Shorewood named a Best Intergenerational Community
The Village of Shorewood has been chosen as one of four 2014 “Best Intergenerational Communities” nationally by MetLife Foundation/Generations United. This award recognizes communities that value the contributions of youth and older adults alike. Through the Shorewood Connects project, the Shorewood Senior Resource Center, the Shorewood School District (including the Recreation and Community Services Department), the Shorewood Men’s Club, the Shorewood Women’s Club and other community organizations, there are many connections and relationships in Shorewood that promote generations working together toward a better community for all.
"We congratulate Village of Shorewood, WI for earning this designation. It takes a great deal of effort and forward thinking to create a community where members of every generation want to live,” notes Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “Village of Shorewood, WI has worked to ensure its residents enjoy a vibrant, meaningful place to live, are treated with respect and care, and have ample opportunity to work together for the betterment of all.”
“MetLife Foundation understands the value of programs that encourage generations to work together for the benefit of the entire community,” explained Dennis White, president and chief executive officer, MetLife Foundation. “Communities that care for and engage all members – regardless of age – deepen bonds between the generations and set an important example for other communities to follow. We applaud the four communities selected to receive the 2014 Best Intergenerational Communities Award, as well as the two National Finalists.”
In its application, Shorewood described intentional efforts to make the Village senior-friendly, through such efforts as the Shorewood Connects Yard Clean-Up days in fall and spring and joint programming between the Shorewood Senior Resource Center and the Shorewood Schools. It was also noted that places such as the Shorewood Community Fitness Center and the Shorewood High School pool are welcoming places for community members young and old.
In the Village’s application, Shorewood High School senior Hayley Tsuchiayama described the Annual Chicken Barbeque hosted by the Shorewood Men’s Club at Atwater Park, observing, “The great part about it is that the music will change from a group of high school student to a band of seniors. You can just look out on the field and view community members of all ages engaged. It’s such an inspiring image, seeing the entire town being brought together just for one event.” Longtime Shorewood resident Julie Guzniczak added, “We all grew up involved in church, school, community events and volunteer activities, taking for granted so many amenities our neighborhood and Shorewood had to offer. We took for granted, in particular, the richness and special gifts we have living in a neighborhood with large and small families, single people, people of different ages, religions, ethnic backgrounds, abilities and disabilities…It has only been in recent years that I have truly appreciated the gift of “generational living.” The many kindnesses that our neighbors and their children have extended to us now that we are among the “Grandpas” and the “Grandmas” on the block touches my heart.”
A blue-ribbon panel of judges selected the winning entries from among a host of applicants from across the country. Robert Blancato, former executive director of the White House Conference on Aging and a partner in Matz, Blancato & Associates, served as a judge in the selection process. Blancato, who is also a strategic advisor for Generations United noted, “It is said you can live anywhere, but that does not make it a livable community. These awards signify that a critical component of a livable community is one that fosters an environment where generations live and work together. ”
Other Best Intergenerational Communities award winners include the City of Parkland, Florida; Maricopa County, Arizona; and Reston, Virginia. Award winners will travel to Washington, D.C. in March for a recognition event that will include a breakfast for all the communities, potential visits with members of Congress, and a tour of the U.S. Capitol."
Monday February, 10, 2014 at 01:18PM
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