Express Yourself: Honoring elders brings knowledge and wisdom to community

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By Wally Pearce, Winters Elder Day Council
Special to the Express

Elder Day honors those who’ve celebrated 90 birthdays or more. The day urge people to listen to the stories our elders. Their rich history and wisdom offer a wealth of information. As the celebration moves forward, people honor them in various ways. Often, listening to their life stories proves the age-old saying that with age comes wisdom.

Our Elders represent a living history full of stories not found in history books. Their stories animate and compliment what we already know but may have forgotten. Listening to their tales of accomplishment and perseverance highlight and magnify the events of the past.

At the same time, their personal histories create something legendary for those who hear them. Traditions we no longer practice or turns of phrase come traipsing across their memories to be revived and shared once more. Tribulations and experiences long forgotten reflecting in their eyes. We benefit from every story they tell us and every remembrance they share.

Elder Day is dedicated to honoring and paying tribute to those who’ve helped shape our lives and traces our origins. Elder Day 2022 was celebrated at the City of Winters Community Center and was a huge success. Over 100 people attended the event this year including the honorees and their families and friends — some even traveled from the east coast. Their stories were filled with history and love and were both remarkable and stimulating.

However, none of this could have been possible without the Winters Elder Day Council volunteers that made the event a clear success. These volunteers include: Markland Fridae, Woody Fridae, Rebecca Fridae, Valerie Whitworth, Marianne Boyer, Pierre Neu, Sharon Pearce, Alcina Pearce, Martha Boring, Wally Pearce, and a host of others too numerous to mention here.

In addition are local community sponsors like Charley Wallace, John Neil (Green River Brewing and Taproom), Chuck Pearce (Pizza Factory), Abbey House Inn, Starbucks, and donors, Helen and Pete McCloskey, Kay and Al Graf, and Valerie Whitworth.

The Winters Elder Day Council hopes that people understand that volunteerism is not about sport or notching a political win. Volunteers elect to serve. Active volunteerism for elder adults is about something bigger. It’s about the character and fabric of our community — who we are, and who we aspire to be.

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