Friend­ship Senior Options Cel­e­brates 22nd Annu­al Ster­ling Event

On Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 27th, Friend­ship Senior Options (FSO) cel­e­brat­ed its 22nd Annu­al Ster­ling event. Friend­ship Senior Options is the not-for-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that spon­sors two of the Chica­go area’s lead­ing Life Plan Com­mu­ni­ties: Friend­ship Vil­lage of Schaum­burg and Green­Fields of Geneva.

FSO Presents the Ster­ling Friend­ship Award

The Annu­al Ster­ling Friend­ship din­ner is Friend­ship Senior Options Foun­da­tion’s pin­na­cle cel­e­bra­tion. The Ster­ling Friend­ship Award rec­og­nizes an indi­vid­ual or orga­ni­za­tion epit­o­miz­ing the pos­i­tive aspects of aging through the exam­ple they have set in their own life or in the ser­vice to old­er adults.

The 2019 Ster­ling Friend­ship Award was pre­sent­ed to the Nation­al Senior Games Asso­ci­a­tion (NSGA) with Marc Rik­er, CEO, accept­ing on their behalf. It seems fit­ting to cel­e­brate ath­let­ic achieve­ment tonight. After all, our very first Ster­ling Award recip­i­ent was DePaul Uni­ver­si­ty’s icon­ic bas­ket­ball coach, Ray Mey­er. And just a few short weeks ago, hun­dreds of our res­i­dents com­pet­ed in our annu­al Friend­ship Vil­lage Sil­ver Games and Green­Fields Clas­sic,” said Stephen Yenchek, CEO/​president of Friend­ship Senior Options.

The NSGA is a not-for-prof­it Mul­ti-Sports Orga­ni­za­tion mem­ber of the Unit­ed States Olympic Com­mit­tee, ded­i­cat­ed to moti­vat­ing active adults to lead a healthy lifestyle through the senior games move­ment. Their bien­ni­al com­pe­ti­tion for men and women ages 50 and over, is the largest mul­ti-sport event in the world for seniors. 

We believe our ath­letes are some of the best exam­ples to show oth­ers how to get the most out of life. A big part of that is just to keep mov­ing, but it’s also to remain men­tal­ly and social­ly active,” said Rik­er. NSGA pro­vides fit­ness, fun, and fel­low­ship. Our mis­sion is to encour­age all old­er Amer­i­cans to find some­thing they enjoy and to not stop doing it, whether it’s with us or in some oth­er active pursuit.”

Rik­er said that FSO’s and NSGA’s beliefs and prin­ci­ples are aligned. Both orga­ni­za­tions are dri­ven by friend­ship, pro­vid­ing a vari­ety of edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties, and encour­ag­ing peo­ple to keep learn­ing. This all enrich­es the lives of seniors.”

Accom­pa­ny­ing Rik­er at the Ster­ling event was 77-year-old pick­le­ball and track ath­lete Mar­garet Ola­woye, a Chica­go-area exam­ple of the ben­e­fits that come from a healthy, active lifestyle. Ola­woye, known for both her com­pet­i­tive­ness and pos­i­tive, encour­ag­ing spir­it, has com­pet­ed in three Nation­al Senior Games and was select­ed as a 2017 Humana Game Chang­er. The retired teacher is also an inductee to the 16” Soft­ball Hall of Fame,” said Riker.

Phil­an­thropic Initiatives

The Friend­ship Senior Options Foun­da­tion is cen­tered in the spir­it of friend­ship and serves as the phil­an­thropic affil­i­ate of Friend­ship Senior Options and its com­mu­ni­ties, Friend­ship Vil­lage and Green­Fields. The Foun­da­tion val­ues and pro­motes com­pas­sion, edu­ca­tion, growth, and social account­abil­i­ty as it invests in inno­v­a­tive and diverse pro­grams that stim­u­late and advance the qual­i­ty of life for old­er adults, and the growth and devel­op­ment of the ded­i­cat­ed pro­fes­sion­al who serves them and the senior industry. 

At the Ster­ling Friend­ship event, which is the Foun­da­tion’s annu­al fundrais­er, Yenchek men­tioned four groups of this year’s ben­e­fi­cia­ries. These includ­ed four young peo­ple who received Friend­ship Senior Options Foun­da­tion’s Paul Schaffhausen Schol­ar­ships, help­ing to off­set their col­lege expens­es. A group of area res­i­dents have expe­ri­enced and are ben­e­fit­ing from Vir­tuSense, FSO’s new tech­nol­o­gy, which sup­ports fall pre­ven­tion, thus help­ing to ensure the safe­ty and well-being of old­er adults. Life Care res­i­dents of Friend­ship Vil­lage and Green­Fields receive benev­o­lent care if their finan­cial resources are exhaust­ed. This guar­an­tees that they have a home for the rest of their lives. The Foun­da­tion also helped finance the pur­chase by the Elburn and Coun­try­side Fire Pro­tec­tion Dis­trict for the life-sav­ing LUCAS CPR device.

Tonight, we’ve gath­ered some 250 strong. We cel­e­brate the achieve­ments of our Foun­da­tion over the past year. With our Ster­ling Friend­ship Award, we rec­og­nize the com­pelling work of NSGA over the last thir­ty years. We renew our com­mit­ment and pledge our phil­an­thropy,” said Yenchek. We act tonight to make a dif­fer­ence. Thank you for help­ing make it possible.”

Since 1900 the 65 and old­er pop­u­la­tion has dou­bled three times.

—Center on Aging