Winters Elder Day Council celebrates 14 honorees

Fourteen Winters elders were celebrated at the 2022 Winters Elder Day event on Saturday, June 25. (Crystal Apilado/Winters Express)

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The Winters Elder Day Council hosted the 4th annual Elder Day Celebration on Saturday, June 25 at the Winters Community Center.

Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, 14 local elders over the age of 90 were honored at the event.

Organizer Wally Pearce and event emcee Woody Fridae both exuded enthusiasm over the ability to celebrate Winters elders again.

The 2022 honorees included: Maj Hapworth, Joan Gates, Al Graf, Joe Tramontana, Geri Molnar, Gina Ogando, Jim Bernardy, Anna Karnopp, Phil Snow, Norma Lamb, Betty Frisbee, John Vukelich, Betty Yamashita, and Pete McCloskey.

Fridae noted that Tramontana and Molnar were the first couple honored together at an Elder Day event.

Fridae shared stories for each of the honorees and engaged them with questions about some of their answers they had shared in an interview with Pearce. Attendees shared in with laughs and respect as each of the honorees in attendance added in comments to Fridae’s speech about them.

The Express plans to publish the honorees’ profiles in upcoming editions.

Pearce acknowledged previous honorees who were in attendance including Marilyn Jones and June Swindle. Swindle was celebrating her 95th birthday that day. Pearce paid tribute through the event program to past honorees Gilberto Alarcon, Harold Haywood, Richard Rominger, Ben Shimomura, Robert (Robbie) Tognotti, and Baldomero (Baldy) Ramos.

Each honoree received a photo print taken by Fridae, and a certificate from the Winters Elder Day Council, the City of Winters, Senator Bill Dodd, and Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry.

Pearce said the Winters Elder Day Council is continuing to collect nominations for local residents who are 90 years of age or older, or who will be turning 90 in this calendar year, and who have not yet been recognized at a previous Winters Elder Day celebration.

Winters Elder Day was first celebrated in 2017 as a way for the community to gather together to honor local elders, acknowledge their personal contributions to their families and community, and hear stories about their life experiences.

To recommend a community elder in the specified age group, contact Pearce at 530-771-7265 or email

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