2016 Outstanding Older Americans Awards Announced
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2016 Outstanding Older Americans Awards Announced

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WAILUKU, Maui, Hawai`i – (RealEstateRama) — The County of Maui Dept. of Housing and Human Concerns, Office on Aging, announced the winners of Maui County’s 48th Annual Outstanding Older American Male and Female of Maui County. The awards program was held on Friday, May 13 at the Kahili Golf Course’s Nahele Ballroom in Waikapu to recognize Maui County elders for their extraordinary efforts and contributions to society. This year’s winners were John Tryggestad and Kathleen Phillips.

John Tryggestad is dedicated to beautifying South Maui beaches through his volunteer work with Hoaloha Aina and continues to provide invaluable support to the Maui Nui Seabird Project by helping to track the Hwawaiian Wedge-Tailed Shearwater birds. He is also affiliated with the Maui Friends of the Library (MFOL) where he assists with the recycling of books. With John’s dedication, planning, and hard work, the money that was raised by selling over 200,000 books has been used to assist 8 county libraries and to help the MFOL purchase a new state of the art bookmobile that will serve Maui. The bookmobile, which cost around $300,000, was purchased solely from the proceeds of book sales and donations made to the MFOL. In his spare time, John enjoys traveling, reading, playing bridge, and attending musicals and plays. A friend once asked John why he likes to volunteer so much, and his response was that he cares and just wants to make a difference.

Kathleen Phillips is a full time caregiver and continues to be a very active member in her community. Over the past 30 years, Kathleen has been involved with several organizations on Maui, which include the AARP Kula Chapter, AARP Hawaii, Na Hoaloha, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and St. Joseph’s Church to name a few. According to her friends at the AARP Kula Chapter, Kathleen inspires others to “do more, be more, and to serve others to the best of their ability”. She is also known for her dedication, persistence, and dependability to her family and others. When Kathleen finds a moment to herself, she enjoys dancing the hula, reading, spending time with her husband and decorating her home and the AARP meeting room with a selected theme for each month.

MCOA also congratulates and honors the nominees for Outstanding Older Americans Awards for their dedication and service to the community and family: Henry Allen of Lahaina and Penny Davis of Wailuku for receiving the Spirit of Aloha Award; Marie Carvalho of Wailuku for receiving the Caregiver of the Year Award; Jacqueline Woolsey of Lanai, for receiving the Community Volunteer of the Year Award; Miriam Katz of Wailuku, for receiving the Intergenerational Award of the Year; and Yaemi Yogi of Kahului, who received the Most Adventurous Kupuna and Volunteer of the Year Award.

Every year since 1968, older adults in Maui County have been celebrated for their contributions and achievements. This coincides with the national recognition of Older Americans Month, which honors older Americans for their significant contributions to communities across the nation. This year, the theme “Blaze a Trail” was chosen by the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) to focus national awareness on issues facing older adults, and highlight the way older Americans are advocating for themselves, their peers and their communities.

Wendell Crockett was the first Maui County recipient of the prestigious Outstanding Older Americans award in 1968. Last year’s awardees were Donald Jensen of Kihei and Katsuko Enoki of Pukalani. To date, 50 older adult volunteers have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to Maui County.

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