About Us

Since our inception, the Celebrating Seniors Coalition has been passionate about dispelling outdated and inaccurate myths about what it is to be a senior in our society. These friends and neighbors are not ‘past their prime.’ What the coalition sees—and what we provide a forum for all to see—are active, engaged and accomplished men and women who continue to play key roles in the life of our community.

Learn about some of our key volunteers.

Dr. Jim Flanagan

Dr. Jim Flanagan

The founder of Celebrating Seniors, Jim has chaired the Oak Park/River Forest Township Senior Services Committee since 2008. A nationally recognized expert on financial issues impacting older adults, he is also the author of “Packing for Retirement: A Practical Guide to Prepare for Retirement at Any Age.”

Learn more about Jim.

Dr. Lydia Manning

Dr. Lydia Manning

A Professor of Gerontology and Program Faculty Leader for Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago, Lydia has been a faculty member on the River Forest campus since 2013. A social gerontologist, she investigates complex and pressing issues and problems related to aging, health, and well-being through independent research that integrates the perspectives and methodologies of gerontology, sociology, and women’s studies.

Learn more about Lydia.

Pat Koko

Pat Koko

A volunteer extraordinaire, Pat has been a tireless booster of Celebrating Seniors from its start. Among other activities, she has been instrumental in attracting advertisers and sponsors through endeavors such as the annual Resource Guide. In addition, Pat has been an influential Celebrating Seniors ambassador and liaison with a variety of organizations throughout the community. She and her husband, Paul, reside in Oak Park.

Learn more about Pat.

Richard Harrison

Richard Harrison

Richard has been one of the most dedicated Coalition volunteers for many years. Among other roles that he has served, he has been chairman of the BlazeATrail 5K Run/Walk. Richard and his wife, Tia have three grown children and are owners of a Home Instead Senior Care franchise based in Oak Park.

Learn more about Richard.

Nick Preys

Nick Preys

Nick has been a Coalition volunteer since 2013 and chaired the “Celebrating Seniors 60 Over 60” Committee for several years. A lifelong Oak Park resident, Nick owns and manages Synergy Homecare of Oak Park.

Learn more about Nick.

Tool Kit

Interested in launching a Celebrating Seniors initiative in your community? We are pleased to provide this blueprint, based on our decade of experience, to help you emulate the model we have trailblazed. First unveiled at the American Society on Aging’s “Aging in America 2016” conference, the Celebrating Seniors Tool Kit covers the gamut of facets necessary to create a successful, sustainable program.

We offer the Tool Kit at no charge. To download the Celebrating Seniors Tool Kit, click here.

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