Gregory’s Fresh Market is working to ensure that “No Senior Goes To Bed Hungry.”
Gregory’s Fresh Market is working to ensure that “No Senior Goes To Bed Hungry.”
In 2015, trumpeter, Dr. Jesse McGuire, began a new tradition for the Senior Awards Luncheon, i.e., playing of the National Anthem. His rendition was heartfelt and was especially poignant given the presence of the Archer-Ragsdale Arizona Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. We wanted the 2016 National Anthem performance to be just as special. A friend asked us to consider Doris Hudson to sing the Anthem. I thought it would be difficult for a non-musician to follow Dr. McGuire’s 2015 performance. However, I found myself once again stepping out on faith and not by sight and Doris Hudson was added to the program to perform the singing of the National Anthem. I am so thankful we did this. The moment Doris began to sing, a metamorphosis came over the room. It was as if we were transformed in time and place that gave rise to a feeling I had never experienced before. This was a special moment in the history of our event not unlike Whitney Houston’s performance in 1991 during Super Bowl XXV. Apparently, Doris Hudson is a classically trained singer and currently sings with the Praise and Worship Team at her local church. Thank you, Doris Hudson, for a great performance, we will always remember. Doris Hudson is the Service Coordinator at Sunnyslope Manor.
Gregory’s Fresh Market is excited to be selected along with Future Stars and Life Paradigms to receive a grant from the African American Women’s Giving and Empowerment Circle, a fund of the Arizona Community Foundation. The grant will enable Gregory’s Fresh Market to launch a new program called Grandparents Healthy Champions (GHC). The program empowers African American women by increasing their knowledge of chronic disease self-management and resources available to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Many grandparents are susceptible to becoming ill because they are so focused on caring for their grandchildren 24/7 that they neglect their own health. This can have a devastating effect on the children and the family. In grandparent-led households, 38% report that their health declined since taking care of their grandchildren. Gregory’s Fresh Market, a division of Diana Gregory Outreach Services has created an interactive 12-week program facilitated by a mobile farmers market, mobile health screening and preventative health education workshops for the grandparents at Grandfamilies Place of Phoenix. Each participant receives a weekly bag of produce and easy to prepare recipes.
The center for Disease and Control has issued several epidemics regarding health issues. The health consequences of obesity and lack of access to healthy choices include coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancers, high cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, and respiratory problems. Through the mobile health program, information will be provided to address health issues.
The Diana Gregory 2016 Senior Awards Luncheon was held on September 30th at the Camby Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. This was the fifth year for our awards ceremony and just when I thought we reached our peak last year, many were left saying we continue to get better year after year. For 2016, we made a few changes to keep our program fresh and to keep our attendees guessing a little. We added new award categories in the areas of Living Legacy, Health, Corporate Philanthropy, and Athlete of the Year. This allowed us to recognize 6 extraordinary seniors who transformed their communities by standing in service to the needs of others.
Mrs. White received the Living Legacy Award for her vision and hard work in creating Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Café, a staple in Arizona for over 50 years. During her acceptance speech, she talked about the overriding factor that motivated her to succeed in a tough competitive business – her children. Through her hard work and vision, Mrs. White was able to not only serve our community with great delicacies but to also educate her children to become successful in the world of academia and business. Due to her legacy, three restaurants have been opened and are owned by her grandson under the name of Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles and there are many franchises.
Dr. Leland Fairbanks received our award for his pioneering work to ban smoking in public places. Though it is very difficult for us to envision today, smoking was once prevalent in of all places, hospitals. This is where Dr. Fairbanks focused his initial efforts. Once he convinced the Native American Hospital System to ban smoking in its hospitals, other hospitals around the country took note and began to follow suit. “The key to change,” he said, “is to get someone to start an initiative. Once that happens, others will take note and follow suit,” he noted. Dr. Fairbanks also commented on the importance of diversity among medical professionals in minority communities.
Sue Glawe received the Corporate Philanthropy award. She is a stellar model for seniors serving in corporate America and each day, she emulates the culture at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, which focuses on improving quality of life.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was being presented to Alfredo Gutierrez. He is an author, immigration activist, former state senator and president of the Governing Board of Maricopa Community College.
The Honorable Cecil Patterson, a retired judge from the Arizona Court of Appeals, has shared his time, talents, and mentoring skill with countless community organizations, boards, and committees. He received the Dick Gregory Humanitarian award.
Our attendees were captivated by the story of 86-year-old nun, Sister Madonna Buder, who is the feature of a Nike commercial titled Unlimited Youth which aired during the luncheon. The commercial chronicled Sister Buder’s participation in more than 45 triathlons and countless marathons and races. When Susan Casper asked what makes you do what you do during her Sonoran Living segment earlier in the day, Sister Buder replied, “I don’t know, I just do it,” as if wired into a Nike commercial. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as Sister Buder is more committed to the work with the prisons and others as part of her religious order in Spokane, Washington.Upon receiving our “Athlete of the Year” award, Sister Buder quipped “the only thing I have truly succeeded in doing, is growing old.”
We added a fashion show moderated by Kay Oliver and produced by A Joyous Event Planning & Management. The models for the show were seniors, some of whom had been honored at previous awards luncheons. Vickie Moe, at age 104, strutted across the stage with an ease that those a century her junior would envy. Dr. Gladys McGarey, Dr. Josephine Pete, Barbara Atkins, L. Elaine Neal, and Wilma Osborne were also featured and were recognized with an award for their outstanding work in the community. The contemporary clothing for the fashion show was provided by Worth New York which wowed the audience almost as much as the special models.
This event is a reminder to the seniors participating that you are never too old to go beyond their natural age. This event is most impactful and meaningful for many seniors sitting in luncheon who share in the pride that they have contributed so much over the years and continue doing, as if to say “so, see us, value us and love us.”
Sponsors for the luncheon include: ONECare by Care1st Health Plan Arizona, Inc.; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Southwest Airlines; Cox Communications Inc., Henkel, Phoenix IDA, Arizona Foundation for Women; AARP, Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona Public Service, Carstens Family Funds, Arizonans Concerned About Smoking, Arizona Informant, and Majerle’s Sports Grill.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is fast becoming a key part of our annual awards luncheon. Last year’s Community Collaboration Award recipient was the AARP’s Lester Strong. He is followed this year by Elaine Ryan, AARP’s Vice-President of State Advocacy and Strategy Integration (SASI) in its Government Affairs group. Elaine’s record of accomplishment has been stellar. She has been involved in the enactment and implementation of such important laws as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Medicare Modernization Act, the Ticket to Work Act for persons with disabilities, the McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth and the creation of the first federal office of Women’s Health Research. In addition, Elaine was instrumental in pushing through the AARP’s Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act. Under this law, before a hospital can release a patient, it must first identify a family caregiver and educate them of the medical tasks necessary to properly care for the patient at home. At least thirty-three states already have approved a CARE Act, including California, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey.
During the luncheon, Elaine Ryan spoke about her own experiences as an unofficial caregiver for her ailing parents. She described how she had to travel every other weekend from Washington to upstate NY to prepare meals and dispense medicine. During her speech, she also reminded us of the indefatigable human spirit when she told us the time her father first became a homeowner – at age 83. He lived in that house for 9 years until he died. She also talked about before the advent of the mechanical lift and how her father once jerry-rigged a device to lift his wife from her wheelchair to the bed.
At AARP, Elaine focuses on a 50-state effort to pass legislation and regulations to help family caregivers (the majority of whom are unpaid) fill the big gaps found in the U.S. long-term health care system. One study shows that 90 percent of long-term care in the United States is provided by family caregivers.
To help bridge that gap, Ryan’s group works on a broad range of legislation that includes bills that will give nurses more authority to provide care, including writing prescriptions. This bill will save time and money spent on unnecessary doctor visits. Other bills would broaden access to respite care, sick leave, and job protection for workers who are forced to take time off from work to care for a loved one.
Once again we salute Elaine Ryan for her lifetime of service and achievement in health advocacy. It is with great pleasure and honor that we recognize Elaine Ryan as our 2016 recipient of the Diana Gregory Outreach Services Community Collaboration Award.
I am inspired by Sister Madonna Buder’s commitment and dedication to physical fitness, health, and nutrition. She is a champion for seniors and she “walks the talk”.
What she has been able to accomplish in her extraordinary life has been exceptional. Sister Madonna Buder has been selected to receive the Athlete of the Year Award at the 5th Annual Senior Awards Luncheon. She will share her journey and speak on healthy aging. She is an inspiration for seniors to keep moving.
For more information, click on the link below.
“I’ve learned other life lessons along the way, but the ones that I’d look back and tell my twenty-something self now are: It’s not what you say, it’s what you do; don’t pay attention to how old you are, only focus on how old you feel; and be patient — one of my worst enemies is patience, I’m still trying to fine-tune it so that I’m able to stop and smell the roses.”
For many people, the holidays are a time of great expectations – much anticipated visits with friends and family traveling back home for the season; surprise gifts received from family and friends. For others, however, the holidays can be a time of intense loneliness, magnified even more when compared with the backdrop of seemingly non-stop festivities and parties enjoyed by everyone else. For these people, the greatest gift they can receive is that of friendship — a comforting hand, a reassuring voice, a friendly face.
This year, Gregory’s Fresh Market, a division of Diana Gregory Outreach Services, once again recruited volunteers and sponsors to bring healthy food and friendship to seniors living in the greater Phoenix area through its fifth annual “Gift of Nutrition” program. In the program, seniors receive fresh fruits and vegetables delivered by volunteers who also spend time with them, offering companionship, entertainment and holiday greetings.
“The holidays can be a tough and lonely time, especially for seniors,”” said Diana Gregory, president and founder of Gregory’s Fresh Market. “We are so grateful to the volunteers who give their time to visit the seniors and to the sponsors who have enabled us to reach more than 7,000 seniors since we started Gift of Nutrition.”
This year, the Gift of Nutrition program ran from November 16 to December 23 and reached more than 20 senior locations in the Greater Phoenix area. In addition to healthy food and visitations, seniors also were treated to musical entertainment from Living Spirit, a singing group of ministers who perform spirit filled music, and from local singer Ivan Thompson.
Added Gregory: “I want to say a special thank you to Angela Curley and the volunteers from the Henkel Corporation for their community service and donation, to ONECare by Care1st Health Plan Arizona Inc., the presenting sponsor of the Gift of Nutrition holiday program, and to the other supporters who generously partnered with us to expand healthy eating options to more seniors in the Greater Phoenix area.”
Proceeds from the 4th Annual Senior Awards Luncheon help fund the holiday program. The luncheon sponsors are Presenting Sponsor, ONECare by Care1st Health Plan Arizona Inc., Southwest Airlines, Walgreens, Henkel, Southwest Gas Corporation, Cox, Arizona Foundation for Women, Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus- Pine Council Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Majerle’s Sports Grill and the Arizona Informant.
Diana Gregory Outreach Services is committed to fulfilling its mission to improve the lives of seniors in the Greater Phoenix area through healthy eating choices.
Since founding Gregory’s Fresh Market 6 years ago, an outreach organization where we enrich lives for seniors, I have learned so much from spending time with seniors, centenarians and super centenarians. Here are a few lessons.
I met Ernestine Shepherd in September 2014. She is 79 years young. I learned from her that It’s Never Too Late to do whatever you desire in life. Never say or think that you are “too old” to do anything. Ernestine was declared the World’s Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010. She did not begin working out until she was 56. She has run nine marathons. Her mantra is “Determined, Dedicated, and Disciplined – To be fit for life.”
In September 2015, I met Tao Porchon Lynch. She is 97 and is the Guinness World Records oldest yoga teacher. She began ballroom dancing in her 80’s and was featured in June 2015 with her 26 year old partner on America’s Got Talent. During our conversation, Tao shared with me that aging begins in the hands and the feet. It’s important to exercise your hands and feet daily. Her mantra is “there is nothing we cannot do if we harness the power within us.”
Ms. Vicky Moe and I met four years ago at Beatitudes Campus. She is 103 years old and encourages everyone to maintain a positive attitude. Negative thoughts decay your mind. When a negative thought comes up,replace it with a joke or something positive. Avoid spending time with people who complain about how old they feel. They will make you feel old too. Instead, surround yourself with people who feel and act young, both inside and out. Be patient, forgiving and endearing. Keep moving. Exercise daily, even if it’s only walking. She takes a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Google the benefits of extra virgin oil and you will be amazed at what you will learn.
I have known Mr. Bernando LaPallo, super centenarian and 114 years old for four years. How does his skin remain smooth? He rubs his skin with extra virgin oil daily. It works. Try it for a week. Mr. LaPallo encourages everyone to do whatever you want, but with a degree of moderation. Watch this video and hear more lessons that I learned from Mr. LaPallo.
I learned all that I know about juicing from my dad, the Juice King. My dad is a 20 year cancer survivor. He has maintained a daily regiment of vegetable and fruit juices over the last 30 years.
I learned about serving others and volunteering from my uncle Dick Gregory and the many seniors I have met that are doing exceptional volunteer work. Throughout Dick Gregory’s life, he has been committed to helping others.
Hundreds of community supporters filled the ballroom of the Arizona Biltmore Resort to honor and celebrate individuals who are thriving in their twilight years. The Fourth Annual Senior Awards were held on Friday, Sept. 25. Susan Casper, Host of Sonoran Living Live, ABC15 was the emcee. Gregory’s Fresh Market presents this annual event because the holidays can be a lonely time for some seniors. Proceeds from the luncheon provide bags of fresh fruits and vegetables to over 2,000 seniors during the holidays. This year’s sponsors were presenting sponsor ONECare by Care1st Health Plan Arizona, Inc., Southwest Airlines, Walgreens, Southwest Gas, Cox, Henkel, Arizona Foundation for Women, Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Majerle’s Sports Grill and the Arizona Informant.
“All of our honorees have blazed trails and have truly transformed lives through their service to others,” said Diana Gregory, founder of Gregory’s Fresh Market and the annual Senior Awards program. “By gracing us with their presence and their stories, they delight and inspire us all over again – transcending time, space and generations.” “Thank you to everyone that contributed to making the event successful.”
This year, four centenarians were celebrated. They were Clara Bloom (100), Hilda Jones (102), Vicky Moe (103) and supercentenarian and author Bernando LaPallo (114).
The Senior Volunteer Award is given to those individuals who have made significant contributions to their communities and devote time and energy to improve the quality of life for others. This year’s recipients were James Soudriette and Helen Lou Woody.
Lester Strong, Vice President of External Affairs and Experience Corps spoke about the importance of the program. Experience Corps is a program of AARP Foundation which tutors and mentors elementary school children (K-3) who struggle with reading by utilizing the skills and experiences of adults 50 and over. Experience Corps serves 32,000 students in 23 cities. Strong received the Community Collaboration Award.
Senior Coordinator Awards were presented to Amy McWilliams, Gabriela Razo and Brenda Taylor. This award recognizes the honorees’ excellent work in meeting the social service needs of seniors and assisting them with maintaining their independence as long as possible.
The following awards were nominated by leaders in the community based on alignment with Gregory’s Fresh Market mission and selected by a panel of judges.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Dr. Pearl Tang. Dr. Tang is a leader, advocate and champion for women and children’s health and welfare. She participates in many programs and carries on the legacy of her late husband, the Honorable Judge Thomas Tang of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Dick Gregory Humanitarian Award was given to the Archer-Ragsdale Arizona Chapter Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. The Tuskegee Airmen had a crucial role in demolishing the barriers to progress for all minorities in America. The chapter carries on the legacy through many local and national community programs.
The Outstanding Fitness Award was presented to Tao Porchon-Lynch. At 97, she is the oldest yoga teacher by Guinness World Records. She is also a ballroom dancer and activist. Tao is a living advertisement for how to tap into our human potential. She is unique in her ability to overcome the effects of aging by controlling her body and mind in harmony with Yoga’s principles.
Each year, Gregory’s Fresh Market enriches the lives of more than 6,000 Arizona seniors through its on-site farmers market program, nutrition education, delivery of fresh produce for health and wellness workshops, and provides the gift of health and nutrition during the holidays where seniors receive bags of fresh fruits and vegetables. Gregory’s Fresh Market is a division of Diana Gregory Outreach Services.
4th Annual Senior Awards Friday, September 25, 2015 at the Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ninety seven year old Tao Porchon-Lynch has set the world on fire and has been covered by media around the globe from CNN, NBC and CBS to BBC, AlJazeera and India Times. Her YouTube videos have garnered almost 1 million views and counting! Since she started dancing competitively at the age of 87, she has won over 600 first-place awards. On top of that, she marched with Mahatma Gandhi – twice. Master Yoga Teacher, former model/actress/producer, award-winning dancer, lifelong activist and wine connoisseur… be inspired by her words, her presence and her footwork.