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AAACF Announces Winners in $2.5M Vital Seniors Competition!

Winners of the $2.5 million prizes for the Vital Seniors: A Community Innovation Competition were just announced by the Glacier Hills Legacy Fund (GHLF) of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF). The initiative, the largest of its kind in North America, was designed to catalyze high-impact innovation and create enduring outcomes for vulnerable seniors and their caregivers in Washtenaw County. 

“We are thrilled to announce the award winners for the Vital Seniors Competition, as the culmination of this competitive 10 month process.” said Neel Hajra, AAACF’s CEO. “This is only the beginning of the work to support innovation that will create sustainable outcomes for seniors and caregivers in our community.”

The competition yielded significant local and national interest, ultimately yielding 10 Washtenaw County nonprofit finalists that each received $20,000 capacity-building grants, mentorship and workshop opportunities. More than 8,000 people voted in the People’s Choice Awards in October after viewing videos from the finalists. 

In total, six awards were announced at the Vital Seniors Community Celebration on November 13:

  • Vital Seniors Grand Prize of $500,000 – Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley
  • Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., Foundation Caregiver Prize of $250,000 – Area Agency on Aging 1-B 
  • Vital Seniors Innovation Award of $100,000 for a Small Organization – Chelsea Senior Center 
  • Vital Seniors Innovation Award of $100,000 for a Large Organization – Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County
  • Vital Seniors People’s Choice Award of $50,000 for a Small Organization – Chelsea Senior Center 
  • Vital Seniors People’s Choice Award of $50,000 for a Large Organization – Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County

The winning projects will also be eligible for additional follow-up grants in 2020-2022 and AAACF is excited for this new learning community of innovative practitioners to continue their work in serving vulnerable seniors & their caregivers in Washtenaw County.

More information about all the projects, including a synopsis of GHLF, can be found at www.aaacf.org/Impact-Initiatives/Vital-Seniors

About the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
Established in 1963, AAACF is dedicated to enriching the quality of life throughout Washtenaw County. A core team of 17 trustees, 12 staff, and 400+ volunteers connects people, charitable causes, and permanent capital for community impact.



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