Alzheimer’s Association WNY honors outstanding volunteers

Bob WiltshireBob Wiltshire

The Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter is recognizing three Erie County residents for their critical contributions to the Chapter’s efforts to end Alzheimer’s disease and provide care and support for all impacted by dementia. 

The Spirit of Hope Award is given to the person or persons who exhibit a positive attitude and approach to life while living with dementia. The awardees exemplify what life with dementia can be – full and self-determined. Spirit of Hope Award winners support others with the disease, either through advocacy, example or direct personal relationships. Eden resident Robert “Bob” Wiltshire, a retired sales engineer, has attended almost every single early stage social engagement program offered virtually by the Chapter during the past year. “For me, hope is not giving up. It means looking for some way to carry on with a normal lifestyle despite troubles.”

Lancaster resident Karen Overhoff has been honored as the Helen R. Wright Volunteer of the Year, which recognizes the person who has made a significant contribution toward the Association’s mission of caring for persons living with dementia and their caregivers. “My mother and my favorite aunt passed away from Alzheimer’s and I vowed when I retired that I would work with caregivers.” Karen has been integral in coordinating online social engagement programs for those living with dementia and is also active in several chapter fundraisers.

The William P. Gillick Quality of Life Award is given to a person or organization whose work has made extraordinary advances toward improving the quality of life for persons living with dementia. Akron resident Carolyn Finger volunteers her time “behind the scenes” at various fundraising events. “Carolyn is an indispensable part of the development team, helping with administrative responsibilities, and day-of operations for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” said Walk Manager Lauren Klenosky. Carolyn is also a major fundraiser for the annual Walk.

The names of the award winners will be engraved on a plaque in the Chapter’s Amherst office. For more information please visit

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