Island residents Mary Malavase and Jim Richard have been named the Nantucket Seniors of the Year by the the Nantucket Council on Aging.
The award annually recognizes volunteerism by seniors who are active and involved in the community at large. Since 2004, one man and one woman have been recognized.
Island realtor Mary Malavase has been a volunteer for a long list of island organizations. As a member and past president of the Nantucket Garden Club, she has organized the annual Daffodil Show for many years. She served on the board of the Nantucket Historical Association and has steered its annual Festival of Trees. She is also a past president of the Chamber of Commerce and was chair of its Visitor Services Advisory Committee.
Jim Richard, an island resident since the age of seven, returned home in 1975 after serving in the Marine Corps. While still working full-time, he started many programs supporting island veterans and showcasing their contributions, including leading efforts for the VFW and American Legion. He also served on the board of The Homestead and is a long-time board member of the Nantucket Center for Elder Affairs (NCEA), also known as Friends of Nantucket Seniors.
A total of 23 nominations were received this year for 12 men and 11 women.
A celebration luncheon honoring this year’s Seniors of the Year, along with all senior volunteers, is scheduled for Thursday, June 22, at Faregrounds restaurant. In addition to some 100 friends and family, it is attended by town and state government officials. The luncheon is sponsored by the NCEA/Friends of Nantucket Seniors.
Criteria for the award:
- Must be 60 or older
- Enthusiastically involved in the community
- A role model for peers
- Representative of all the outstanding seniors on our island
- Exemplify the “spirit of positive aging”
- Cheerfully willing to help others
- Cannot be a paid of employee of a senior center, Council on Aging or Elder Services of Cape Cod and the Islands