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Six feted for contributions to seniors

(ran PT edition)

Everyone was a winner at the recent CARES Phil Mishkin Award Benefit Dinner. Six outstanding persons were nominees for the first Phil Mishkin Award:

Michael J. Diglio. In 1940 Diglio joined the service, going overseas in 1944. After his discharge, he accepted civilian employment with the Army and the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria. Later, he worked for the U.S. Postal Service and retired in 1978. Diglio has shown himself to be a leader in the community, serving as an outstanding volunteer in many endeavors, all focused on the betterment of this community and its senior residents.

Doris Cook Smith. As a City Council member, Cook Smith supported the construction of the East Pasco YMCA. As a planning commissioner, she oversaw adoption of a comprehensive plan that provided senior housing and citywide recreation improvements. As a charter member of the Zephyrhills Senior Center Advisory Council, Cook Smith worked to ensure that seniors are offered services and activities at a local level.

Dorothy Wylie. An outstanding volunteer, Wylie's activities have ranged from weekly visits to nursing homes and adult living facilities to contacting legislators about problems of the elderly. She draws on her background in education and journalism to solve community problems in meaningful ways. During the past 12 months, she has moderated three forums on entitlements for seniors, primarily Social Security and Medicare. She believes that creative abilities are inherent in all people and that both young and old are capable of leadership roles that will lead to a finer future.

Mary Woodwell. Since 1989 the Lutz-Land O'Lakes Woman's Club has provided community volunteer support for a CARES Information and Referral Office in the Land O'Lakes area of Central Pasco County. Woodwell and the CARES volunteers have expanded service into North Hillsborough and Zephyrhills. Woodwell has been an active volunteer and served as the office/volunteer coordinator. Due to Woodwell's leadership, commitment and time, the CARES office is open daily and staffed by trained volunteers. Activities initiated include assistance to seniors needing in-home services such as homemaker chores, personal care, respite care and case management. Also, daily telephone reassurance and Medicare/Medicaid counseling are provided.

Charles A. McIntosh Jr. As an elected official, he has served four two-year terms as mayor of Dade City and has served on the Dade City Commission since 1985. McIntosh entered the political scene as a senior citizen. He is viewed as a role model for seniors for his contribution to his community.

And the winner isDebra A. Prewitt, state representative District 46.

For nearly a decade, Prewitt has protected our elder residents of Pasco County. Highlights of her career include:

1989 _ Elected to the New Port Richey City Council and facilitated the construction of the Claude Pepper Senior Center with federal grant assistance.

1990 _ Appointed executive director of the Deaf Service Center. She brought in grants and contracts to provide enhanced programing for elders with disabilities.

1993 _ As mayor of New Port Richey, after the No Name Storm, she ensured the move of the CARES Hudson Senior Health Clinic to the Claude Pepper Senior Center.

1994 _ Was elected to the House of Representatives District 46 succeeding Rep. Phil Mishkin.

1995 _ She filed Phil Mishkin's pet legislation, the Prescription Drug Policy Review Commission, which passed unanimously in the House. In the '96 session it passed again, but this time it was named after Phil Mishkin.

1996 _ The HMO Patient Protection Act unanimously passed in the House and Senate.

1996 _ Prewitt was re-elected.

Prewitt is an advocate of our elders. She has committed all of her adult life to helping older people. She is a fine example of "Weaving the Generations."

To volunteer

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP): (813) 836-2203 or (904) 524-2203

Community Aging and Retirement Services (CARES): Port Richey, 862-9291; Land O'Lakes, 996-6509

_ Carol Keyes is the director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program in Pasco County. You can write her c/o Seniority, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.