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Purpose Prize recognizes work of baby boomers

Resource type: News

Los Angeles Times | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]

The Purpose Prize and Civic Ventures are Atlantic grantees.

Life doesn’t stop once you turn 60. For some, that’s when life begins.

That’s the message a think tank is trying to convey with the Purpose Prize, an award that commemorates the work of baby boomers over 60 who are working to solve society’s issues.

Two Californians — Judith Broder, 69, of Studio City and Marcy Adelman, 63, of San Francisco — were among 10 award winners from across the nation announced today in San Francisco.

“For a long time we’ve had a notion in this country that innovation and entrepreneurship are the exclusive providence of the young,” said Marc Freedman, chief executive of Civic Ventures, which sponsors the prize. “The Purpose Prize shows that innovation and experience go hand-in-hand.”

Broder, a retired psychiatrist, started The Soldier’s Project, a network of licensed healthcare professionals who provide free and confidential unlimited therapy to service members and their families.

Broder literally woke from her sleep with the idea for the project. That night she had seen a play in Hollywood that featured monologues from Marines who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Our goal really is to help our service members come all the way home,” Broder said. “Not just physically back in their hometowns, but back psychologically to their families and to themselves.”

The organization has expanded from Los Angeles to Seattle, Sacramento and areas across Southern California.

Marcy Adelman started Open House, an organization that focuses on providing services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender senior citizens. The organization trains healthcare providers across California in how to deal with the LGBT community and is partnering with the San Francisco mayor’s office to build affordable housing for LGBT seniors.

Adelman, a clinical psychologist, said too many LGBT seniors face discrimination and loneliness, even in San Francisco. “People don’t even think about LGBT seniors aging,” she said.

The 10 awards carry a monetary prize of $50,000 or $100,000.

In four years, more than 5,000 seniors have been nominated for the prize, Freedman said.

“Rather than being over the hill at 50 or 60, many are beginning what may easily be some of their most fulfilling work and most significant accomplishments,” he said.