The Coast News Group
Susan Hays was named 2022 Senior Citizen of the Year by the Encinitas Senior Citizen Commission. Courtesy photo of the Friends of the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library.

Senior citizen award winners recognized

ENCINITAS — The Encinitas Senior Citizen Commission in partnership with the Encinitas Rotary Club announced its recipients for the 2022 Senior Citizen of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards.

This awards program is designed to identify and celebrate people who have selflessly contributed to the City of Encinitas as a senior citizen role model.

Susan Hays has been selected as Senior Citizen of the Year. Hays’ has committed to over 20 years of volunteer service. She has volunteered for Leucadia and Encinitas 101 Main Street Associations, Encinitas Historical Society, the 101 Artists’ Colony, Paul Ecke Elementary School, the Cardiff Botanical Society, Friends of the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library and the city of Encinitas.

Hays’ service includes chairing the First Wednesday Music Series and curating art exhibits at the Cardiff Library, keeping the “Book Nook” program open for the community, and participating in the creation the “Cardiff Kook and His Magic Carpet Ride” and the “Encinitas: Our History and People” books.

Danny Salzhandler has been selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Salzhandler has actively volunteered with several organizations including the Encinitas, Leucadia and Cardiff 101 Main Street Associations, Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association, the city of Encinitas, 101 Artists’ Colony, Encinitas Art, Culture & Ecology Alliance, San Dieguito Heritage Museum, Encinitas Library, American Legion and many others.

Salzhandler was the founder of the Full Moon Poets, which produced poetry slams and contributed to the nationally recognized Arts Alive Banner Program. He worked to bring Operation Homecoming to Encinitas, created works of art and donated them to various non-profit organizations in Encinitas for fundraising events and was responsible for getting Encinitas included in the Art Towns of California book.

Both Hays and Salzhandler will be honored at the Encinitas City Council meeting on May 24 at 6 p.m. They will each receive a personal award and their names will be listed on a perpetual plaque housed at the Encinitas Senior Center.

Additionally, they will be recognized at the Encinitas Rotary Club meeting on May 24 at 12 p.m. and invited to participate in the Encinitas Holiday Parade on Dec. 2 as special guests of the Senior Citizen Commission.

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