Agency on Aging Announces Short Story Winners

Source: Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments
Source: Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments

Reflecting Back on Older Americans Month 2016 with “Blaze a Trail”

Released by Kendra Dixon, UCPCOG

In honor of Older Americans Month, the Area Agency on Aging chose to show their appreciation by holding a short-story contest for the aging adults in the counties we serve.

Our panel consisted of Ms. Armeta Coley, our Senior Medical Patrol Coordinator for Region L; Ms. Mae Evans, a retired school teacher of the Nash County/Rocky Mount area; Rebecca B. Stapleton of the J.W. Faison Senior Center in Northampton County; and myself, Kendra Dixon, the Evidence-Based Health Promotions Coordinator for Region L.

A special “Thank You” to these ladies that joined me in this tough decision-making process. It was such a pleasure for our panel to enter into the experience of these writer’s short stories. We are proud to announce and share the stories of our winners.

Blaze A Trail 2016 Winners

Our first place winner, Ms. Toni Johnson out of Nash County, shared her endearing experience of caring for her brother Robert during his battle with cancer. She quotes…

“Robert reminds me of the flower, forget-me-nots because he has carved his unforgettable name on my heart…”

Second place winner, Ms. Elsie Barnes shared her story of caring for her brother quoting…

“Like the sunflower that doesn’t tolerate shade and turns its face sunward for sustenance, my brother’s injuries were his shade and he turned his face to his music and faith for healing…”

Third place winner, Barbara Cheek, shared her story on serving her community. Ms. Barbara states…

“The flower that represents my topic is the pink petunia. I chose this flower because it is bright and beautiful like me and my spirit of giving back…”

Our surprise fourth place winner, Ms. Ernestine Ware, shared her dedication to her community and local senior center. She quotes…

“The rose is the flower that represents how my community has positively affected my life. I was given an opportunity to grow and bloom into a colorful strong person who contributes to the community. I came to the community as a bud…”


Visit the Upper Coastal Plain Area Agency on Aging-Region L Facebook page, to read the full short stories of all of these wonderful winners. Be of great courage and let your light shine for the world to see and let your actions be of goodness and mercy. Your helping hand is someone else’s comfort.

For more information, contact Kendra Dixon at 252.234.5959 or via email.

To find your local Area Agency on Aging, visit or call 1.800.677.1116.

More on Older Americans Month may be found at

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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.