‘We’ve come a long way:’ Aiken Senior Life Services honors employees, addresses growth

May 27, 2019

Aiken Senior Life Services held its annual meeting Tuesday afternoon. During the meeting, members were briefed on the organization’s state of the union and awards were given to some of its valued employees.

One of those employees was Dispatch Supervisor Sadie Watkins who was recognized as Employee of the Year.

“I’ve listened to her,” said Executive Director Bill Goodson. “I’ve walked past the dispatch room, and if you ever get lost in Aiken County, call Sadie. She is the human GPS. She knows the roads, she can tell a driver how to get out of the woods and back to the site just by talking to them.”

Other awards were given to Doug Haley and Don Pennington for their years of service on the organization’s board of directors.

Marshall Cain, chairperson of the board of directors, discussed improvements in services and future goals for Senior Life Services. One of those goals involves securing a new headquarters for the organization using a capital improvements fund. The current building, which sits on a block behind the Old Aiken Hospital, was built in the 1950s.

Senior Life Services partners with the Lower Savannah Council of Governments to provide transportation, its largest-scale service. The nonprofit operates the Best Friend Express which has routes across Aiken County, including North Augusta, and charges a minimal fee, with discounts for students and seniors. Other ride services also exist.

According to Goodson, over 4,200 trips were provided with Senior Life Service’s 22-bus fleet last month. The organization would like to increase the number of drivers and the number of trips, according to Goodson.

Senior Life Services also provides a meals on wheels program for seniors who would otherwise be reliant on family, churches, or neighbors for a hot meal.

“We’ve come a long way, and we have a long way to go,” Cain said.

The newly elected Board of Director’s Executive Committee are: Virginia Girardeau Smith, Secretary; Sharon Hagan, Chairperson; Becky Robbins, Vice-Chairperson and Paul Newsom, Treasurer.

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