Lehigh County honors senior heroes
Lehigh County Office of Aging and Adult Services recently honored older adults who have displayed generosity to improve and enhance the lives of those around them. The 18th annual Tribute to Unsung Heroes was held May 16 at the Zentz Building at Fellowship Community, Whitehall.
Dora M. Gensemer, of South Whitehall, is a Master Gardener and co-chairs the Peace Garden Ministry at Jordan United Church of Christ. She is also active with the church offering rides to those in need, organizing the Food for the Flock Ministry and caring for others.
Along with his wife, Robert F. Gensemer can be found hauling Food for the Flock donations or working in the Peace Garden. He is also a deacon and an elder at Jordon United Church of Christ.
Raymond and Elizabeth Phillips, of South Whitehall, both volunteer at Phoebe Ministries by teaching cooking classes, playing the organ at church services and transporting residents in wheelchairs to in-house appointments and therapy sessions.
Shirley A. Schleicher, of Orefield, has been a volunteer for Meals on Wheels for more than 16 years making over 3,000 deliveries.
She is also an active volunteer at Jordan Lutheran Church serving as Council Secretary and taking church members to medical appointments.
Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong opened the celebration by sharing a personal story demonstrating that age cannot stop a willing attitude. He emphasized that age does not need to prevent you from living your life and being active in the community.
Clayton Reed Jr., executive director of the Office of Aging and Adult Services, offered opening thoughts about the spirit and exuberance of the honorees.
“You are an inspiration to everyone,” he remarked as he lauded their efforts out in the community.
Lehigh County Commissioners Amy Zanelli and Marc Grammes presented the certificates to all the honorees.
The other honorees are Steven Aaronson, of Bethlehem; Jeanette M. Denton, of Whitehall; Janice H. Epler, of Allentown; Ronald E. Fluck, of Bethlehem; James E. Kerner, of Coopersburg; Carol A. Ritz, of Allentown; Gerald F. Royer, of Salisbury; Joseph C. Veshinfsky, of Catasauqua; and Richard H. Lamson, William G. DeLong and Ronald C. Paff, all of Allentown.
May has been designated as Older Americans Month since 1963. Honorees are local residents 60 years or older who dedicate their time and talent to helping others.
The Office of Aging and Adult Services advocates for Lehigh County residents and provides a wide range of services and information to help older adults remain healthy, active, independent and productive members of their community.