Creating Community for a Lifetime


News Release


Roberta F. King, APR, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Vice President of Public Relations
Phone: 616.454.1751

Journalist and Author Abigail Trafford speaks at Forum on thriving in the Bonus Decades

GRAND RAPIDS - Nationally recognized author Abigail Trafford will address an upcoming forum cosponsored by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM)and Advocates for Senior Issues.

The forum takes place Friday, October 7, at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Admission is free but a reservation is required. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m.; speakers begin at 9:00 am. The forum is the second event conducted through the Creating Community for a Lifetime (CCFL) Initiative. Speakers and attendees will discuss how the Grand Rapids community can maximize the potential of older adults based on findings from a comprehensive survey of residents over 65. That study showed that while seniors are active in the community and family life, thereās room for them to play a bigger role.

In her keynote speech Trafford will draw on examples from her book My Time: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life (Basic Books, 2004) to inspire older adults to approach the next stage of life as an opportunity to reinvent themselves÷and to get involved. My Time relates the stories of men and women who have successfully transitioned from midlife to the ćbonus decadesä (ages 55 to 80).

Trafford was a writer, senior editor and assistant managing director for U.S. News and World Report before her 14-year career as health editor at the Washington Post. During her tenure the health section won 10 Penny-Missouri Awards for excellence in feature journalism. She also covered the Apollo space program in Houston as a special correspondent for Time magazine.

"We are excited to bring Ms. Trafford's message to Grand Rapids. Our community can reap so many benefits from embracing and engaging the resources older adults bring to the table," said Kate Luckert, Community Foundation program director.

Community Foundation President Diana Sieger and AAAWM Executive Director Tom Czerwinski will announce recommendations developed by four work groups that will translate into increased awareness, improved services, and better utilization of senior talents. These recommendations for making Grand Rapids more elder friendly are in response to survey findings from the CCFL initiative

For more information or to register, call the Community Foundation at 616.454.1751. Seating is limited.