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The George H. Nettleton Foundation is pleased to announce the seventh annual
Elbert C. Cole Jr. Legacy Award

Beginning in 2011 each year an individual will be chosen to receive the Elbert C. Cole Jr. Legacy Award honoring an individual that exemplifies the values and vision personified by Dr. Cole throughout his life. Dr. Cole inspired all to look at aging as a time of opportunity to continue learning and to give back. Dr Cole was particularly well known for his belief that some of life’s best, most important work takes place in the later years. This award is initiated to honor and recognize an individual who personifies this value by demonstrating the importance and present use of their knowledge, talents, skills and passions in their work or volunteer service. The awardee will be chosen from candidates nominated by organizations or individuals throughout the greater Kansas City metro area.
The awardee will receive a $5,000 monetary award. Nominations should be based on the following criteria.
A candidate:

  • Must be 65 years of age or older.

  • Should be an undeniable role model – their story should inspire others.

  • Should demonstrate social innovation and leadership

  • Should demonstrate a significant impact on the community

  • May be a volunteer or employed in an encore career

  • Candidates must demonstrate that they are making a big difference, creating a significant impact in the community and serving as a role model for others.

LeRoy Zimmerman

At age 84 he faithfully leads a volunteer group of 13 retired men in Metro Lutheran Ministry’s Minor Home Repair team who build wheel chair ramps and do other modifications that allow low income seniors to age in place.  During the time of his leadership the team has worked on nearly 1000 homes.  LeRoy has a long history of distinguished service helping people who are poor and homeless. At MLM he served as a board member for 6 years and helped the organization redefine itself and become a community leader.  In addition to his volunteer service with MLM, LeRoy is active with Revision, a ministry for families of prison inmates, and Arts in Prison.  

The low income seniors who are able to stay in their homes and live with dignity rather than move to a Medicaid nursing home give ringing testimonials about LeRoy and his Minor Home Repair team.  LeRoy works more hours than anyone else, does the planning, and makes sure the work is done correctly.  Invariably when LeRoy’s team is in these homes they find other critical safety issues and fix them as well.  LeRoy’s team is the best example of faith based ministry in our agency.  


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