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Council on Aging awards four for service to seniors

Date: 11/23/2010

Nov. 24, 2010

By Katelyn Gendron

Assistant Editor

AGAWAM -- More than 200 people were in attendance of Council on Aging's (COA) annual Thanks-giving Celebration on Nov. 19 as the COA honored four men for their tireless dedication to the city's seniors.

Friends of the Agawam Senior Center President Emile Cote received the 2010 Andrew Gallano Award for his service to the organization; Don Sorel was given the Jim Griffin Award for his efforts as the Friends' treasurer; City Clerk Richard Theroux received the Special Recognition Award for his work as chair of the Senior Center Building Committee; and J. Paul Morin was honored posthumously with the Friends' Friendship Award.

"I don't know if I'm really deserving of an award for this ... My generation got everything from you ... I know [from] growing up [here] how you worked hard and how much you sacrificed for me, and the kids that I grew up with. I don't know if I deserve this award but I know this: you deserve this center," Theroux told the crowd.

Mayor Richard Cohen, who presented Theroux with the award, asserted that Theroux was most deserving of the honor.

"I can't thank you enough for what you did for the city of Agawam to make this dream come true. It wouldn't have happened without you," Cohen said.

Joan Linnehan, executive director of the Senior Center, noted there were more than 50 ballots cast with 20-plus nominations for this year's awards.

State Rep. Rosemary Sandlin told the Morin family that the late J. Paul Morin was "a gentleman, who was very good to all the seniors in the town of Agawam."

"He's done a lot of great work. He was always there to help. He was a great man and will truly be missed," she added.

Sorel called the award "a great honor to follow in Jim Griffin's footsteps, as he was the Friends' treasurer."

Cote said of the event, "This is fantastic! It's a great thing to see all these people here to celebrate these awards."

He noted the occasion was made even more special with the attendance of his children and granddaughter. Members of the Sorel, Morin and Theroux families were also in attendance.

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