MADISON, TN — On March 10, the fictional FiftyForward Madison Station train took its longest journey yet, to Hawaii. Emceed by Lelan Statom, NewsChannel 5 meteorologist and co-host of Talk of the Town, guests were entertained by the Ukedelics during the cocktail hour and got a taste of island life as they supported and learned about the work FiftyForward does to support older adults in the community.
A special treat at this year’s event came from individuals in the FiftyForward Madison Station member community. Two FiftyForward Madison Station center members (Alfred St. Aubin and Mary Taylor) surprised everyone by wearing authentic Hawaiian attire. Perhaps the most memorable statement of the evening came from member extraordinaire Kate Joy when she said how great it was to be gathered in person after the COVID-19 shutdowns. She wowed the audience by saying, “I want to thank the staff, the volunteers, and the people who are here every day that make it worth continuing to live.”
FiftyForward Madison Station Center Director Brandy Lamb said, “We are grateful for the continued support, especially from the Madison community. It meant so much to gather in person this year to celebrate FiftyForward’s commitment to serving older adults. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year for our Whistlestop ‘train’ stop in New York City.”
Following the evening’s dinner and presentations to highlight the center’s accomplishments over the past year, the following awards were presented.
Member of the Year Award 2022 was given to Kate Joy. This award is given to an active member who, over the past year, demonstrated consistent involvement, participation, leadership, and/or service to FiftyForward Madison Station and its members. Her commitment to helping others and her genuine care for others is tangible. From knitting caps for newborns to checking on peer members when they are not well or at the center, she demonstrates a heart for the entire community. When accepting the award, Joy’s comments about giving members a reason to continue living left few dry eyes in the audience.
“Live Like Gilda” Community Service Award 2022 was given to Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia. The award commemorates the life and service of Gilda York, a longtime friend, and supporter of countless communities, including Madison and FiftyForward. MTSA has supported Whistlestop for the past 5 years and worked with FiftyForward Fresh, our meal delivery service, to assemble emergency food bags that are distributed to older adults experiencing food insecurity. President of Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia Dr. Chris Hulin accepted the award which is presented in recognition of an individual or organization making a difference through community service. Hulin fondly recalled his time working with Gilda York and expressed great gratitude for the recognition of his team and their call to serve the community.
Conductor of the Year Award 2022 is awarded to the candidate who raises the most donations while representing one of Madison’s civic organizations. Councilmember Tonya Hancock representing the Kiwanis Club of Madison took home this year’s accolade besting Chuck Harter (Madison-Goodlettsville Rotary Club) and Curtis Gardner (Madison-Rivergate Area Chamber of Commerce) for donations from the community.
All Whistlestop efforts benefit the FiftyForward Madison Station center and its diverse community of nearly 500 members. Through the center, members gain access to vital services, including transportation, legal advocacy, tax aide, and other important resources. The center also offers daily programming ranging from art, music, and group fitness classes to special events, volunteer opportunities, and more. Studies have shown that isolation is the biggest threat to the health and well- being of older adults. FiftyForward centers have a profound impact on members by increasing their engagement and quality of life. (For a sneak peek of FiftyForward Madison Station and how older adults benefit from engagement, visit https://bit.ly/3HbdyROFiftyForward).
Sponsors of this year’s Whistlestop include: Clover Health, Creekside Center for Rehabilitation & Healing, Dollar General, Garden Fresh Food Market, Kiewit, Memorial Foundation, and TriStar Skyline Medical Center.
Established in 1956, FiftyForward supports, champions and enhances life for those 50 and older. As a nonprofit serving Middle Tennessee, FiftyForward operates seven lifelong learning centers – two in Williamson County and five in Davidson County – offering classes including health and wellness, arts, technology; virtual programming and engaging volunteer opportunities.
FiftyForward also provides comprehensive supportive care for older adults including essential services such as FiftyForward Adult Day Services, FiftyForward Fresh/Meals on Wheels, and care management. Learn more at www.fiftyforward.org and by following us @FiftyForward on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.