Governor Manchin accepts the key to all West Virginia Senior Centers

Daniels, WV- The West Virginia Directors of Senior and Community Services is pleased to announce the winners of its first annual WVDSCS Awards Ceremony.

Senior Center Directors from around West Virginia gathered April 25-27, 2007 at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels, West Virginia for their Annual Spring Conference. Awards were presented as part of the banquet festivities held on April 26th in which Governor Joe Manchin, III was the keynote speaker.

Manchin apprised the directors of new funding for senior services approved during the recently-concluded session of the West Virginia Legislature. A total of $16,675,000 is earmarked for senior programs such as transportation, nutrition and in-home services. "These individuals represent our most experienced and often our most vulnerable population," said Manchin. "This funding will enable many of them to stay in their homes."

WVDSCS President, Dinah Mills of Lewis County, is pleased with the initial awards ceremony. "Our directors are some of the hardest working people out there," she said. "It is fitting that they are recognized by their peers and that the public knows more about all they are doing on a daily basis." Awards were presented in seven different categories along with two special awards. Hancock County started the night off by taking home the award for Most Successful Fundraiser.

The award for Service to the Greatest Percentage of Senior went to Mills while the Best County Senior Program Newsletter was presented to Raleigh County. Most Innovative Fundraiser (25 Days of Christmas) went to the Calhoun County Committee on Aging with the award for Most Innovative New Senior Program being presented to Mineral County. Nutrition programs also shared in the awards with Berkeley County taking home top honors with the Greatest Average Congregate Meal Donation Rate while Mineral County showed the Greatest Average Home Delivered Meal Donation Rate.

          Two special awards were presented. Alice Tomlin, longtime director of the Lincoln County Opportunity Center, received recognition for serving 39 years in that capacity. Dinah Mills and the Lewis County Committee on Aging were commended for being the first senior center in West Virginia to become a Certified Senior Citizens Center by the National Institute for Senior Centers.

          Robert Roswell, Awards Committee Chairman and executive director of the Cabell County Community Service Organization said the awards were long overdue. "This night is the culmination of many, many hours of selfless service by senior center directors and their staffs," he said. "I look forward to the Awards Ceremony growing from year to year. People need to know all that we do and the directors and their staffs need to know that they are appreciated."