By Mike Kinney
A summit taking place at Richmond Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday aims to help keep local seniors safe from fires, cyber crimes, falls and much more.
The City of Richmond Commission on Aging is inviting the city’s seniors to this free event in the Bermuda Room from 10 a.m. till noon (doors open at 9:30 a.m.). The event will feature three keynote speakers along with information and resource tables, according to Commissioner Bryan Harris.
The Commission on Aging sponsors several healthcare events throughout the year, including the Annual Senior Information and Health Fair, which is held in mid-spring. Its members additionally attend various community events to offer outreach on senior and aging issues, including city-sponsored annual events like the Juneteenth and Pride celebrations, Harris said.
The Senior Safety Summit is a new outreach medium for a Commission that seeks to expand opportunities to support local seniors. It’s all part of a broader effort by the Commission on Aging to identify problems and unmet needs of the elderly in the community. The Commission “enlists the interest and participation of individuals and organizations to assist in resolving these problems and needs” Harris said.
The Commission also coordinates actions to improve resources for seniors in housing, health, leisure time, rehabilitation, educational field trips, educational workshops, transportation, employment, social and volunteer services, Harris added.
Harris has a strong passion and commitment for community service, starting out with the Commission on Aging 25 years ago as an intern. As a former city employee, he also provided staff support to the Commission.
“From humble beginnings as an intern for the Commission on Aging to that of staff support as a former city employee, I always knew that one day I’d be wearing the hat of commissioner,” Harris said. “‘I was groomed for this position’ as quoted by the [Commission’s] current Vice-chair Myrtle Braxton.”
Serving a vulnerable population such as seniors is critical, said Harris, as “we are the voice within the community’s aging and senior population.”
“We are all aging, aging in place in one form or another. To live in our community, we must adapt to our needs,” Harris said. “Many of us come from great backgrounds with skill sets that can still benefit our community. As a commissioner, you can have that voice and be that representation for your loved ones, and yourself. This city was founded on the principles of pride and purpose. I hold those values dearly and wholeheartedly believe that there are others in this community who believe as I do.”
Of course, it’s not all work, no play on this Commission. There are plenty of good times to be had within the Commission of Aging’s scope of programs. Among its annual offerings is the Winter Senior Ball, which this year will take place Saturday, Dec. 16, from 6-10 p.m. at Richmond Memorial Auditorium. The event will feature the “Top Shelf Classics Party and Show Band,” Harris said. Tickets go on sale Monday, Oct. 2, and the cost is $45 per person or $360 for a table of eight.
To purchase tickets, go to the CSD Registration office at 3230 Macdonald Ave. or call their number for more information at (510) 620-6793.
For more information ont he Commission of Aging, visit its webpage here.