Island Senior Resources Celebrates its 50th Jubilee Anniversary at Greenbank Farm!

by Michele Cato, Island Senior Resources’ Executive Director

Island Senior Resources (ISR) celebrated its 50th anniversary on July 31st at Greenbank Farm with over 300 of ISR’s friends, volunteers, and supporters. I was celebrating my five-month anniversary as ISR’s Executive Director and enjoyed a wonderful day connecting faces with names, interacting with those whom ISR has touched – or been touched by — over the years, and meeting new friends. It was a glorious, sunny day with good community, good food, good music, and good purpose.

We have so much to celebrate and be grateful for. Not the least of which is the ability to assemble in person after the isolation of the pandemic. But we are truly celebrating the hundreds of thousands of people cared for over the past 50 years and those who cared for them. We are celebrating hundreds of thousands of meals delivered by volunteers and home check-ins made. We are celebrating millions of miles driven by compassionate volunteers to medical appointments ranging across Island County as far as Seattle and Bellingham. We are celebrating tens of thousands of volunteer hours and over five million hours of service to people in need over the past 50 years. We are celebrating our future selves in 2072 when a time capsule will be opened at our next Jubilee, including letters from 2022 celebrants ranging from 77-year-old Helen to 17-year-old Sarah, which will be read and shared. We are celebrating ISR, an organization that has been tenacious in its pursuit of excellence and advocacy on behalf of Island County’s seniors, adults with disabilities, and caregivers, and resilient in its flexible response to the ever-changing and growing needs of a highly vulnerable population.

We are celebrating ISR, an organization poised to tackle the challenges of the next half-century. We have to do so by asking the right questions, convening the right people and partners, and developing appropriate, community-based solutions to Island County’s complex issues of aging and wellness. The future will call for thousands of volunteer hours from a new generation of caring Whidbey/Camano residents. We need your ideas, hard work, financial support, advocacy, and optimism that all things are possible when a rural community pulls together!

There is a lot of work still to be done, the breadth and depth of which we can expect to grow just as our baby boomer generation ages, particularly as we try to do so by aging in place on these beautiful Islands. Over the next several months, we will be convening community voices to help us envision the next 50 years of ISR’s service to Island County. I am calling on our community to look for opportunities to join that conversation and to bring along with you another generation of volunteers, donors, and advocates. ISR needs you. Our community needs you. The most vulnerable people within our community truly need you.

Now back to our celebration at Greenbank Farm. I want to thank our generous donors and community supporters who made the event the success that it was. Thank you to: 

  • Whidbey Island Bank (a division of Heritage Bank) for underwriting the entire event
  • Greenbank Farm and the Port of Coupeville for the beautiful venue
  • Rub Number 4 BBQ and the John Meyer family for the yummy smoked pork
  • Serendipity for catering and event support
  • Whidbey Island Ice Cream Co. for cooling off our hot day
  • Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle and Charter for being on reserve for us
  • The Doodle Biz for some amazing wall art
  • Whidbey Westside Rotary club for sending 30 volunteers our way so that our own volunteers could relax and join in the festivities

We could not have done it without the community and local businesses coming together!

Here’s to the next 50 years!