Throughout our history, the Celebrating Seniors Coalition has made headlines as we recognize, celebrate, and support older adults in Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park. Below is a sampling of some of those stories.
Celebrating Seniors Media Coverage 2015

May 27, 2015: Folksy & Spirited, Aging Expert Dr. Bob Atchley Keynotes Closing Luncheon for Celebrating Seniors Week

Consisting of a weeklong series of nearly 50 events in the three communities, Celebrating Seniors Week raised money for seniors in need while honoring and celebrating those who are 60-plus years old through educational and entertainment activities.

Poetically, Atchley’s performance teacher in Colorado when he revived a folk-singing career a decade ago was Rebecca Folsom, another presenter during Celebrating Seniors Week who wowed an audience at the Oak Park Public Library.

Atchley interspersed original songs like “We’re Awake,” “Searching for Soul,” “Pay Close Attention” and “Ms. Dynamite” with principles delivered by spoken word. Since 2008, he has written 50 songs and recorded more than 30 with insights drawn from his 75 years of life and half-century in the study of gerontology.



May 3, 2015: “Celebrating Seniors” on Aging Info Radio AM 560WIND

Aging Info Radio host Sue-Z-Zawacki has worked in the aging and elder care industry for 17 years. Her direct contact with seniors and families through her work in the insurance industry focusing on long term care and Medicare policies made her aware of the issues that adult children of aging parents face when trying to find the right resources to assist their aging loved ones.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy designated May as “Senior Citizens Month”, which later was renamed as “Older Americans Month”. May is the month to celebrate older Americans for their contributions to their community and nation. Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park, Illinois have taken it up a notch with “Celebrating Seniors. Days start early and end late. They are filled with entertainment, food, hobbies, educational seminars, resources and more provided by the community and volunteers. Another unique event is the “Sixty over Sixty Club”. Sixty senior citizens over 60 years young are chosen for being extraordinary while making a difference. With centenarians being the fastest growing segment of our population, it is fair to say, the “One Hundred over One Hundred Club” may not be that far away, which is a beautiful thing!



April 27, 2015: “Celebrating Seniors Spotlight: Q & A with Steven Loring, Filmmaker of “The Age of Love”

Free screening of documentary is May 14th; shatters stereotypes and links generations with look at our search for love when we’re older.

Spurred by his own family’s journey, New York-based documentary filmmaker Steven Loring began work on the film in 2011. The documentary chronicles the humorous and poignant adventures of 30 older adults who sign up for a first-of-its-kind Speed Dating event for the 70-plus set.

Breaking stereotypes and linking generations, the film takes a much-needed step in redefining the true hearts and desires of our booming senior population.



April 27, 2015: “Celebrating Seniors Keynote: Aging Expert Dr. Bob Atchley to Speak & Sing on May 21st” in the Chicago Tribune

Dr. Bob Atchley, who for nearly 25 years was the Director of the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, will complement his spoken points via his folk music delivery at the Koehneke Community Center, 7400 Augusta St.

“People process prose content one way and they process music a different way,” he said. “If you can come at the content from a more poetic or musical slant, that is a little different way of looking at the same material in conceptual terms.” “We often think of service as a role people play or a position they have in an organization, rather than in heart terms,” said Atchley. “But people often find that the experience of doing service is heart-warming.” “If you really study it, you find that going as far back as the ancient world, service is a very time-tested path to spiritual growth,” he added. “That’s where I’m coming from.”



April 15, 2015: “5th Annual Celebrating Seniors Week Begins May 14th In Oak Park, River Forest & Forest Park ” in the Chicago Tribune

Ushering in the week is an event that honors the 2015 “60 Over 60” Class, the largest-ever grouping of selections-80 in all-who have left a vibrant mark on the three communities.

Since its inception, the Celebrating Seniors Coalition has matured with each series of educational and entertaining events held throughout Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park.

In mid-May, the 5th Annual Celebrating Seniors Week will feature a wide-ranging assortment of about 50 such events, including the first-ever “Calling All Collectors” fundraiser, at least a few sightings of an Elvis Presley impersonator, and a closing luncheon keynoted by a nationally renowned gerontologist who will perform folk songs under the thematic banner of “The Spirit of Service.”



Celebrating Seniors Media Coverage 2014

April 15, 2014: “4th Annual Celebrating Seniors Week Begins May 15th In Oak Park, River Forest & Forest Park ” in the Chicago Tribune

The celebration of the young-however and whatever numbers you may use to define-barrages our senses daily.

In advertising and other forms of media, it’s clear that American society often worships at the altar of youth-including billions spent trying to look or feel young. Against that backdrop, a group of Oak Park-area volunteers has built a movement that celebrates an often-overlooked part of our population: seniors, a group that they define as anyone 60 years of age or older.

60 over 60