Perry Lutheran Homes Receives Two, State-Wide Awards from LeadingAge Iowa

Perry Lutheran Homes has been awarded the 2019 Public Trust award for the creation, launch and spread of the StepUp Movement to shine a light on elders living in communities who are lonely, afraid, hungry and forgotten. In addition, Perry Lutheran Homes board member, Bill Van Vliete, was honored with the 2019 Board Member of the Year Award.

Perry Lutheran Homes’ StepUp Movement was selected for the award by industry professionals at LeadingAge Iowa. LeadingAge Iowa recognizes one organization annually for its efforts that go far beyond traditional resident care and services to support and improve the greater community and is an example of the organization’s mission in action demonstrating commitment to social responsibility.

The “Step” in StepUp stands for Serving Together our Elderly with Passion and engages the greater community of Perry, and beyond, to take notice of the needs of elder citizens around them, and to StepUp and take action to help. This movement was launched at the first annual StepUp Celebrate dinner in May 2018. Following the dinner, weekly StepUp challenges were issued on Facebook to encourage community members, businesses, services organizations, churches and more involved in SteppingUp. The StepUp campaign continued in July 2018 with the first annual Run Through Time 5K Fun Run celebrating elders, music and memories to raise funds for elders unable to afford care living at Perry Lutheran Homes and for home delivered meals to elders in the community. In 2019, these efforts and more were repeated with greater awareness and involvement as well as supporting the weekly senior fellowship meal with not only dollars, but staff support to keep the program going.

“LeadingAge Iowa is so pleased to recognize Perry Lutheran Homes with the 2019 Public Trust Award for the StepUp Movement, which is a challenge to the greater public at large to recognize and meet the needs of older adults within the community.  We particularly liked how this movement is applicable not only in Perry but also in any other community within Iowa and beyond. We can all do more to support and honor the elders around us,” said Shannon Strickler, President and CEO of LeadingAge Iowa.

Shannon Strickler, President and CEO of LeadingAge Iowa presents the Public Trust Award to Melissa Gannon, COO and Administrator, and Wanda Pritzel, Director of Charitable Giving, both of Perry Lutheran Homes.

To join the StepUp movement and take part in the fun and meaningful weekly challenges, follow the Perry Lutheran Homes Facebook page or visit the Run Through Time 5K Fun Run website. A video about the StepUp Movement was put together and shown at the LeadingAge Iowa awards banquet and can be viewed on YouTube at:

Additionally, Perry Lutheran Homes’ board member, Bill Van Vliete, was selected as the 2019 state-wide Board Member of the Year by LeadingAge Iowa. This award is bestowed on an individual who has served un-selfishly and with distinction on the board of trustees of a LeadingAge Iowa member organization. The award recipient will have demonstrated exceptional commitment and actions to enhance and enrich the lives of aging persons, exceptional service to the member organization and residents, and specific evidence of leadership in helping achieve the organization’s goals and objectives attained during their leadership.

“In addition to serving as a board member for nine years, Bill has donated an incredible amount of time and talent to help make Perry Lutheran Homes’ Willis campus feel like a home through design, color, furniture, flooring and more. All of this supports and improves the residents’ quality of life as they transition to their new home,” expresses Max Phillips, CEO of Perry Lutheran Homes.

“Non-profit aging service providers like Perry Lutheran Homes are community organizations that rely upon the guidance and dedication of volunteer board members to set strategic direction. Bill Van Vliete has exceeded all expectations of board members by contributing such a significant amount of time and talent towards the betterment of Perry Lutheran Homes and to ensure all residents live in an enriching and warm environment. Thank you for your service Mr. Van Vliete,” said Strickler.

Due to unforeseen health circumstances, Mr. Van Vliete was unable to be in attendance at the awards banquet. Board Chairman, Curt Carlson, was able to accept the award on his behalf and a video about Mr. Van Vliete’s efforts was put together and shown which can be viewed on YouTube at:

Perry Lutheran Homes Board Chairman, Curt Carlson, accepts the Board Member of the Year Award from Shannon Strickler, President and CEO of LeadingAge Iowa, on behalf of award recipient, Bill Van Vliete.

Community members are invited to join in celebrating these awards at an ice cream social event, along with Perry Lutheran Homes staff and residents, on Thursday, October 31 at 2:00PM. The event will take place in the lobby of Perry Lutheran Homes’ Willis Campus at 2323 Willis Ave, Perry, IA.

Perry Lutheran Homes, is Your Christian Caring Community serving Perry and surrounding communities for over 60 years. Perry Lutheran Homes offers innovative, personalized, Christ-centered care at two campuses in Perry, IA – Willis Campus and Spring Valley Campus. Services include independent and assisted living, three levels of progressive memory care, in-home care, respite care, skilled care, rehabilitative therapy, intermediate and long-term care, and end-of-life care.