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Joyce Endee

Senior Citizens Council honored for community outreach

Plymouth Senior Center to be profiled on "Chronicle"

Pictured at the presentation at the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council annual meeting in Lebanon on April 4 are (left to right) Cathy Schmidt, President, Citizens Bank New Hampshire; Roberta Berner, Executive Director, Grafton County Senior Citizens Counci; Jim Varnum, President, Board of Directors, Grafton County Senior Citizens Council; and Deb Crowley, Public Service Director, WMUR-TV. (Courtesy) (click for larger version)
April 06, 2011
REGION — Citizens Bank New Hampshire and WMUR-TV have named the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council (GCSCC) as their 2011 second quarter Champion in Action® in the area of food and nutrition.

As part of the award, the GCSCC will receive a $25,000 grant, media coverage, and extensive promotional and volunteer support for its dedication and commitment to supporting the critical needs of senior adults.

"Citizens Bank is pleased to join WMUR-TV in naming the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council as its newest Champion in Action," said Cathleen A. Schmidt, President, Citizens Bank New Hampshire. "By providing financial, marketing, and volunteer support, we can assist our Champions in taking a big step forward in advancing their programs and services. The Grafton County Senior Citizens Council serves nearly half the senior adults living in Grafton County, and is among the major service providers for seniors in the state. We are proud to recognize their efforts in the community and help them continue to grow."

The Champions in Action program is designed to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to New Hampshire communities. A new Champion in Action is selected each quarter among a range of social service areas.

"Sharing in this initiative with Citizens Bank continues to be a source of great pride," said Jeff Bartlett, General Manager of WMUR-TV. "We are very pleased to help organizations across the state that demonstrate such a strong commitment to making a difference in the lives of so many New Hampshire residents. They truly are champions."

GCSCC provides two daily meal programs which allow seniors to maintain their independence without compromising their health. In 2010, GCSCC served 216,000 meals to seniors throughout Grafton County – serving 700 more people than the previous year. The community meal program offers seniors nutritious meals and social interaction at eight dining centers throughout Grafton County. GCSCC's home delivered meal program brings a meal right to their client's door.

"Nutritional meals and education are not only vital for our seniors' health, but also for their independence, dignity and pride," said Roberta Berner, executive director of the GCSCC. "Our services help to ease their minds by assuring them that their health, well being and ability to stay in their homes are of great importance."

For seniors who are homebound, this program provides them with nutritious food and a check on their safety and well being.

Most of the GCSCC's clients are over the age of 80, and have low to moderate incomes. To reduce the risk of these seniors having nutritionally insufficient diets, GCSCC offers their meal programs at a modest cost or free of charge. By raising 40 percent of its annual funding locally, the organization has been able to meet the increased demand for service and avoid a waiting list.

"We are honored to be recognized as a Champion in Action," said Berner. "This award will allow GCSCC continue to provide elderly residents throughout Grafton County with critical services to support their self sufficiency and well-being."

As a Champion in Action, the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council will receive:

• A $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Bank Foundation.

• Media coverage from WMUR-TV, including public service announcements and television profiles.

• Volunteer support from Citizens and WMUR-TV employees.

• Extensive public relations support.

• Promotional support, highlighting the current "Champion in Action" in all Citizens Bank branches and on its ATMs.

• Exposure on both the Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV Web sites.

In recognition of the award, WMUR-TV will feature GCSCC's nutrition services at the Plymouth Regional Senior Center through public service announcements, news coverage, and features on the news magazine "Chronicle" each month. The first "Chronicle" feature will be aired tomorrow evening, Friday, April 8.

For more information about the Champions in Action program, visit www.citizensbank.com/community/champions or www. WMUR.com. To learn more about the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council, visit www.gcscc.org or call 448-4897. The GCSCC is located at 10 Campbell St. in Lebanon, NH 03766.

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