Alicia Doyle, VC Star

For the Greater Conejo Valley Community Foundation, selecting the Nonprofit Organization of the Year was a matter of narrowing down a list of worthy nominations.

“The foundation executive board had its work cut out for them as all nominees were exceedingly deserving of these awards, displaying hearts full of passion and unwavering focus on their mission of serving others,” said Jill Lederer, the foundation’s president and CEO.

The foundation chose Senior Concerns and will honor the group at its Annual Spirit of Community Awards on May 31 at Baxter Healthcare in Westlake Village.

“The board was clearly moved by the unparalleled programs, resources and educational outreach Senior Concerns provides to seniors throughout the Conejo Valley,” Lederer said.

The awards event also will recognize top area educators; Dr. Jerry Miller, a volunteer; local law enforcement and fire protection agencies; and the armed forces.

“The awards provide a unique opportunity to celebrate and honor the men, women and local service organizations who dedicate themselves to enhancing our greater Conejo Valley community,” Lederer said.

Senior Concerns, founded 37 years ago, is a grass-roots organization that helps Conejo Valley residents. Its programs include Meals on Wheels, adult day-care with social opportunities, case management and information resources in senior centers in Agoura Hills and Thousand Oaks, and caregiver support, Lederer said.

“These programs — keeping families together and helping seniors stay active in their homes as long as possible — are made possible with the help of more than 500 volunteers and are all offered without regard for the ability to pay,” she added.

Senior Concerns has been a lifeline for two important and fast-growing populations in the community — seniors and their family caregivers, said group President Andrea Gallagher.

Services include information about Medicare and Social Security, education on brain fitness and caregiving, as well as counseling through support groups and one-on-one telephone reassurance. Senior Concerns also has day programs for people with dementia.

“With people living longer than ever before, Senior Concerns plays an integral role in providing the support and the resources to help families care for their aging loved ones, and in keeping them healthy, happy and active,” Lederer said. “We are privileged to have such an amazing community organization here in our own backyard.”

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