Orland Township kicked off Older Americans Month with its annual Salute to the Troops Dinner Dance on May 5 at the Orland Township building, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. (Supplied photos)

Orland Township kicked off Older Americans Month with its annual Salute to the Troops Dinner Dance on May 5 at the Orland Township building, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. (Supplied photos)

Orland Township celebrates seniors for Older Americans Month

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By Kelly White

Orland Township cares about its residents and looks for ways to recognize them and their commitments.

For the month of May, the township is honoring its senior citizen residents by inviting them take part in the celebration of Older Americans Month.

Older Americans Month is a month-long observance in the U.S. devoted to celebrating older Americans and their contributions and raising awareness about issues related to age and aging. The term older Americans generally refers to Americans aged 65 and over.

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Orland Township kicked off Older Americans Month with its annual Salute To The Troops Dinner Dance on Thursday, May 5 at the Orland Township building, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park.

“Orland Township is always proud to celebrate Older Americans Month, as it’s vital we continue to do everything we can to support our senior residents,” Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady said. “After all, we wouldn’t be where we are without their involvement and long-term dedication to our community.”

Older Americans Month is an annual event that dates back to 1963, when President John F. Kennedy designated May as Senior Citizens Month. It was later renamed Older Americans Month, honoring older Americans, and celebrating their contributions to local communities and our nation as a whole.

Orland Township has been celebrating Older Americans Month since its enactment. The theme for Older Americans Month 2022 is Age My Way.

“We do so to celebrate and ensure that older adults remain involved and included in our communities for as long as possible,” Alexandria Shipyor, Public Relations Coordinator for Orland Township, said. “I personally feel it is important to celebrate Older Americans because of the vital role they play in our lives. Whether they are family, friends, mentors, volunteers, civic leaders, or colleagues; they have helped each and every one of us grow as human beings. Our futures would not be possible without the dedication and care of previous generations who have paved the way for us.”

The township kicked off Older Americans Month with its annual Salute to the Troops Dinner Dance on May 5 at the Orland Township building, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park.

The dance was dedicated to the veterans who have risked their lives for their country. After enjoying dinner and honoring our veterans in attendance, The Flat Cats entertained guests with songs from the golden age of jazz and the great American songbook, along with some patriotic music to honor the veterans. The evening also included door prizes and split-the-pot.

“While May is celebrated as Older Americans Month, it’s important to also recognize that it is marked officially as Military Appreciation Month, especially for both those in and out of the military,” Shipyor said. “We are proud to gather around our Orland Township veterans (and current servicemen) to honor, remember, recognize, and appreciate their service and to know the history behind it all. Without them, we would not have the lives we graciously do today.”

O’Grady agreed.

“Since part of this year’s Older Americans Month is to celebrate the many ways older adults can remain in and be involved with their communities, we’re excited to offer something this for our crowd to engage in,” O’Grady said.

Along with the Salute to the Troops Dinner Dance, throughout the month of May, older Americans are also able to look forward to specially themed drop-in days, a health fair, luncheons, and dinner dances at the township to continue the celebration.

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