Capital Area Food Bank has been fortunate to work with the Topfer Family Foundation to provide food to low-income, food-insecure older adults for the past 13 years. The funding they have provided over the years is equivalent to 465,000 meals to older adults in need.” - Paul Sibley, Grants Manager, Capital Area Food Bank
Nominated by Capital Area Food Bank
Rose Professional Spirit Award
Honors a person whose professional commitment goes above and beyond his or her job description to impact the lives of older adults
Robin will tell you that what drives her work so hard every day is “resident engagement.” Robin joined the team at Querencia at Barton Creek as Plaza Lifestyles Manager in 2009. She develops and leads the activity programs for each level of care, from assisted living to skilled nursing and memory support. Each program calendar she creates is specifically tailored to each level of care as well as the residents’ personal interests and abilities. But she does more than create opportunities for residents to engage in—Robin works with them to discover their passions and to find meaningful experiences. She goes deeper and interviews residents and family members to determine how she can continue to change and improve her program. The special moments when she is able to inspire a resident to get involved are the reasons she does what she does.
What they say about Robin
“There is something special about Robin’s personality that gets residents involved in their lives again, to smile and laugh. Going above and beyond the job is Robin’s standard mode of operation. Her passion for serving seniors is obvious and never-ending.” - Kristina Williams, Healthcare Administrator, Querencia
Nominated by Querencia at Barton Creek’s Masterpiece Living Core Team
Community Service Award
Honors a person or organization who has volunteered in support of the older adult community
Since 2006, Richard has contributed over 1,400 hours of volunteer service to our community and to Family Eldercare’s Money Management Program. As a bill payer volunteer, Richard assists seniors with paying bills on time, managing their checkbook, reviewing bank statements, and by advising clients on their budgets. Richard has worked with many clients for months, or even years at a time, visiting them in their homes once a week or twice a month, depending on the client’s needs. By doing so, Richard helps seniors who have trouble managing their finances continue to live independently in their own homes. Richard not only provides exceptional bill payer services, he goes above and beyond his official volunteer duties to problem solve with clients, advocate for them with service providers, and coordinating appointments when needed.
What they say about Richard
“Mr. Bolton is known at Family Eldercare as the person who can bring order to chaos by taking a jumble of bills, past bank statements, and an unbalanced checkbook from a client and making sense of it all. When extreme cases of financial disarray come in, he is the first person our case managers think of calling. We have been able to take on very difficult cases knowing that Mr. Bolton has the skills to help.” - Ali Foyt, Case Manager, Family Eldercare
Nominated by Family Eldercare