Barbara Appelson Named 2018 Senior of the Year Award Winner

Appelson Will Be Honored at the Sept. 4 City Council Meeting

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Naperville’s Senior Task Force is pleased to announce that Naperville resident and long-time Riverwalk Adult Day Services volunteer Barbara Appelson has been named the winner of the inaugural Senior of the Year award. Appelson will be formally presented with the 2018 award at the Tuesday, Sept. 4, City Council meeting.

Appelson was nominated by Laura Milligan, Executive Director of Riverwalk Adult Day Services. As Milligan wrote, “Barbara Appelson is a volunteer extraordinaire! She has been coming to our Center weekly, on Thursdays, for over 4 years to help out with the noon meal served to our participants. Barbara converses with the participants that have dementia and other challenges, and helps keep them focused on eating their meal. She often tells them stories of her travels and shows them photos. Barbara and her husband Larry are avid bicyclists and have ridden bikes all over the world.”

“Congratulations to Barbara, whose character and heart for service is exemplified by her actions each and every day,” Mayor Steve Chirico said. “Naperville is full of volunteers who strive to help their neighbors not for their own accolades, but simply because it is the right thing to do. Barbara’s dedication to making meaningful connections with our seniors is admirable, and I commend her and all the nominees of this award.”

According to Milligan, Appelson also celebrated the re-branding and renewal of the organization’s mission by designing and making a quilted wall-hanging featuring Riverwalk Adult Day Services’ new logo. In addition, Appelson helps with their fundraising sales and is active in her church, DuPage Unitarian.

The Senior of the Year award was created by Naperville’s Senior Task Force, which was established at the direction of the 2014 Naperville City Council to help address the unique needs of Naperville’s growing senior population. The award is intended to formally recognize a Naperville resident age 65 or older who has given of his or her time and talent to serve the community without expectation of acknowledgement. Six individuals were nominated, and all will be celebrated at a small reception hosted by the STF prior to the Sept. 4 meeting.

For more information on the Senior Task Force, please visit

About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving city consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The city is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The city’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at