L E I S U R E   A  N D   A G I N G    S E R V I C E S

 2015  Awards

Outstanding Programming in Aging Award Winner
Marty Party at Central Park
The Summit – Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation Dept.

The Marty Party was held in Grand Prairie’s Central Park at The Summit.  Over 500 people attended the dedication of a Purple Martin Sanctuary, a safe haven with open spaces and a beautiful lake for the Martins which are key components to the area’s ECO system.  The event, held in conjunction with the World Migratory Bird Day which is sponsored by the United Nations, included booths, exhibits, games, entertainment, food and prizes; it was so successful that they plan to make it an annual event.  One of the participants, Larry Skinner, shared that, “In addition to providing a great home for the Purple Martins to nest in after migrating from Brazil each year, the city has provided a permanent educational forum for all the thousands of people who visit the Summit and walk the beautiful grounds at Central Park on a regular basis.”  The hope is to not just educate, but to encourage others in the community to provide Purple Martin colonies at their homes and businesses and to become landlords who will help to ensure the preservation and protection of this important migratory bird.

Corporate Award for Outstanding Service in Aging Winner
Abilene Regional Medical Center (ARMC) Senior Circle
Nominated by the City of Abilene

Senior Circle is a Community Outreach Department for the Abilene Regional Medical Center whose primary focus is on individuals age 50 or better who are interested in pursuing an active lifestyle, learning about health and wellness and meeting others. In 2014, ARMC Senior Circle sponsored numerous events for the City of Abilene Senior Services Division which included the Senior Talent Show, Senior Jamboree and Family Holiday Festival.  They also provided the Senior Services Division with financial sponsorships that supported digital advertising and the creation of three new television commercials.

In addition to their financial contributions, the Senior Circle Director, Linda Rutledge, has made a concentrated effort to volunteer for events provided by the City of Abilene Senior Services Division.  She has also volunteered as an instructor for some educational classes that included a 12-week Texercise Class and has recruited ARMC physicians to lead health and wellness classes.

ARMC Senior Circle has been an ideal corporate partner through their volunteering, financial support and commitment to serving the area’s senior population.  The City of Abilene Senior Services Division is proud to introduce the Abilene Regional Medical Center Senior Circle as a recipient of the Texas Recreation and Parks Society 2015 Corporate Award for Outstanding Service in Aging.

2014 Awards

Lone Star Recreation Programming Class IV: Southlake Community Service Department
“Senior Center Arabian Nights
Ryan McGrail, Soheila Phelps, Steve Moore
In the Class IV Lone Star Recreation Programming Achievement Award category for cities with populations of 20,001 to 50,000, this year’s winner is the city of Southlake Community Service Department for “Senior Center Arabian Nights”. Senior citizens and their adult family members enjoyed a night of Mediterranean food, belly dancing and other entertainment. Participants were “exposed” to a new culture and enjoyed the night socializing with friends.

Outstanding Programming in Aging Award Winner

Summit Singles program

The Summit – Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation Dept. 

The goal of the Summit Singles is to meet the emotional needs of every member in addition to their fitness/wellness/nutritional needs as well as their recreational and social needs.  The objectives are to help members meet new friends and to adjust to their new way of life (being widowed or divorced).  The size of the group varies from ten to twenty people at each meeting and discusses topics related to being an older single adult including grief and relationship counseling, issues with living with adult children and raising grandchildren.  The program is free and, although, it is hard to measure the success on paper, it’s easily apparent how these bi-weekly meetings have helped more than 150 seniors become more self-confident, meet new friends and share their joys and sorrows.  The Summit’s and Grand Prairie’s philosophy is to provide the best quality of life by serving the whole person.

Corporate Award for Outstanding Service in Aging Winner

Griswold Home Care

Nominated by the City of Mesquite

In 2013, Mike Gibson, owner of Griswold Home Care saw a need in the community and set in motion the partnership for the Portable Pantry Program in Mesquite, Texas.  Partners include the City of Mesquite Parks and Recreation Senior Centers, Mesquite Social Services, Mesquite Elks Lodge and Griswold Home Care.  Adults 50+ may register for the program and receive a bag of food each month from Mesquite Social Services with an approximate value of $35 that includes items like canned food, rice, beans, fruit snacks, coffee and tea. These filled recyclable bags are designed to be easily carried home and the recipients return the bags to the center before the next delivery date. Seniors with transportation can pick them up at the Goodbar Senior Center on the designated day and those home bound are delivered by Mike. The program started with 160 participants, but quickly grew to more than 200 with a waiting list.  Through donations the program has been able to expand to nearly 250 participants monthly.  Mike is excited with the program’s success and service to the senior community and has said, “Our goal now is we are going to take it and grow it.

Corporate Award - City of Abilene - Wisteria Place Retirement Living 


Outstanding Professional Award - City of Abilene - Janet Whisenhunt


Janet was recognized by Abilene Mayor Norm Archibald (Right)

Outstanding Program Award -City of McKinney – 12/12/12 Party of the Century






















For more information about the Leisure and Aging Branch, contact:


Jill Beam

Recreation Leader | Senior Services and Parks and Recreation

City of Rowlett | 5300 Main St. | Rowlett, TX 75030




Physical Address: 18593 FM 1431, Jonestown, TX 78645 | Mailing Address: P.O. Box 5188, Jonestown, TX 78645

Phone: (512) 267-5550 | Fax: (512) 267-5557 | E-mail:  traps@traps.org 

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