Westminster resident Jim Arnett recently earned the prestigious Geri Award, an award given to a maximum of five newly inducted members of the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame for “extraordinary humanitarian community service.”
According to the senior Hall website, the Geri Award is the “Nobel Prize” for Maryland senior citizens. The award itself features a sculpture of a baby’s hand in the palm of an adult hand, designed to represent the admired philosophy of our maturing population, to give meaning and worth to the later years. It is, according to the site, a tangible expression of the leaving of a memory, a legacy, indeed a shining symbol of the fundamental value of giving and serving. The tenderness of the child is entwined with the strength and wisdom of the older person.
Arnett attended the ceremony with his wife, Denise, and several friends from Carroll Lutheran Village, one of whom, John Staehlin, nominated Arnett for the Hall. According to the nomination. Arnett and Staehlin worked together at Northrup Grumman and Arnett has volunteered for Staehlin’s V-Linc (formerly Volunteers for Medical Engineering) since 1998 and is also a member of Carroll Lutheran Village’s volunteer group that seeks to create solutions to problems senior citizens are experiencing.
Staehlin called Arnett “the epitome of volunteerism.” According to the nomination form, Arnett is:
- The organizer of “Days of Caring,” student and adult group trips to work at “Garden Harvest,” a farm dedicated to provide food to the needy;
- A math instructor at Carroll County Community College, teaching evening adult classes;
- Retired Westminster Vol. Fire Department paramedic and firefighter;
- The 1996 recipient of the fire department’s Emergency Provider of the Year;
- A recipient of the “Eight Gallon” blood donor award by the American Red Cross;
- A recreation soccer coach;
- The presenter of "Discover Engineering" in the Carroll County Schools, from 2003-12;
- The founder of "Cell Phones for Soldiers" program at Northrop Grumman;
- A mentor for "Project Lead the Way" at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center;
- The current liaison/mentor for engineering students doing disabled adaptive design at UMBC.
The Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame was incorporated in January 1987 to recognize, acknowledge, and honor the volunteer civic and humanitarian accomplishments and achievements of individual Maryland senior citizens. A maximum of 50 qualified nominees are inducted into the Hall of Fame each year.