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Outstanding older Americans honoredJune 22, 2014
Ken Anderson is the lead volunteer coordinator for the computer lab at the Grapevine Senior Activities Center, where he has taught hundreds of older people how to use computers over the last 12 years.
Rosa Alvarado Gonzalez is known as “the heart and soul” of the North Richland Hills Social Transportation for Seniors project, which provides rides for older adults to grocery stores, banks, senior centers, churches, hair salons, barber shops and other places of social importance.
The Area Agency on Aging of Tarrant County honored Anderson and Gonzalez for their volunteer work at a reception at The Stayton at Museum Way celebrating May as Older Americans Month.
Anderson, 75, was voted Tarrant County’s Outstanding Older American, and Gonzalez, 52, was named Outstanding Advocate for Older Americans.
Volunteers were nominated by social service agencies, civic and church organizations and business leaders. Other nominees included Alene Washington for outstanding advocate and Rosa Arroyo, Kay Blanding, Adell Campbell, Ernest Paul Doclar, David Killen, Richard Kirk, Mrs. Tommie Moon and Vicky Otterman for outstanding older American.
Gonzalez, who works full time as an international purser for American Airlines, recruits volunteer drivers, schedules rides for all her “clients,” finds money for gas and often drives herself when an emergency replacement is necessary. She also arranges insurance and thank-you luncheons for drivers and does whatever is needed to get seniors where they need to go for “quality-of-life activities” in and around North Richland Hills, according to the nominating committee.
Anderson, who retired from IBM in 1999, helped create and serves as president of Friends of the Grapevine Senior Activities Center, a corporation formed to receive tax-deductible gifts and write grant requests to support the Grapevine Senior Activities Center.
Chair exercise equipment, kitchen equipment, computer software and hardware, a pingpong table, a pool table and a display case to show off members’ arts and crafts are among his purchases.
At First Baptist Church of Euless, Anderson is involved in prayer ministry, missionary support programs and a Grief Share Program. He also teaches adult Sunday school classes.