Lisa Anderson receives Pace Award

Southwick resident Lisa Anderson is the recipient of the Southwick Council on Aging Herbert C. Pace Good Citizen Award. (CINDY SULLIVAN PHOTO)

SOUTHWICK –Lisa Anderson received the Southwick Council on Aging Herbert C. Pace Award.

The award, given to a “good citizen” is voted on annually by the COA board and given to an older adult who has enhanced the lives of Southwick’s senior citizens.

Anderson, who serves the community as a part time firefighter and safety instructor, cemetery lawn mower and now a Town Hall employee, has been a dedicated COA volunteer throughout the pandemic.

“The Council on Aging board voted unanimously to a make an exception for this year to lower the age requirement and honor Lisa with this very special honor,” said COA Director Cindy Sullivan in her upcoming newsletter.

Sullivan said during a year filled with fear and anxiety due to the COVID-19 virus employees were sent home from their jobs, schools were closed for months, and residents — especially senior citizens – were asked to stay home unless they had to go out.

“Lisa found out the Southwick Senior Center had changed their operations and we were handing out meals on a daily basis and helping seniors in any way we could,” Sullivan said. “Lisa just showed up one day to help and then showed up every single day until the Senior Center staff returned to work on a full schedule.”

Sullivan said this act of kindness went on for weeks and she volunteered every minute of her time.

“She laughed with Seniors through their car windows, checked in to make sure they had what they needed, and was a friendly familiar face they so desperately needed,” Sullivan said. “She helped organize , deliver, and handed out meals on Saturdays when special days were planned. She also did small errands for a few individuals and she still continues to visit a senior twice a week.”

Anderson told Sullivan she felt safe wearing personal protective equipment and she recognized that town seniors still needed services and human interaction even if it was for a limited time with restrictions. Plus, she enjoyed Sullivan’s company and the laughs she shared with the seniors.

“Cindy just loves her job and is dedicated to her seniors and we laughed all the time,” Anderson said “That made it easy to come back every day.”

Anderson has always been a care giver. She said she grew up in an Italian family that took care of each other. When her children were young, she helped her mother take care of her grandparents. Later in life, she married Fire Chief Russ Anderson and helped care for not only her aging parents, but his as well.

Anderson spent much of 2020 caring for her mother, who died last month. She said going to the senior center and seeing smiling faces was good for her and although the COA staff are back to work, she still enjoys helping out.

“I’m someone who, when there’s a job to do, I just do it,” said Anderson. “I don’t expect thanks or awards. I am very humbled that the Council On Aging chose to honor me, especially because the award is meant for someone older.”

In addition to helping with meal distribution throughout the summer, Anderson also helped in November with the Sand for Seniors program, ffilling and delivering all the buckets that were needed by herself. Sullivan said this made the Saturday delivery go faster, which made less work for the Senior Center staff.

“Lisa has been a familiar face at the Senior Center for many years, but this year she went above and beyond. Helping is nothing new to her as she has helped both her parents in their older years and also her in-laws,” Sullivan said. “Making sure seniors have what they need and making their lives easier is a priority whether they are family or not”.

Anderson is the Southwick Fire Department SAFE Coordinator, educating children and seniors in fire prevention and has also been a C.N.A. in a nursing home.

“She is amazing, and we so appreciated her time and commitment during a very challenging time for our Seniors and our community. We will have a reception to honor her more formally once we are safely able to do so. Thank you Lisa for being our ‘Good Citizen’ when we needed you the most,” stated Sullivan.

To Top