AUBURN — Gerontologist Connie Jones was honored for 30 years of work in the field of aging at the 2016 Fill the Plate Breakfast on March 18 at the Auburn Riverwatch Hilton Garden Inn.

Jones received the 2016 Ikaria Award for singular and outstanding contributions toward improving the lives of older adults. Ikaria is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea considered one of the world’s five “Blue Zones” – places where an estimated one in three members of the population regularly lives an active life into their 90s.

Almost 200 people attended the event, which raised $10,000.

Jones will retire in June after nine years at SeniorsPlus. Jones has worked with older adults for 30 years across New England. She holds a master’s degree in human services with a specialty in gerontology.

Jones started her work with older adults at the Rhode Island Meals on Wheels program. She moved to New Hampshire to manage Prime Time: The Center for Healthy Aging at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, a place for older adults to gather for education and assistance.

Jones arrived at SeniorsPlus in 2007. During her tenure at SeniorsPlus, Jones launched the Education Center at SeniorsPlus, which last year attracted almost 5,000 attendees to more than 350 workshops. She introduced the annual Aging Well Living Well Expo, a conference that now attracts almost 300 attendees. She moved the Nutrition Program of SeniorsPlus from Wilton to Lewiston to a facility that increased efficiency and capacity of the Meals on Wheels program. And she added new programming, including Savvy Caregiver, evidence-based classes, Money Minders, Veterans Independence Program, MS Society Home Links program, Options Counseling, the Thriving in Place program in Rangeley and Farmington, and an early-stages of dementia support group.

Bill Green, the host of the television program “Bill Green’s Maine,” was the featured speaker. The breakfast is presented in conjunction with March For Meals, a national campaign of the Meals on Wheels Association of America.

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