Older Adults Named Senior Citizen of the Year

Contact: David Dekker (517) 373-4082
Agency: Services to the Aging, Office of

June 10, 2010 Two older adults were presented with a 2010 Senior Citizens of the Year Award on June 10 during Older Michiganians Day ceremonies at the State Capitol in Lansing. They received this statewide honor for their voluntary efforts and community service.

The Senior Citizen of the Year Award is sponsored by the Michigan Commission and Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) and Consumers Energy to recognize the unpaid contributions made by persons, age 60 and older. It is presented in two categories, leadership in the community, and service to others.

"This award is presented every year to recognize the valuable contributions made by special older adults in our state who are using their retirement years to help others," says OSA Director Sharon Gire. "They are setting a wonderful example about how to age with purpose and satisfaction."

Henry Johnson of Ann Arbor was named 2010 Senior Citizen of the Year for Leadership. He was recognized for his exemplary leadership and advocacy.

Since his retirement as Vice-President for Student Affairs at the University of Michigan, he has served on numerous boards and committees, including 3 years as Chairperson of the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Board of Directors and its Strategic Planning Committee.

Johnson has volunteered his time as a Strategic Planning Consultant for several area agencies on aging in southeast Michigan and the National Center and Caucus on Black Aged. He also has been actively involved with organizations such as the Presbytery of Detroit, and the Ann Arbor Housing Bureau for Seniors.

J.C. Briggs of Lansing received the 2010 Senior Citizen of the Year Award for Service. He has been an exceptional role model for those who want to volunteer. Over the years, he has volunteered close to 10,000 hours in his community.

At age 72, he is engaged in challenging and meaningful activities as a Senior Companion Volunteer in Lansing's Community Mental Health Day Program. Those he works with say he is quiet and soft spoken, but always willing to help and go the extra mile on behalf of others.

In particular, Briggs is involved with providing respite, companionship, health care, safety and socialization to make a difference in the lives of others who are frail and sometimes homebound or terminally ill.