FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Sage Awards: Celebrating stories of resilience and leadership among seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic
Edmonton, Canada – June 4, 2021
Despite immense hardship and grief during the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed seniors stepping forward to continue to inspire and support each other and their communities. Every year, the Sage Awards recognize the invaluable contributions of older adults, and this year, during Seniors’ Week, we especially want to celebrate the stories of resilience, community building, and leadership among seniors during the pandemic.
These stories include those of our Sage Award Recipient’s, including Terry Ferguson, who took initiative to sew masks and ear savers for nurses before any mandatory mask bylaws were implemented. To date, Terry has sewn and donated over 600 masks to the community using expenses from her own pocket. We also celebrate Marsha Paradis’ story: one of intergenerational support and connection, as she stepped up and offered her expertise to a small cohort of learners facing homeschooling for the first four months of school. Marsha contributed much of her own personal time to prepare meaningful and rich learning opportunities for the children in the cohort during the pandemic. We also celebrate stories of advocacy, like Eric Storey’s - who has a very felicitous last name - and his work supporting older LGBTQ2S+ persons, while serving as a member of the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council, the Edmonton Prime Timers, and volunteering as a Big Brother.
We also celebrate stories of connection and community building, like Men’s Shed participant, Brian Christianson, who found safe and accessible ways for men to socialize, learn, and share experiences throughout the pandemic. And lastly, stories like those of Bonnie Herring-Cooper and Peggy Follinsbee: long-standing community leaders who have spent countless hours focusing on community connection and neighbourhood development, and their creation and encouragement of socially distanced volunteer opportunities.
Throughout the pandemic, we heard victorious stories of older community members seeing a need and stepping in, and up, to fill that need. These stories create hope in times of hardship: the type of unshakable hope that is birthed from watching people around our city, our province, and our world join together to help wherever needed. It is these people who we honor as the winners of the 14th Annual Sage Awards.
The 14th Annual Sage Awards, presented by Servus Credit Union, will be held virtually on Zoom, and take place during Senior’s Week, on Friday, June 11, 2021, from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and will be free of charge to all who wish to attend.
The Sage Awards are not only an opportunity to celebrate community: it is an opportunity for tangible action within our community. We are proud of the community that we are building at Sage: one that is welcoming, responsive, and inclusive. We know that everyone - regardless of age - has strengths, abilities, and gifts to share. We also know that everyone experiences vulnerability at different times in different ways as we transition through life. And we’re here to offer support when it’s needed, and to help seniors shape and enrich our communities. But we know that we can’t do it alone. As a non-profit organization, we rely in part on the generosity of our donors to help us build a community where all seniors are able to thrive and continue to contribute to the communities they helped to build. During the month of June, please consider supporting our Silver Threads campaign: every $1 donated online through CanadaHelps gives Sage a chance to win $20,000! Your support has an impact on the lives of the people we serve and helps us to meet the needs of our community. Because we know, it takes a community to build community. And we’re still building.
To attend the Sage Awards, click here.
For more information on the Sage Awards, or this year’s Recipients, please contact:
Amber Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org
Support our Silver Threads campaign!
Follow us on Twitter @sageyeg and use the hashtags #silverthreads and #givingchallengeca!