ESCANABA - Hank Ford of Gladstone was honored in Grand Rapids in early November at the annual Michigan AARP Shining Star Banquet. Shining Star winners are recognized by their peers for outstanding efforts on behalf of Michigan seniors.
Ford has taught AARP safe driving classes since 2003. In 2007, he became the District Coordinator for the 10 counties in the Western U.P. He became a trainer in 2010 so he could recruit and prepare others to follow in his footsteps. He was forced to retire again in May due to ill health.
According to local AARP volunteer, Sally Bruce, Ford was an inspiring instructor, motivating others to carry on as safe driving instructors. He has taught from Sault Ste Marie to Ironwood and from Escanaba to Marquette and over 450 "UPPERS" have attended his classes.
Dwayne “Hank” Ford, seated, was recently honored as a “Shining Star” award winner by the Michigan AARP. Shining Star winners are recognized by their peers for outstanding efforts on behalf of Michigan seniors. He is pictured with his wife, Sonya Ford of Gladstone and AARP volunteer, Sally Bruce.
"He personifies what it means to be an AARP volunteer in the Upper Peninsula," Bruce said. "Always positive, energetic, and friendly, Hank is an inspiration to AARP members and to everyone who call themselves UPPERS. Hank truly believed that safe driving was an important issue for the seniors who live in the Upper Peninsula."
The award was presented to Ford at Bishop Noa Nursing Home by Sally and Jim Bruce, AARP volunteers from Escanaba.