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Senior Citizens of the Year honored at the State Capitol

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – The 2018 Michigan Senior Citizens of the Year, Orzhelle Johnson and Cornelius Wilson, were honored today for their volunteerism at the Michigan State Capitol during Older Michiganians Day.

Johnson, of Grand Rapids, participates in the Foster Grandparent program and helps at-risk children, in kindergarten up to the third grade, learn to read. She volunteers at the Dickenson Elementary School in Grand Rapids and was honored under the award category Service to Others.

Wilson, of Detroit, has been instrumental in the formation of SAGE Metro Detroit, an organization that was established in 2015 that aims to build awareness and promote change so that LGBT older adults can age with dignity. Wilson’s volunteer efforts have helped many older adults from all backgrounds, but he has had a significant and positive impact on the LGBT community, among African Americans, and among people who have HIV and AIDS. He was honored under the award category of Community Leadership.

“Both Orzhelle and Cornelius have demonstrated through their outstanding volunteer work their commitment to helping others who are in need,” said Aging & Adult Services Agency Senior Deputy Director Richard Kline. “Our agency is honored to be here today to help tell their stories in the hopes of inspiring others, and to thank them for making Michigan a better place to live as we age.”

Each year the Aging & Adult Services Agency (AASA), under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging accept nominations from across the state and select older adults to honor for their outstanding volunteerism and their contributions to their local community.

Individuals who are age 60 years or older are eligible to be nominated for uncompensated work performed in the community. Each winner receives a congratulatory letter from Gov. Rick Snyder and $500 from Consumers Energy, which is an award partner.