On March 1, 2012 it was announced that the City of Oberlin had been selected to receive one of the first MetLife Foundation Generations United Best Intergenerational Communities Award to heighten awareness of the importance intergenerational solidarity plays in building strong, supportive communities.
According to Donna Butts, Executive Director, “The competition was stiff and it was difficult for our blue ribbon panel of judges to narrow the field to only five recipients.” The Oberlin “application rose to the top and we are very excited about honoring the wonderful work underway in your community.” In addition to the City of Oberlin, Generations United and MetLife Foundation are recognizing Georgetown, Texas; Lamoni, Iowa; San Diego County, California; and Virginia Planning District 10 with the award.
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. The Met Life Foundation/Generations United awards go to five remarkable and robust localities who demonstrate every day that a community is strengthened when all generations are an integral part of its fabric.”
Many people helped put this our award-winning nomination package together, including:
- Liz Schultz – Oberlin Heritage Center
- Sue Bowers – Mercy Allen Hospital
- Jennifer Harris – Oberlin Early Childhood Center
- Cindy Nickoloff and Ben Jones – Oberlin College
- Barbara Thomas, Jeni Hoover, and Nancy Freed – Kendal at Oberlin
- Heidi Freas and Jill Herron – Welcome Nursing Home
- Donna Shurr and John Schroth – Oberlin City Schools
- Marlene Telegdy – Oberlin Seniors
And, of course the support letters in the application were particularly important. Special appreciation goes to Rachel Mentzer, David Sokoll, Scott Broadwell and John Elder for their letters and to many other residents who prepared letters for the application that, unfortunately, we could not include due to application limits.