ABOVE: Longtime teacher, principal, county commissioner and community activist Mary Mills. // SUBMITTED
COUNCIL ON AGING
Mary Mills, a Franklin resident who spent 39 years as a local educator and 17 years as a Williamson County Commissioner, is one of the honorees in The Council on Aging (COA) of Middle Tennessee‘s 27th Annual Sage Awards honorees.
Also honored will be husband and wife physicians, Drs. Pramod and Geeta Wasudev of Brentwood.
The Sage Awards, presented each year since 1992, are given to older adults who have made outstanding contributions to Middle Tennessee through a lifelong commitment of working to improve the quality of life in their communities. Awardees will be honored at a luncheon held on Oct. 29 at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. To make a reservation for the luncheon, please visit www.coamidtn.org/sage-
In addition to Mills and the Wasudevs, the other 2018 Sage Awards honorees are: Carrie Hudson (Nashville), and Joe and Dorothy Scarlett (Nashville).
In addition to the individual honorees, The Council on Aging is also honoring an organization that has demonstrated a significant impact on the lives of older adults in Middle Tennessee. The 2018 Organization Award will be presented to Alive Hospice.
“The Council on Aging believes in recognizing older adults who have devoted their lives to improving their community,” said Grace Smith, COA’s executive director. “The Sage Awards allow us to recognize the men, women and organizations that have demonstrated visionary leadership and a lifelong commitment to making our communities better places to live.”
Sage Award honorees (couples or individuals) and alternates are selected by the Sage Awards Committee from the nominations received. The committee, which is comprised of past Sage Award recipients, COA board members and community volunteers, may also consider nominations from previous years. Eligibility includes any older adult (age 55 and older) living in the Middle Tennessee area served by COA.
Following are a few of the honorees’ accomplishments:
Alive Hospice is a nonprofit organization that provides loving and compassionate end-of-life care, support to families and service to the community in a spirit of enriching lives. Founded in Middle Tennessee in 1975, Alive Hospice was the first hospice program in the state of Tennessee, the first in the Southeast and the third in the nation. Today, Alive Hospice serves more than 3,600 patients and their families annually and provides grief support services for nearly 600 adults and children in Middle Tennessee, in addition to training for tomorrow’s caregivers and education for the community at large.
Carrie Hudson has dedicated her life to the betterment of her community for all, young and old. Hudson has served in several leadership roles for the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., CABLE, Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., League of Women Voters, Grace M. Eaton Child Care and Early Learning Center, Edgehill Community Center and Top Teens of America. Hudson has helped older adults with registering to vote, transportation, meals, assistance and companionship. In addition, she served on the Council on Aging’s Community Assessment Committee. She is a member of Mount Bethel Baptist Church where a scholarship is named in her honor.
Mary Mills, a lifelong Williamson County resident, has committed her life to positively impacting the community through her many contributions to education, political leadership, church, historic preservation and tourism, economic development and healthcare. Mills spent 39 years in the education field serving as a teacher and as a principal. After retiring from the school system, Mills served her community as Williamson County Commissioner for 17 years. She is an active member of Shorter Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Mills is one of the founders of the African American Heritage Society, helping establish and preserve the first and only African American museum in Williamson County. She has also been affiliated with the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, Williamson Medical Center and the Williamson County Health Council.
Together, Joe and Dorothy Scarlett have opened educational opportunities for hundreds of Tennesseans by founding the Scarlett Family Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to helping students realize their dreams through college scholarships, support of K-12 educational programs and innovation and reform initiatives. Joe is the retired Chairman and CEO of Tractor Supply Company, and after a long retail career, he founded the Scarlett Leadership Institute. He currently serves as the Vice Chairman of The Beacon Center and Chairman for the Scarlett Hotel Group. Dorothy is a member of the Herb Society of Nashville, treasurer of the New Neighbors Garden Club and a member of the International Women’s Club.
Drs. Pramod and Geeta Wasudev founded the Indian Community Seniors Support Services in 2014. The organization works with volunteers to help seniors with transportation, meals, doctor’s visits, social visits and end-of-life and funeral planning. Pramod is currently serving as president, and Geeta is an active member. Both are also active volunteers and leaders with the India Association of Nashville and Loaves and Fishes, helping to cook and serve meals to the homeless population at Holy Name Church. Through the American Red Cross, both provided medical expertise to victims of six natural disasters. Together, they have received multiple awards for their outstanding community and humanitarian work.