Montgomery County Commission on Aging Honors Outstanding Leaders with ‘Community for a Lifetime’ Awards


Per Montgomery County: “Montgomery County’s Commission on Aging (COA) recently honored Stuart Rosenthal, Mary Jo Deering and The Oasis Lifelong Learning Program as recipients of its “Community for a Lifetime” awards, recognizing individuals or organizations whose exceptional contributions align with the mission of enabling older adults to live quality lives and make the County their community for a lifetime.

The award ceremony took place Dec. 21 during the COA’s year-end event at the Holiday Park Senior Center.

“The Community for a Lifetime Award enables the County and the Commission on Aging to recognize and celebrate those who contribute significantly to the well-being of older adults in the community,” said County Executive Marc Elrich.  “We are fortunate to have such dedicated individuals and organizations who make our community welcoming to older adults.”

Community for a Lifetime Award 2023 recipients:

  • Stuart Rosenthal, publisher, Beacon Newspaper. Publisher of the Beacon Newspaper, he was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the community. Beyond providing crucial information on articles and community events, the Beacon, under Mr. Rosenthal’s leadership, actively engages in educational initiatives for the public. The Beacon’s 50+ Expo, an annual event attracting thousands, offers health screenings, valuable information from government agencies, nonprofit organizations, employers and local businesses. He has played pivotal roles in various community programs, including the Path of Achievement Awards, Law Day, the Older Worker Expo and centenarians celebrations. His involvement extends to chairing the Maryland Commission on Aging (2007-15), serving on the Maryland Aging and Disability Resource Center Advisory Board, co-chairing the communications committee of Age Friendly Montgomery and contributing to other State and County commissions.

Rosenthal Community for a Lifetime Award
Stuart Rosenthal receives Community for a Lifetime Award.  From left:  Judith Rosenthal, Stuart
Rosenthal and COA chair David Engel

  • Mary Jo Deering, president, Washington Area Village Exchange (WAVE). She was recognized for outstanding work in the Village movement and her role as president of the Washington Area Village Exchange (WAVE). Ms. Deering has been a driving force in achieving the COA’s vision through her efforts in the Village movement since 2014. She played a crucial role in creating and leading an intergenerational, no-fee village in her neighborhood. Her leadership on the WAVE board culminated in a successful 2019 conference and eventually led her to become the WAVE president in 2021.

Mary Jo Deering Community for a Lifetime Award
Mary Jo Deering receives Community for a Lifetime Award from COA chair David Engel

  • Oasis – Metro Washington Lifelong Learning Program. The program was honored for its long-term service and innovative programming for the older adult community in Montgomery County. Oasis has been a pioneer in healthy aging for 40 years, providing lifelong learning, computer technology education, health promotion and volunteering opportunities, including intergenerational tutoring. Dedicated to equity and access for all older adults, Oasis has become a true asset for the County. Accepting the award for Oasis was Anna Stokes, executive director of Oasis.

Oasis Community for a Lifetime Award
Oasis receives Community for a Lifetime Award from COA chair David Engel.  From left:  Anna Stokes, Janice Pilner, David Engel, Kathleen McDaniel and Leah Russi

The COA is authorized by the Older Americans Act, P.L. 116-131 and was established by Montgomery County in 1974 to advise the County Government on the needs, interests and issues of older adult residents and to advocate on their behalf at the local, State and national levels. The Commission identifies issues where its voice on the needs of older adults can make a difference.

For more information about the Community for a Lifetime Awards or the Commission on Aging, visit its website.”

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