At our annual Art Show at TECO Plaza on September 13th, the Life Enrichment Center Board of Trustees presented a much-deserved award. Like the Gladys Kashdin “Above and Beyond” award, it will be presented only periodically, to the rare and worthy recipient.
When the Life Enrichment Center opened in 1980, it was typical of its time. Keeping seniors active meant offering bingo and covered dish luncheons. This board member helped us transform into a nationally-recognized center for adult arts and education, ranging from excellence in the visual arts—as to writing, dance, wellness, and a wide range of other stimulating programs. But no bingo.
He also helped bring the TECO building into existence. He began his career in 1947, as an oiler at the Peter O. Knight Power Plant. When he retired 42 years later, he left as the first senior vice president of production in the history of Tampa Electric Company.
Tampa, Tampa Electric, and the Life Enrichment Center have all been enriched by this gentleman, who has served on our board longer than any other member, and was the first named as an honorary trustee.
In recognition of more than two decades of service, we are proud to present the first Lifetime Achievement Award to the man who claims to be the luckiest guy who ever walked the face of the earth, Mr. Heywood A. Turner.
From here on, this award will be known as the Life Enrichment Center’s Heywood A. Turner Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Life Enrichment Center recently presented Debra Jo Radke with the prestigious Dr. Gladys S. Kashdin Above & Beyond Award. The award was presented at the reception for the Life Enrichment Center’s 12th annual art exhibition at TECO Plaza. The award honors Ms. Radke for her commitment and dedication to ensure our community’s older artists are recognized and valued for their contribution to the arts. Upon accepting her award, she said “I thank all of you for this honor and tell you how deeply humbled I am to receive an award for doing something I simply love to do!”
Ms. Radke has been teaching art at the Life Enrichment Center since 2002 and is the curator for the TECO Public Art Gallery. The award is named for the Life Enrichment Center’s major benefactor, Dr. Kashdin, philanthropist, professional artist and Professor Emeritus of Humanities at the University of South Florida. This award is given only to individuals who have clearly gone “above and beyond” in their efforts for the Center and its members.
Ms. Radke is a dedicated advocate and sponsor for older adults in the arts. As a teacher, she brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and talent to the students in her classes. She encourages, supports and guides her students on their journey of creative expression and challenges them to improve and enhance their skills in the fine arts. In addition to the annual group exhibitions at TECO by members of the Life Enrichment Center’s art classes, she has given many of our individual artists solo shows there.
An award winning artist, Ms. Radke is a Tampa based painter and printmaker. Her prize-winning work has been shown in many national and international exhibitions and is held in corporate and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. She recently completed a residency at the Lessedra Gallery in Europe, where she took 2nd prize in a juried show of 491 artists from 57 countries around the world.
The Life Enrichment Center board of trustees, staff and members congratulate Debra Radke on this honor.
The Life Enrichment Center is a unique and special place. It is the only private, non-profit senior center in Hillsborough County, one of few across the country. Its cultural arts program has received national and international recognition and serves as a model of a successful community-based organization, serving adults primarily 50+. We are also the only agency in Hillsborough County specifically addressing the needs of high-functioning, well, active older adults.
Our funding comes primarily from contributions from private citizens, corporate sponsors, civic organizations, grants, and fundraising events. All donations are tax deductible. It takes a community effort to ensure that classes and programs like those offered at the Life Enrichment Center will continue to be available for all of the citizens in Hillsborough County at affordable prices, in a safe and comfortable environment.
As our society continues to age and live longer, organizations like ours are becoming even more important. Research indicates that baby boomers are going to be looking for activities that challenge and stimulate them and enable them to explore creative options for which they have not previously had time. This is exactly what the Life Enrichment Center is all about – offering innovative classes and activities that provide adults with the opportunity to continue to learn and grow life-long. I invite you to visit the Life Enrichment Center and I encourage you to support our program.
Ronna J. Metcalf,
Your tax-deductible contribution to Life Enrichment Center is much appreciated.