Sharon Connor (pictured at far right), a volunteer with Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, has been nominated for the annual WellCare Champions Award. (Photo provided)
Submitted by Catholic Charities of Onondaga County
Sharon Connor, a volunteer with Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, has been nominated for the annual WellCare Champions Award. The final winner of the award is given $10,000 to donate to the charity of their choice. Community members can vote through WellCare for their Champion of choice July 29 to August 21 at http://wellcarechampionsny.com.
Connor is a volunteer with the Strong Bones program. Strong Bones is an evidence-based program that offers non-aerobic, low-impact strength training for men and women over 50 who want to increase strength, energy, and balance. The training improves bone density, dexterity, and balance and reduces the signs and symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, and back pain. The program helps seniors become more independent and less likely to suffer from a fall and injuries.
Over 10 years, the program has served more than 1,000 seniors in Central New York. As a Master Trainer certified by Tufts University, Connor leads classes of 10-25 participants in exercise sequences specifically designed to meet the needs of seniors. Strong Bones is managed by RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) of Onondaga County. RSVP matches adults over 55 with volunteer opportunities in their community. Strong Bones classes take place twice weekly in Mattydale, Fayetteville, Otisco, Cicero, and Lysander.
If Connor secures the most votes, the donation of $10,000 will go toward expanding the Strong Bones program.
“Sharon is a dream volunteer,” said Pat Campany, RSVP Program Director. “I don’t know what we’d do without her. Her students love her. She’s so encouraging while at the same time keeping a watchful eye on each participant’s form in order to avoid injury. She’s a very humble person, she would never tell you how much she does for us, and it’s so nice to see her getting this kind of recognition.”