Emil Sorensen speaks at Vancouver Island University. Photo submitted

Emil Sorensen speaks at Vancouver Island University. Photo submitted

90-year-old from Nanaimo nabs first-ever Extraordinary Senior Award

Emil Sorensen recognized for his community work with students and with other seniors

A 90-year-old Nanaimo man has the honour of being the first-ever Extraordinary Senior Award winner.

Emil Sorensen received the accolade in Vancouver at the Pacific National Exhibition’s Seniors’ Day at the Fair on Aug. 23 and earned the honour because of his inexhaustible volunteering.

Sorensen’s efforts include work at Vancouver Island University where “he works on projects to improve equipment students use to learn, mentors students in multiple vocational programs,” five days a week, eight hours a day, according to a press release. He is even known to sub in for instructors and teach classes and cycles 10 kilometres each way to the university.

Sorensen also does his part to ensure seniors don’t feel isolated and for the past 10 years, has organized a dinner group for single seniors that live alone. Along with wife Rita, to whom he has been married for 60 years, Sorensen chooses a restaurant where the group meets weekly – the group currently consists of 20 seniors.

Sorensen was awarded a restaurant gift certificate, admission for four people for a VIP experience at the PNE and a one-night stay at the Listel Hotel in Vancouver, the press release said.

The award was sponsored by Retirement Concepts, in partnership with the PNE and Alzheimer Society of B.C., and according to Jennie Deneka, Retirement Concepts’ chief operating officer, Sorensen is a worthy winner.

“We are thrilled with our first Extraordinary Senior Award recipient. Emil is undoubtedly a very deserving winner and we are excited that he made the journey from Nanaimo to join us here,” said Deneka in the press release. “Seniors play an important role in our communities and we are happy to be recognizing that at Seniors’ Day at the Fair.”

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