Three-peat for Heights seniors
Photo by Bob Oliver
Dearborn Heights resident Linda Mahaney (right) visits with other volunteers during the city’s Volunteer Lunch April 8. Mahaney, the city’s Senior Volunteer of the Year who was also announced as the winner of the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association’s Margaret Whitehead Senior Citizen of the Year in Lansing last month, was one of many volunteers honored by the city for their work over the last year with a luncheon April 8 at the American Legion Carl E. Stitt Post No. 232, 23850 Military.
By BOB OLIVER
HEIGHTS — For the third year in a row, a Dearborn Heights resident was recognized by the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association as Margaret Whitehead Senior Citizen of the Year.
Linda Mahaney, a 47-year resident of the city, was announced as the winner at a banquet in Lansing late last month. She follows fellow Heights residents Jacqueline Warner and Alicia Dobson who won the award in 2013 and 2012, respectively.
The award honors senior citizens in the categories of leadership and service to their community.
Heights Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Kim Constan said Mahaney was also the city’s senior of the year, which automatically put her name in the discussion for the statewide contest.
“We have a lot of seniors that dedicate their time helping other seniors so it’s always a hard choice for us,” Heights Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Kim Constan said.
Constan said she was happy Mahaney was chosen and that she was a worthy recipient.
Mahaney began volunteering in the city about seven years ago after retiring as a bus driver for Dearborn Public Schools in 2006.
“I had a friend who was volunteering that retired a year or two before me and that got me started,” Mahaney said. “After that it just snowballed into what I do now.”
She volunteers time at the Eton and Berwyn centers and at the Senior Co-Op Towers, where she contributes by helping plan and run events.
At Eton, she is on the Advisory Committee, president of the Garden Club and participates in the Go-Getter Club.
She also is a member of the city’s Commission on Aging, which acts as a liaison between the senior residents and Mayor Dan Paletko.
“I do what I do because I enjoy it,” Mahaney said. “I’m really not interested in any recognition. I just enjoy meeting new people and helping out.”
As part of the award, Mahaney received a free three-day stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, an award she plans to use during the MRPA’s Grand Experience this fall.
The Grand Experience is an annual trip that brings seniors from across the state to the hotel to interact, enjoy programs and engage in a variety of activities.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected].)