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The event looked different, but the essence and spirit remained consistent with its legacy. Friendship Senior Options (FSO) held the 23rd Annual Sterling event on November 5th. Historically an in-person gala with dinner, live entertainment, and raffles, coordinators shifted gears because of COVID-19. The 2020 Sterling was held virtually while still featuring musical performances, unique raffles, and heartfelt messages from Friendship Senior Options leadership, board members, residents, and staff.
The Sterling event is the annual fundraiser for Friendship Senior Options Foundation, the philanthropic affiliate of Friendship Senior Options and its senior living communities, Friendship Village of Schaumburg, and GreenFields of Geneva. "The Foundation supports educational programs for our residents, college scholarships for young adults, and capital initiatives to enhance our campuses and greater communities. It also supports benevolent care, which offers Life Care residents the security of knowing that they can continue to reside in the communities and access the services they need, even if their financial resources are exhausted," said Karen Kay, Director of Friendship Senior Options Foundation. This year the Foundation shared its single largest gift of $100,000 to support benevolent care.
Kay added, "In keeping in-line with the Foundation's mission to fully support our communities, donations received through Sterling 2020 will help support the significant unintended expenses related entirely to our fight against COVID-19 now and in the future."
The cornerstone of the Sterling event is the presentation of the Sterling Friendship Award. This honor recognizes an individual or organization epitomizing the positive aspects of aging through the example they have set in their own life or in the service to older adults. This year the Sterling Friendship Award was fittingly bestowed upon the staff at Friendship Village and GreenFields. "Think back to the early days of our pandemic. Fear, uncertainty, and concern were not in short supply. We spoke of essential workers, first responders, folks serving on the front lines. We spoke of heroes. We saw that commitment, effort, duty, respect, and love wasn't in short supply either at Friendship Village or GreenFields. FSO associates were the embodiment of our mission. They made a difference in the lives of those we are dedicated to serving. They are the keepers of the essence of Sterling. Tonight, we salute and thank all FSO Associates for these efforts," said Steven Yenchek, President and CEO of Friendship Senior Options.
The 23rd Annual Sterling event can be viewed in its entirety at http://bit.ly/fsosterling.