Government Maplewood South Orange

South Orange, Maplewood Get $75K to Continue Age Friendly Initiatives, Receive AARP NJ Designation

Left to Right: South Orange Trustee Karen Hilton; South Orange Village President Sheena Collum; Lavelle Jones, President of AARP NJ; Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca

Maplewood and South Orange have received yet another grant from the Grotta Fund for Senior Care to continue the towns’ Age Friendly Community Action Plan. The grant for  $75,000 for 2019 was announced on Facebook by South Orange Village President Sheena Collum via Cathy Rowe, the SOMA Two Towns for All Ages coordinator. Colllum noted that the happy news “comes on the heels of last week being inducted into the AARP New Jersey Network of Age-Friendly Communities.”

“I am so happy and so appreciative and so gosh darn grateful to the granting agency and all our residents and staff who have been working with us over the past 2 years!” wrote Collum.

Regarding the AARP New Jersey induction, Rowe outlined the benefits of the designation as follows:

Joining the AARP Network gives us access to a leading resource for how to improve the livability of communities for people age 50+ and their families, and ultimately help communities to become great places for everyone to live. Since South Orange and Maplewood have been focusing on age-friendly efforts for the past 2 years through the SOMA Two Towns for All Ages initiative, we were invited to apply to the AARP Network at Stage 2. Our elected officials and many  other community leaders like already recognize and support age-friendly efforts, and each town has a Senior Advisory Committee to represent the voice of older residents in our community.

Members of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities become part of a global network of communities that are committed to giving their older residents the opportunity to live rewarding, productive and safe lives. The benefits of this membership include:

  • Access to a global network of participating communities
  • Access to research by aging and civil society experts
  • The latest news and information about best practices, events, results, challenges and new initiatives
  • Opportunities to learn from other communities, both domestic and international
  • Mentoring and peer-review evaluation by member cities
  • Public recognition of the community’s commitment to become more age-friendly
  • Speaking engagements, conferences and events hosted by AARP and promotion through AARP’s media channels

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