The Provincetown Council on Aging (COA) honored three residents – Mary Abt, Dr. Loretta Butehorn, and Mary DeRocco – with 2022 Senior of the Year awards for their ongoing commitment to their community during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide free remote programming for older adults.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced many senior centers, including in Provincetown, to shut down in March 2020, there was little planning or infrastructure in place to offer remote programming for the elderly. Recognizing the critical role that social connection plays in the lives of older adults, Provincetown Council on Aging staff quickly learned to use Zoom and began assisting residents in using remote platforms.
Mary Abt, Dr. Loretta Butehorn, and Mary DeRocco are three long-time instructors at the Senior Center and they jumped into action immediately. They worked with COA staff to learn Zoom, began hosting programs remotely in July 2020, and continued to do so throughout the pandemic to support their peers and provide engaging educational and social opportunities.
“A spirit of positive aging is one of the criteria to receive this award, and you couldn’t find better role models of positive aging than these three women,” said Chris Hottle, Director of the Provincetown Council on Aging. “I want to thank them for all they have done and continue to do through their creativity, knowledge, skills, and big hearts to empower and enrich the lives of older adults in their community.”
A luncheon was held on Thursday, November 10, 2022 at the Provincetown Senior Center to present the three recipients with their awards. In attendance were Town Manager Alex B. Morse, members of the Provincetown Select Board, a staff member from Representative Sarah Peake’s office, COA Board and staff, and dozens of community members.