The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) was honored to be presented the 22nd Sterling Friendship Award at a gala event held on September 27 in Chicago. CEO Marc T. Riker was on hand to accept the award.
The Sterling Friendship Award annually honors an individual or group making an extraordinary impact on their community while embodying the highest ideals of aging with grace. The event raised money for the Friendship Senior Options Foundation, which fosters philanthropic giving and volunteer service opportunities.
Notable previous recipients of this award include Dr. Joyce Brothers, Willard Scott, Art Linkletter and AARP. Last year’s recipient was Dr. Robin Stone, a noted researcher and leading authority on aging and long-term policy for LeadingAge LTSS Center at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
“NSGA is very appreciative to be recognized alongside these other champions for positive aging,” Riker told the gathering. “We believe our athletes are some of the best examples to show others how to get the most out of life. A big part of that is to just keep moving, but it’s also being mentally and socially active. Senior Games provides fitness, fun and fellowship, and our mission is to encourage all older Americans to find something they enjoy and not stop doing it, whether it’s with us or in some other active pursuit.”
Riker brought along 77-year-old pickleball and track athlete Margaret Olawoye as a local example of the benefits that come from a healthy, active lifestyle. Olawoye, known for both her competitiveness and positive, encouraging spirit, has competed in three National Senior Games and was selected as a 2017 Humana Game Changer. The retired teacher is also an inductee to the 16” Softball Hall of Fame.
The Friendship Senior Options Foundation is aligned with Friendship Senior Options, which operates two highly rated Chicago area senior living facilities and is regarded for 40 years of innovation on the continuing care retirement community model.