Longtime Between The Lines columnist and contributor Charles Alexander was recently recognized by the Hannan Center as one of their 70 over Seventy: The Next Chapter Awards honorees. Alexander was presented with the award at a brunch banquet Saturday in the Dearborn Ballroom of the Dearborn Inn.
“It’s certainly an honor for me,” Alexander said to Between The Lines following the awards presentation. “As an out gay artist and columnist for BTL I’m proud of being chosen for inclusion. And while I am indeed way beyond the 70 age bracket, mentally I feel younger by about 30 or 35 years – and I know many, main rainbow seniors who share the experience.”
Alexander, a highly-respected Detroit artist who graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1956, has been creating and sharing his art since reconnecting with it while in rehab for alcoholism some 36 years ago.
“I’m alive today because I stopped drinking in 1982,” said Alexander. “I keep mental sharp by making art on a daily basis and by writing and researching my Parting Glances columns for BTL. Also, I exercise daily with weights and by walking everywhere as much as possible. For spirituality, I attend Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, a source of strength, support and friendship during my sober life.”
A board member of the Scarab Club and former longtime curator of the Affirmations’ Pittmann-Puckett Gallery, Alexander is a prolific artist. Alexander frequently donates his art to causes he finds worthwhile and has, to date, raised over $60,000 for human rights, LGBTQ and AIDS concerns.
In addition to recognizing members of Detroit’s artistic community, the Hannan Center’s 70 over Seventy also celebrated what they called changemakers, community leaders, entrepreneurs, lifelong learning individuals and unsung heroes.
“This year’s 70 over Seventy winners have had their portion of ups and downs, but each one has viewed his or her life as a novel where they are the authors and every day is a new page and chapter to be written,” said Vincent Tilford, the Hannan Center’s executive director. “They continue to achieve and accomplish much in spite of obstacles. Their perseverance is a testimony to the world that older people have more to give, and that hard work, inspiration and aspiration are ageless.”
The Hannan Center was created by Luella Hannan after her husband William bequeathed his estate to charitable causes in 1925. Today the Hannan Center develops and provides programs and services that meet the changing needs of Metropolitan Detroit areas seniors. This was the second year for the Center’s 70 over Seventy program and the Next Chapter Awards.
Judy Lewis Also Recognized
Also recognized from the LGBT community was Judy Lewis. Recognized as a changemaker, Lewis helped to create the LGBT Older Adult Coalition in 2010, which later became SAGE Metro Detroit. Presently, Lewis a part-time trainer and educator for SAGE.
“It was a fabulous party,” Lewis said of the awards banquet. “And isn’t it wonderful that they’re now acknowledging LGBT endeavors!”
To find more information about Hannan Center go online to hannan.org.