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Orland Twp. seniors program earns honor

Updated: January 24, 2013 6:07AM



Orland Township was recently awarded the Illinois Township Association of Senior Citizens Services Committee’s 2012 Innovative Program of the Year award in recognition of the township’s “Dancing with the Senior Stars” event.

After a nomination was submitted by Orland Township Youth & Family Services clinical director Kathy Passafiume, Orland Township was chosen as the recipient of the award, which is given in acknowledgement of outstanding commitment to meeting the needs of seniors within the community. Passafiume conveyed the idea that “Dancing with the Senior Stars” specifically encompassed the mission of the Orland Township Senior Services department: to help the seniors of the community remain active and healthy while maintaining independent lives through various supportive services and programs, promoting the maintenance and improvement of their overall health and well-being.

The event, the idea of Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady, was organized by Orland Township Senior Services coordinator Marie Ryan, who worked closely with the dancers, judges and musical performers to ensure a successful event. Ryan was also responsible for conducting an initial audition, which narrowed the dance field in the final competition to the top six competitors.

The evening’s festivities served not only as an entertainment avenue for the community’s seniors but also as a fundraiser for the Orland Township Scholarship Foundation, allowing the seniors an opportunity to assist the next generation in their educational goals while also enjoying an active night out.

The Orland Township Scholarship Foundation annually awards scholarships to a select group of well-rounded township students who have academically excelled throughout their high school careers, participating in a variety of extracurricular activities and displaying a dedication to community service and leadership.

With the added contributions provided by supporters of “Dancing with the Senior Stars”, the foundation will once again award over 20 high-achieving township students with financial assistance next May.

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