Lt. Governor Andre Bauer presented the Outstanding Older South Carolinians Award to Norma Curtis of McCormick. The award is given annually through the Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging.
Curtis is a member and chair emeritus of the South Carolina Advisory Council on Aging, and serves on the Lt. Governor’s Commission for Aging Research and Evaluation. Curtis served as one of the state’s delegates to the National White House Conference on Aging. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer introduced her during a ceremony at the statehouse Thursday, saying that she had spent more than 20 years driving a van so that local seniors could get to the McCormick Senior Citizen Center.
Curtis, in her acceptance speech, took the time to acknowledge her husband: “He was in the Navy and he promised me that if I stayed with him and followed him around in his Navy career that he would follow me when he retired. So we’ve spent the last 30 years going around the state to all these events, and I thank him.”
For eight years, Curtis directed the McCormick County Senior Center Board of Directors. She also chaired the AAA Advisory Board for the Upper Savannah Council on Governments and served on the planning committee for the Senior Sports Classic.
Bauer points out that South Carolina is now fifth in the United States for in-migration by senior citizens.
Also Thursday, the Lt. Governor awarded Eileen Hayward of the Salem community near Seneca, with the state’s Network Volunteer Service Award. Bauer says Hayward worked to increase the number of geriatric physicians in South Carolina by 15 physicians over four years.
Bauer says that hard working citizens are a tremendous resource because they are full of ideas to fix problems where they see them. He said Hayward was one of the first proponents on the Geriatric Loan Forgiveness Program, which was enacted by the General Assembly five years ago. Since then a series of loans has addressed a national shortage of geriatrician specialists by providing incentives for physicians to locate in South Carolina to treat senior patients.
Hayward has also been working with an attorney to file lawsuits on the part of elderly customers who slip and fall in grocery stores–so that they can receive assistance to help them with medical bills. She also organized an effort in her community where senior citizens offer rides to their frail peers. Haywood also served on the South Carolina Aging Advisory Council and the Silver Haired Legislature, and was a delegate to the 2005 National White House Conference on Aging.
Also Thursday, the Lt. Governor recognized the volunteer efforts of the teenage group calling themselves “Thrill,” a Lexington County group that tries to “do good” all over the state. “Thrill” stands for Teen Home Schoolers Radically Impacting the Lives of Lexington County. The group raised money for the local senior citizens’ center. They have helped with Senior Olympics and have held numerous parties for seniors groups.
As a part of the annual Office On Aging awards, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer gave special recognition to Newberry County resident Margaret Brackett. Over the past 17 years she has had a community talk show on WKDK radio.