October 21, 2021
The Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards celebrates the achievements of individuals 70 and over in Winchester City, Frederick County and Clarke County, Virginia
On October 14, 2021, The Village at Orchard Ridge–A National Lutheran Community named the awardees for the 2021 Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards at a luncheon held at the historic George Washington Hotel in downtown Winchester, Virginia.
The Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards is the first program of this kind in the greater Winchester area and is dedicated to fight ageism and demonstrate that impact and community involvement are ageless. The awards celebrate the achievements of those 70 and older who are making a difference in the community and in the lives of others. This was the second Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards hosted by The Village at Orchard Ridge since the inaugural event was first launched in 2019. Plans for a 2020 awards event were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guests at the ceremony were treated to a keynote speech from former Director of Life Sciences for NASA, Dr. Joan Vernikos. Dr. Vernikos’ message was an encouraging reminder that continued movement as the best way to age healthy. Remarks were also delivered by National Lutheran Communities & Services President and CEO, Cyndi Walters, and Chief Operating Officer Regina Figueroa, as well as the Executive Director at The Village at Orchard Ridge, John Loop and Sales Director and Event Chair, Rebecca Lipscomb.
The winners of the 2021 Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards are:
Creative Engagement – Rhoda Kriz
Rhoda creates projects to fill needs in Winchester, Frederick County and beyond. She founded and still leads the Flying Fingers knitting and crocheting group in 2013. Every year they create 200 hats, scarves and ear-warmers, then donate them to needy school children. Rhoda has served a variety of causes, including the Virginia Attorney General’s Triad. Every program she works on is carried out with poised and firm leadership, cheerful good humor and unequaled dedication to serving others.
Environmental Awareness – Nancy Mozeleski
Nancy established a group of volunteers named Plarners who transform plastic bags into plastic yarn, or plarn. The plarn is then woven into sleeping mats for unsheltered homeless individuals and low-income preschoolers. Her leadership and organization have led to over 300 mats being donated thus far. One recipient quoted, “this is my most precious possession.”
Fitness and Health – Mike Perry
Mike enjoys sharing his love of bicycling in unique ways. He has taught local children about safe bicycling, and he restores, repairs and warranties used bicycles and then donates to local organizations. These donated bicycles are often given to those who need transportation to work. Staying in top physical condition allows Mike to lead bicycling tours, fundraisers and even split firewood. Mike donates firewood to those in need to stay warm in the winter.
Intellectual Growth – Cheryl Reames
Cheryl has a love of lifelong learning, which includes training at Johns Hopkins University that enables her to better lead various Parkinson’s support groups. She currently serves as the volunteer coordinator of the Greater Winchester Area Parkinson’s Support Group. Cheryl also coordinates the local annual Walk for Parkinson’s Disease. She also has enjoyed mentoring Little Sisters for the last decade through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Social and Community Involvement – Tricia Simpson
Tricia is a 31-year member of the Rotary Club of Winchester and hasn’t slowed down since retirement. During the pandemic, she saw the need to provide food for people staying at the emergency COVID shelter and baby items for struggling families. Tricia wrote grant applications, and once approved, did the shopping and deliveries herself. Tricia is key in her work with several non-profits, and her leadership benefits the community at large.
Spiritual Expression – Rosalie Lewis
Throughout the pandemic, Rosalie has provided insight and assistance to implement health protocols to keep people safe in and around Christ Episcopal Church. Her passion for nursing extends to her serving as a baby cuddler for the Winchester Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and as a long- time volunteer at the Adult Care Center of the Northern Shenandoah Valley and a member of its board of directors.
Vocational Connectivity – Karen Shipp
dedicates her free time to assist the less fortunate. She was instrumental in founding the local organization, Wheels for Wellness, originally called Faith in Action. Working with the Winchester Royals since 1986, Karen hosts players in her home and is a past board member. Twice a year, Karen initiates collecting food and money from amongst her church members to assist older adults through the Frederick County Department of Social Services.
With eight nominees, the planning committee did not want anyone to go home empty-handed. With assistance from residents at The Village at Orchard Ridge, former Middletown Mayor and tireless advocate for veterans, Raymond Steele was honored with a handwritten card and an Honor Flight photo from the community’s veterans.
Event Chair Rebecca Lipscomb stated, “This event is a tremendous amount of work, but one that is a priceless reminder of the ways older adults enhance the world.” Lipscomb continued, “Our planning team will take a short break and get right back to planning for the 2022 awards.”
To read more about the Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards, visit: https://www.thevillageatorchardridge.org/stellar7over70.