Two conferences on aging in Montana include recognition of people who have marked a special milestone, and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging is looking for people to celebrate with.
The two-day conferences in October, one in Billings and one in Havre, each include a luncheon to honor Montanans who will be at least 100 years old by Dec. 31. The state Department of Public Health and Human Services is hosting the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging’s 43rd annual conferences, at which the luncheons will be held, and is calling for a list of people to honor at the events.
“By recognizing and honoring our eldest of the elders, we hope to raise the public’s awareness of our aging society, ” Anna Whiting Sorrell, director of DPHHS, said in the release asking for names to be submitted.
According to the release, the U. S. Census in 2000 showed that the state had 167 residents 100 or older. By 2010, that had grown to 277 centenarians, and the estimate is that by 2025 more than 3,000 residents will be 100 or older.
All who are honored will receive a proclamation of recognition from the governor, and a free lunch at the conference events. Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Secretary of State Linda McCulloch have been invited to attend each luncheon.
The Havre luncheon is set for Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Montana State University-Northern Student Union Building at noon, the first day of Havre's two-day conference. The Billings luncheon is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Holiday Inn Grand in Billings, in that conference’s first day.
People who are or will be 100 or older by Dec. 31, or who know someone who will be, are asked to send to the department a high-quality digital photo of the centenarian and the following information:
1. The centenarian’s name and address.
2. Where and when they were born. If not born in Montana, what is their story on how they came to Montana?
3. What is the secret to their longevity?
4. What has been the most amazing event in their life that they would like to share?
5. What is their favorite quote?
6. Is there anything else they would like their fellow Montanans to know?
7. Will they be attending the luncheon?
People are asked to RSVP no later than Monday, Sept. 12, if the centenarian plans to attend the luncheon, including whether they will be attending the Havre or Billings event.
People should send the information to Brian LaMoure, DPHHS — SLTC, P.O. Box 4210, Helena MT 59604-4210; or online at Blamoure@mt.gov. For more information, people can call LaMoure at (406) 444-7782 or (800) 332-2272.
For more information about DPHHS’ services through its Senior and Long Term Care Division, visit its website at www.aging.mt.gov. More information about the conferences is available at the “Governor’s Conference on Aging” page at that site.