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The 2021 Member of the Year Award Top 10 Finalists
Long Beach, MS – Humana
SilverSneakers LIVE Home/Virtual
Rebecca Bruner started working out with SilverSneakers online during the pandemic and “fell in love” with the program. When she hears a new person is joining the class, she welcomes them and answers questions. Rebecca says SilverSneakers, along with a change in diet, has helped her lose 60 pounds. She lives with physical challenges including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and being legally blind, and has made new friends through participating in the classes. “I am blessed to have found the SilverSneakers program and their instructors,” she says, adding that the instructors treat her like family. She currently works out six days a week and sometimes does as many as three to five classes a day! That’s dedication.
Tucson, AZ – Amerigroup
Jean Grimm gives her best every time she attends her SilverSneakers class. When her gym reopened after the COVID shutdown, Jean was the first member to show up for the first SilverSneakers class. Her dedication to returning to fitness spread like wildfire, and in no time, she had enlisted several seniors to join the SilverSneakers class. Rain, snow, sun or cloudy day, Jean is front and center in class, giving helpful tips to newcomers and motivating members coming out of COVID isolation. Jean’s outstanding dedication and friendly outlook on life inspire everyone at her gym, where she is known as a SilverSneakers superstar!
New York – Wellcare
Planet Fitness – Lakewood, NY
Mary H. embraces a healthy, active lifestyle and is “a bright light in the lives of everyone she meets.” Since joining SilverSneakers in April 2021, Mary takes classes, uses equipment and other amenities, and chats with other members and staff because she loves making friends. When members are out, Mary is the first to check on them and to catch up when they return. She even brings treats to enjoy and is considered “family.” As for Mary, she says she feels better than ever and is stronger than she was in high school! When she isn’t at the gym, Mary enjoys staying active by kayaking, playing with her two cats, gardening, photography, long walks and staying active in her church.
Anderson, CA – Anthem
Blue Cross Anytime Fitness – Anderson, CA
Frank Holbrook knows how it feels to be aging and thinking your body has given up on you. When he first heard about SilverSneakers and started going to the gym two years ago, he had “spent a lifetime avoiding organized exercise.” Today, Frank, who has had multiple surgeries including shoulder surgery and having a hip and both knees replaced, is “baffled” that people don’t work out all the time. He says he can’t believe how good it feels. He’s recruited his son and granddaughter to his gym so three generations work out together. As one who can now deadlift 280 lbs., he tells people who think they’re “too old” for the gym that he feels great!
Wausau, WI – Humana
Anytime Fitness – Wausau, WI
Paul Kuroski is described as “one of the friendliest, most bubbly people.” At last count, he was nearing his 800th day in a row at his gym. Until a year ago, he worked out on his own, doing cardio and weightlifting while mingling with everyone. After trying a SilverSneakers yoga class last October, he’s practically the spokesperson, telling everyone what great things yoga has done for him. Every week he shows off what he’s practiced between sessions. Paul is proving you can teach an old dog new tricks. Being active and flexible carries over into everyday life: He still does his own landscaping and redid his kitchen flooring. Paul is thankful for his gym and enjoys everything he does, every day.
Anna Margaret Masters
Metairie, LA – Humana
SilverSneakers FLEX Humana Neighborhood Center
Margaret Masters regularly attended SilverSneakers workouts, Zumba and yoga at her location until the shutdown. The “Dancing Queen” wasn’t about to slow down, so as soon as SilverSneakers classes became available online, the technologically savvy Margaret was in! She’s been described as “a wonderful example of [growing] older actively and graciously,” “one of a kind … with a sassy attitude and zest for life,” “upbeat, encouraging and positive,” and “my greatest inspiration.” She even made a Zoom appearance one day after having surgery and returned to classes shortly after. “Full of energy and creativity,” Margaret has a featured role in some dance routines. She’s active in her community, still drives, helps “younger” friends with technology and is interested in everything. Her delightful spirit encourages everyone to be positive.
Auburndale, FL – Devoted Health
Anytime Fitness – Auburndale, FL
Sue Prince’s “tenacity and positive attitude” have helped her achieve the healthy, happy life she enjoys today. She’s attended her gym for more than 10 years. When she fell and injured her hip five years ago, replacement surgery kept her out of the gym for six weeks. “Too long!” she said. She convinced her doctor to let her do physical therapy at the gym. He said do something every day, even if for 15 to 20 minutes. Sue still goes every day (#1 user every month!), and it’s paid off – her biological age is 15 years younger than her actual age. She loves her classes so much she got her SilverSneakers certification to teach during post-pandemic staff changes. She also loves encouraging new and longtime members to keep coming back and try new things.
Killbuck, OH – Medical Mutual of Ohio
Cheryl’s L.I.F.E. Fitness, LLC
Owen Mellor is known to his SilverSneakers classmates as the “SilverSneakers Sheriff” after wearing the badge from his former job as a real sheriff to class one day. Ever the jokester, Owen says he goes to SilverSneakers not just to exercise but to have fun, laugh and socialize. He’s helped many individuals get healthier through exercise and was instrumental in bringing SilverSneakers to his gym. One of the few men in his SilverSneakers class, Owen attends regularly, missing only during the Covid shutdown. Even a hip replacement hasn’t stopped Owen, who starts his days with workouts, works on his classic cars, attends car shows, and attends fundraisers all over the county.
Willie Vivian Stancil
Sun City, CA – Humana
24 Hour Fitness – Riverside, CA
Vivian Stancil exemplifies what hard work can do. “If something is too hard, I’m still going to work at it until I get it,” she says. “I love the challenge.” When Vivian was 50 years old, blind, 320 pounds, and afraid of the water, she took up swimming. A doctor had warned Vivian she wouldn’t make it to 60 without changing her lifestyle. She took that as a challenge. Swimming seemed like a viable option, and she kept going until she lost her fear – and more than 100 pounds. Then she signed up for the National Senior Games and started collecting medals. She was named a Humana Game Changer for her fierceness, dedication, and inspiration. When she’s not using her SilverSneakers benefit to stay healthy in the pool, Vivian runs a church prayer ministry and the Vivian Stancil Olympian Foundation, which offers free swimming lessons to low-income children. Her biggest fan is her husband of 50 years, Turner Stancil.
Millersburg, OH – Aetna
Kinetics – Fitness for Life
Patricia “Pat” Young always has a smile and a kind and encouraging word, and always welcomes new people to class. When Pat first started SilverSneakers, she had balance problems, wasn’t as active as she used to be, and took longer to do things. After a few months, she felt better. Then COVID hit and the gym closed. Pat tried to continue her class workouts at home “so I wouldn’t lose what I’d started to fix.” Now that the gym is open again, Pat attends class Monday, Wednesday and Friday and says, “I can help with more of the outdoor work, I have better balance, and I feel like a new person!” Her instructor is grateful for participants like Pat who “go above and beyond to encourage others and keep positively aging.”
SilverSneakers® by Tivity Health is the nation’s leading community fitness program for older Americans. The program was founded in 1992 and is available to more than 16 million Medicare beneficiaries through many Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement carriers and group retiree plans. For more information, to check eligibility or enroll, go to SilverSneakers.com.