Charlotte Media Group highlights people in the Charlotte region focused on enhancing the lives of senior citizens, whether through work or service. Here are 11 people who deserve a pat on the back.
• Brittany Bingham Bryson: Her Cramerton-based organization, Bunny Blessings, brings rabbits to older adult communities throughout the Charlotte region. Seeing those bunnies wiggle their noses just brightens people’s days.
• Lucy Bush Carter: The executive director for Friendship Trays has been involved in the delivery of food to older adults with Meals on Wheels Charlotte-Mecklenburg since the 1980s.
• Susan Harden: The Mecklenburg County commissioner expressed the need to find ways beyond isolation to protect older adults in long-term care facilities from COVID-19, ensuring they have a good quality of life. She launched a committee to find solutions.
• Gibbie Harris: Mecklenburg County’s public health director started working with long-term care facilities prior to COVID-19’s spread in the Charlotte region. She sought to educate facilities on best practices to avoid and treat community spread.
• Randy LeMaster: He works as regional director of operations for Waltonwood Senior Living, which includes Waltonwood Cotswold and Waltonwood Providence. He also serves as a board member for the North Carolina Assisted Living Association.
• Harry Patel: His Monroe-based pharmacy, Austin Drugs, has made and donated hundreds of masks for older adult communities throughout the Charlotte region.
• John Reiter: He serves as executive director of Charlotte Village Network, which recruits volunteers and secures resources to help older adults age in place.
• Marnie Schneider: The Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter will award the children’s book author with the 2020 Award of Excellence at its Memory Gala in August for her advocacy.
• Jack Sheehan: He runs Assist ME, which accepts medical and mobility equipment for people who can’t afford them or don’t have insurance. The Waxhaw nonprofit has an Amazon wishlist for bedside commodes and a wheelchair.
• Mark Tofano: He recently took over command of Matthews-based American Legion Post 235 from Phil Mowery. Tofano stressed the need to support veterans and remind the community about the sacrifices the military has made on its behalf.
• Holly Whitfield: She serves as executive director for Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte, which connects older adults to learning programs and resources. The organization is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Know someone who deserves recognition? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate someone.
Previously recognized champions
• March 2018: April Barnes, Peter Brunnick, Beverly Earle, Nate Huggins, Dahn Jenkins, David Lacy, Katherine Lambert, Vilma Leake, Linda Miller, Julian Montoro-Rodriquez, Trena Palmer, Suzanne Pugh, Renee Rizzuti, Linda Smosky and Jim Weiland.
• September 2018: Michael Alvarez, Arthur Barlett, Cindy Berrier, Kathleen Shelby Boyett, Pat Cotham, Barry Edelman, Les and Roberta Farnum, Wayne Felton, Andrew Friend, Lynn Ivey, Kathy Joy, Michael Olender, Colleen Puceta and Scott Stone.
• March 2019: Tom Bartholomy, Larry Berg & Harry Watkins, Carla Cunningham, Iris Devore, Susan Didier, Harris High, Jill Lipson, Michelle Marcano, Lance Nelson, Monica Smith, Josh Stein, Thom Tillis, Shannon Tucker and Joyce Waddell.
• July 2019: Erin Barbee, W. Beatrice Colson, Nick DeVenuto, Karla Ennis, Stuart Goldstein, Angie Harmon, Rampi Hijazin, Rachel Hunt, Marcus Jones, Natasha Marcus, Tracy McGinnis, Phil Mowery, Liz Strachan & Myra White and Kathy Streng.
• October 2019: Mike Cochrane, Lara Cole, Peter Ford, Jennefer Garrity, Kimberly Gossage, Ruth Helms, Mark Pippenger John Potter, Theresa Robertson, Jennifer Szakaly, Donald Thompson, Lisa Wallace and Juliette Weiland.