Senior Resources celebrates 50 years!

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Senior Resources of West Michigan celebrates 50 years as an area agency on aging serving Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa counties! Throughout the year we will share some history and tidbits about our five decades serving this region.

In 1965, Congress adopted the Older Americans Act (OAA) which created the Administration on Aging and called for the creation of an agency within each state focusing on older adults. In 1973, amendments to the 1965 OAA directed states to designate area agencies on aging – regional organizations serving the elderly.

In the fall of 1973 the county commissioners in Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa counties adopted resolutions to designate the Region 14 Area Planning Council on Aging for the purpose of implementing the OAA.

On January 31, 1974, the Region 14 AAA incorporation was filed as a private not-for-profit organization. Rich Rienstra was the first board chair, serving until 1980. Pastor John Brown moved into the position and provided leadership until 1996.

Jim Peliotes, the first director of the agency, held that position until retirement in 1984. The agency started with two staff, Jim and secretary Carolyn Latin, in a borrowed office in Brookhaven (former county-owned skilled care facility). They later moved to a couple rooms in the Downtowner Hotel and then on to the historical Torrent House. The office moved in 1990 to a location on Sherman Boulevard.

What was happening in early 1974?
* President Richard Nixon cited executive privilege in refusing to surrender 500 tapes and documents that were subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
* Happy Days, a sitcom about life in the 1950s, debuted on ABC.
* Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped on Feb. 4 from her Berkeley, CA, apartment by members of the Symbionese Liberation Army.
* The crew of Skylab 4 returned to Earth after a record 84 days in orbit.

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