Linda Grap Honored with Calhoun County Leadership Award
In a unanimous vote, the Senior Millage Allocation Committee has chosen to award the Joanne Konkle Lifetime Leadership Award to Linda Grap, former director of Senior Health Partners. The Senior Millage Allocation Committee is a 13-member volunteer board which oversees the administration of Calhoun County Senior Millage. First approved by voters in 1996, Senior Millage funds 22 programs to serve older adults, age 60 and over, and was recently renewed for another ten years in 2020.
This leadership award was established in 2017 to honor the lifetime work of Joanne Konkle (1934-2018) who retired as the Administrator of the Calhoun County Medical Care Facility after 19 years in 2003, and then gave many years of exceptional volunteer service to the Calhoun County Senior Millage Allocation Committee, the Forks Senior Center in Albion, and the Marian Burch Adult Day Care Center in Battle Creek. When Joanne started her career in Social Work, she helped establish the Marian Burch Adult Day Care by writing a grant to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In the 1970s, Joanne was a Calhoun County Board Commissioner. This award recognizes professionals in service to the aged that have followed Joanne Konkle’ s example of providing public service with compassion, commitment, and generosity.
Linda’s heart of service was evident from a young age when she joined the American Red Cross as a “volun-teen.” After serving with the Red Cross, she went on to work at the Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging, the Children’s Foundation – Bloomington/Normal branch, and was the program director for the Burnham Brook Senior Center before becoming director of Senior Health Partners in 2004.
Linda was nominated by both her staff at Senior Health Partners and her longtime friend and colleague Carl Gibson. According to staff person Anne Clark, “through [Linda’s] 17 years as the director of Senior Health Partners, she has been a tremendous leader, compassionate co-worker and always willing to try a new experience for the benefits of the elders. Her knowledge about the community as a whole made an impact on new areas to experience better quality of life, whether it be through exercise, drumming, brain exercise, taking the elders on day trips, she was always willing to listen and quick to agree to give something a try. Linda was always responsible for finding and writing grants to provide more opportunities to create programs to better the lives of the aging community. These opportunities have helped Senior Health Partners to grow to the agency we are today.”
A reception was held in Linda’s honor on August 5 at the Calhoun County Building in Marshall, followed by the Calhoun County Board of Commission meeting where a resolution was passed recognizing Linda’s accomplishments.