Celebrating a Transformative Year

The South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA), a non-profit dedicated to helping South Florida’s aging community thrive, recently hosted the second annual SoFIA Celebrates presented by BB&T at the W Fort Lauderdale. The evening was an opportunity to reflect on the year’s successes, honor community leaders who are making a difference in the lives of older adults and unveil new partnerships.

“This past year was a momentous one for SoFIA, beginning with the announcement of our name change and a new mission focused strategically on socioeconomic concerns for seniors,” said SoFIA President and CEO Peter Kaldes, Esq. “We unveiled a wildly successful older adult technology training program called Senior Planet and we are planning a new partnership with SAGE later this year, which will focus on the unique needs of LGBTQ elders. The outcomes of our collaborative discussions on caregiving and aging issues also are leading us to develop more robust programing for older adults. We are proud of the strides made this year and excited about SoFIA’s future course.”

During SoFIA Celebrates Kelley Shanley, president and CEO of the Broward Center for Performing Arts was awarded with the Thrive Award for the Center’s volunteer usher program, which offers older adults the vital opportunity to stay active and culturally involved. Scott Bennett, vice chair of Our Fund Foundation, LGBTQ activist and board member of SAGE USA received the Think Award for his advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ elders. Citrix also was honored with an Act Award for the tech company’s generous funding of the inaugural launch of Senior Planet.

The Edith Lederberg Awards were presented to SoFIA’s outstanding volunteers in recognition of their dedicated work for the organization. Lederberg, who passed away earlier this year, devoted decades of her life to improving the lives of area elders and was well known for her relentless pursuit of her mission.

“It is an honor to be joined tonight by such outstanding community leaders who share a similar vision for our community and the older adults who live here,” noted Kaldes. “Bringing people and organizations together to identify, tackle and solve pressing issues of concern to the aging community is what differentiates SoFIA from other non-profits. We look forward to increasing the momentum in 2019 and injecting vibrancy into aging in new and exciting ways.”

The evening included a silent auction and live musical entertainment, with generous support from sponsors that included W Fort Lauderdale, Sunshine Health, AARP, Kauffman Rossin and Pierson Grant Public Relations.

SoFIA’s inaugural Insight to Action Roundtable also took place earlier that day, where national and local community leaders came together to discuss some of the most pressing social and economic issues that surround aging, including challenges related to housing, workforce, financial planning, support systems and ageism. Leaders attended on behalf of Harvard Kennedy School of Government, AARP, CTA Foundation, Sunshine Health, Grantmakers in Aging, United Way of Broward County, Jewish Federation of Broward and the Community Foundation of Broward.

Peter Kaldes