Wasilla volunteer honored as Salute to Senior Service winner

An 85-year-old Wasilla woman has been honored as the Alaska winner of the Home Instead Senior Care network's "Salute to Senior Service" award.

Gene Chapedos is being recognized for her dedicated community service, including her work at the Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. campus (WASI). Regardless of the weather, Chapedos walks the quarter mile outdoors to get from her apartment to the center. She has been an integral part of WASI life since 2007, starting out at the front counter and then moving to the coffee counter and library. She is considered more than a valuable worker, but a beloved friend to all.

As one of 50 state winners, Chapedos earned $500 for her charity of choice, donated by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network and contest sponsor. Chapedos also will have a spot on the Salute to Senior Service Wall of Fame on SalutetoSeniorService.com where her nomination story has been posted.

"Gene represents so well the dedication and commitment that make senior volunteers such a value to their communities," said Jeff Huber, president of Home Instead, Inc. "She has proven once again that age is meaningless when it comes to making a difference. So many charities, nonprofit organizations and faith communities could not do the work they are doing without selfless volunteers such as Gene.

The results of a Marist poll sponsored by Home Instead, Inc. indicate that

62 percent of seniors age 68 and over volunteered their time in the last year, with 13 percent of those reporting that they volunteer in order to stay active.

"It's important for seniors to remain active and engaged as they age," Huber said. "However, it is possible for frail or isolated seniors to give back to their communities as well. The Salute to Senior Service program includes free 'give back' activity resource sheets with ideas to help seniors who are home-bound or have limited mobility continue to contribute to their communities through volunteerism."

For more information about the Home Instead Senior Care network's Salute to Senior Service program or to download the "give back" resource sheets, visit SalutetoSeniorService.com.