VANTAGE SOAR Awards Are Back – And They Are Bigger Than Ever

VANTAGE Aging will recognize people and places across Ohio that influence positive aging

Akron, Ohio (January 22, 2019)   VANTAGE Aging has extended its call for nominations for the 3rd annual SOAR Awards to February 15th, 2019. Corresponding with Older Americans Month, SOAR Awards recognize the people, organizations, and places across Ohio that improve the lives of older adults.

The SOAR Awards were created by VANTAGE in an effort to bring communities together and address the growing need for programs and services that help our aging population. VANTAGE operates six programs in Summit and surrounding counties to support older adults’ desire to age at home. It also manages the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in an additional 37 Ohio counties, which provides paid, on-the-job training to low-income, older adults.

“Summit County has been responding to the needs of an aging population, but there is still a lot of work to do to care for all of us as we age,” said VANTAGE President and CEO Karen Hrdlicka. “We cannot sweep aging issues under the rug and the SOAR Awards place a spotlight on the positive impacts businesses, communities, and leaders are having on one of the fastest growing populations in Ohio. Recognition will help to raise awareness about pressing issues facing all of us as we age that need attention and encourage our communities to pursue a state-wide, age-friendly culture.”

The 2019 SOAR Awards will take place on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. at The Tangiers Event Center in Akron. Outstanding individuals, organizations, and cities will be recognized in three award categories.

  • Joe Ruby Collaboration in Aging Services Award, to recognize a group of people or organizations who improved services to older adults through a collaborative effort in Ohio.
  • The Age Friendly City Award, to an Ohio city that works to make their city more age friendly.
  • Ed Kaufman Leadership in Aging Award, to a leader in Ohio who has improved the lives of older adults.

Many Ohioans have shown dedication, compassion, and generosity to our senior population throughout the year – now it is time to share their stories and celebrate their efforts. You can complete your nominations online or by mail through Friday, February 15, 2019 by 5:00 p.m.

Additional Awards

Additionally, several individuals and originations will receive special awards for their contributions to Ohio’s seniors. The following are recipients of 2019 VANTAGE SOAR Awards.

Catholic Charities Community Services of Summit County will receive the Age-friendly Business Award for its Adult Day Services, which provide a variety of care for the needs of the aging population, including meals, day time programming, and community outings.

The County of Summit ADM Board will receive Partner of the Year for both the partnership that it has forged with VANTAGE Aging and the leadership it has shown in our community. The ADM Board has been addressing drug abuse in our community long before the recent rise in deaths as a result of the opioid epidemic. Through this partnership, VANTAGE and the ADM Board have stood together in an effort to address the behavioral health needs of Summit County.

The Fairmount Foundation will receive Donor of the Year for its $5,000 donation to GIVE65. In June of 2018, VANTAGE’s Home Wellness Solutions program participated in Home Instead Senior Care Foundation’s GIVE65 campaign, a 65-hour crowd-fundraising event for nonprofits serving seniors. The Fairmount Foundation’s contribution allowed VANTAGE to demonstrate that the agency had support after significant funding cuts to its Home Wellness program and helped clients avoid losing services. The donation also made VANTAGE eligible for a match donation from Home Instead.

Marc Molea, Chief of Strategic Partnerships at the Ohio Department of Aging, will receive the Positive Aging Award. Historically, Mr. Molea has had a positive impact on VANTAGE, most notably towards the Workforce Solutions program. His efforts at the Ohio Department of Aging have secured funds that support VANTAGE’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in 38 Ohio counties. The result has been in thousands of older adults gaining the skills they need to reach unsubsidized employment and financial independence.

Humility of Mary Housing Program will receive the Senior Housing Award. Residents of Humility of Mary Housing must be 55 or older with limited income. The facility features below-market rent, a security controlled entrance, air conditioning, kitchen appliances, a community room with attached kitchen and several multipurpose lounges. Supportive services include links and referrals to transportation, meals, housekeeping, personal needs, home health care and senior activities.

Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, who won the Joe Ruby Collaboration in Aging Services Award in 2018, will present at the 2019 VANTAGE SOAR Awards. Tickets and tables are now available and can be purchased online at

Nominations Due:  Friday, February 15, 2019 by 5:00 p.m

SOAR Awards: Thursday, May 2, 2019, 5:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Tangiers Event Center, 532 West Market Street, Akron, OH 44303

Contact VANTAGE Aging with any questions at 330-253-4597 or

VANTAGE Aging provides high-quality programs to empower the economic, social, physical, and mental well-being of adults as they age. Non-medical in-home care is provided by Home Wellness Solutions. Behavioral Health Solutions offers mental health counseling and treatment for alcohol and other drug use issues to adults age 45 and older. Job training for low-income adults age 55 and older is offered through the Senior Community Service Employment Program. Evidenced-based volunteering to meet local and national needs is provided by RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) volunteers. Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio provides home-delivered and congregate meals to provide nutritional support to the homebound and disabled. Overall, VANTAGE’s programs come together to offer a path for positive aging. Founded in 1975 as a senior citizen program, VANTAGE has since become an independent, nationally respected organization with offices throughout the state. For more information, call 330.253.4597 or visit

Media Relations Contact:

Dawn Moeglin

Senior Director of Community Engagement


330-253-4597 x160



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