Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson has joined the ranks of some national celebrities in having been named the recipient of this year's Sterling Friendship Award from the parent company of Friendship Village of Schaumburg.
Among those who have been honored in previous years are CBS-TV anchormen Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson, former Depaul basketball coach Ray Meyer, Art Linketter, Dr. Joyce Brothers and former Today show weatherman Willard Scott.
Larson is the recipient of the 15th annual award from Friendship Senior Options, which runs Friendship Village of Schaumburg and GreenFields of Geneva retirement communities.
The award is intended to honor someone who "epitomizes the highest ideals of older adult living and personifies the positive aspects of aging."
Larson, who has been working with Friendship Village as a Schaumburg village board member since before the facility's approval 35 years ago, said the fact that he too is now a senior is something that just crept up on him.
"I really feel flattered that they would consider me for that," Larson said of the prestigious recognition. "There's some great people associated with Friendship Village."
Kate Garbarek, manager of the Friendship Senior Service Foundation, said Larson's name has been brought up year after year as people from across the nation have been nominated and considered. She said his decades of tireless public service make him an exemplary example of what the award is all about.
"Al just stood out as someone who made a consistent difference, especially in the Schaumburg area," Garbarek said.
Among his contributions that were specifically cited were his integral roles in the creation of the village's Intergenerational Produce Garden, public art festivals, the Schaumburg convention center, the Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary and the acquisition and redevelopment of the Schaumburg Regional Airport.
Larson will receive the award at the 15th Annual Sterling Friendship Dinner on Friday, Sept. 28. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Secret Garden, an enclosed space at Friendship Village where its assisted living residents can safely enjoy the outdoors.
For more information about the event, call Garbarek at (847) 490-6254.