ENCINITAS —The city of Encinitas Senior Citizen Commission and the Encinitas Rotary Club presented the 2019 Senior Citizen of the Year award to Lynne Calkins and Gregory Butler as co-award recipients. This awards program is designed to identify and celebrate people who have selflessly contributed to the city as a senior-citizen role model.
Calkins’ commitment to the community is impressive. She served as coordinator of the Interfaith Shelter for the past 15 years. As a registered nurse, she donated her time to give flu vaccinations to her congregation. Calkins started a caregiver support group and runs a “care team” at her church.
She makes sure that members who are homebound are visited by other church members and looked after. The care team offers support, personal visits, and meals to homebound seniors.
Calkins coordinated educational tutoring for refugee children. She organized numerous Death Café events, provides resource information on end of life choices and a death-with-dignity movement via her non-profit organization.
Calkins also organizes an annual collection of clothing for the poor in Fiji and has participated in several missions to third world countries offering extensive medical knowledge and care to those in need. Finally, she organizes blood drives at the San Dieguito Tennis Club.
Butler is very active as a volunteer with his church. He has been providing transportation to senior citizens as a volunteer driver for more than 12 years. In addition to driving, he volunteers to do home repairs and run errands for seniors.
Butler is known as a handyman, carpenter and electrician and puts his skills to good use. He repaired stairs and installed a temporary ramp so that wheelchair-bound parishioners could attend mass.
For more than 30 years, Butler has spent countless hours coordinating quarterly Blood Bank Drives and serves as a liaison between the Blood Bank and the church. He has been the chairperson of the “Tootsie Roll Drive” which provides funds for the mentally disabled and continues annually to have an active role as treasurer and coach.
Butler has also been chairperson of numerous events held by St John’s Catholic Church including the Fiesta Christmas Tree Sale and other activities that benefit the community.
Calkins and Butler will be honored at an Encinitas City Council video conference meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 14 and received a personal award. Their name is listed on a perpetual plaque housed at the Encinitas Senior Center. Additionally, they will be recognized at the Encinitas Rotary video conference meeting on Oct. 14.