COA, News + Record to launch ‘6 over 60’

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PITTSBORO — The North Carolina State Demographer’s Office indicated that in 2022, Chatham County was home to the 10th-highest percentage of population over the age of 65.

With explosive growth on tap in Chatham, that number only stands to increase exponentially in the coming years. For the county to realize its full potential, the 28% of its residents which fall into that category will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping its future.

Given that age does not have to be a limiting factor in authoring a meaningful contribution to the cultural, civic and community discourse, the Chatham County Council on Aging and the Chatham News + Record are partnering to launch an annual effort recognizing the best of these with the inaugural “6 over 60” award.

Nominated by the public and identified by a five-member selection committee, six award winners will be saluted during a luncheon on Friday, Feb. 24, at Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center in Pittsboro. The event will be the culmination of “We Love Seniors” month in Chatham County, a month-long celebration of older adults that is unique to Chatham.

“We are excited to partner with the Chatham News + Record in launching the ‘6 over 60’ awards here in Chatham County,” Council on Aging Director Ashlyn Martin said. “Chatham County is a place where people still come together at the grassroots level to effect meaningful change in their community, and we are confident that our nominees will reflect the best of that in the growing 60-and-over population.”

Nominees must be 60 years of age or older — the initial age of entry into Council on Aging services — as of Jan. 1, 2023. They must have made, or continue to make, meritorious contributions to Chatham County. Award winners must live in Chatham County, or spent the majority of their life and career in Chatham.

The selection committee will consider, in no particular order, the number of nominations an individual receives as well as the merit and quality of their work in the Chatham County community.

“I think by any measure or by any standard, any list of those who have made the greatest contributions to Chatham County would include a significant number from the 60-plus crowd,” News + Record Publisher/Editor Bill Horner III said. “So we can’t wait to see who gets nominated. We value our partnership with the Council on Aging and what the COA does for Chatham County, and we’re eager to help share the stories of the inaugural ‘6 Over 60’ honorees.”

Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 4, an online nomination portal will launch at the News + Record’s website, chathamnewsrecord.com.

“We are excited to partner with the Chatham News + Record in launching the ‘6 over 60’ awards here in Chatham County,” Martin said. “The News + Record has been a place where generations of Chatham County citizens have come for trusted information and discourse for well over a century, and we look forward to honoring the best of our county’s older adults within its pages with the ‘6 over 60’ awards.”

The public may submit nominees through Friday, Jan. 20. In addition to online nominations, the public may send nominations and supporting documentation to jimmy.lewis@chathamcountync.gov or by mail to the Chatham County Council on Aging at 365 Hwy. 87 North, Pittsboro, N.C. 27312, “Attn: 6 over 60.”

Award winners will be notified on or before Thursday, Feb. 2, with the winners announced in the Feb. 16-22 edition of the News + Record with photos and biographical sketches.

For more information regarding the 6 over 60 program, contact Jimmy Lewis, Council on Aging Grants and Communications Specialist, at 919-542-4512 or email jimmy.lewis@chathamcountync.gov.

Employees of the Council on Aging and the News + Record are not eligible for the award.

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