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Elder Nutrition program celebrates Older Americans Month

The Osage Nation’s Elder Nutrition (Title IV) Program held its annual Honors Day celebration with a buffet luncheon and honoring on May 19 in Pawhuska.

Amid the threat of noontime rain, the event attendees (ranging in age from school-age children to elderly) participated in a helium balloon launch to kick off the celebration. Over two dozen people participated and released balloons in the parking lot of the Pawhuska program’s building.

Sue Slinkard, the Elder Nutrition program director, said the event is held each May, which is designated as Older Americans Month. During the lunch, Slinkard announced Osage elder Florence Tranum as this year’s honoree. Tranum, of Pawhuska, is a regular participant of the program, which provides weekday congregate meals at the program’s building in the Senior Housing complex.

Slinkard recognized Tranum and complimented her well-dressed appearance, which usually includes a dress and flashy hat. That day, Tranum wore an orange dress with floral patterns and matching hat. “She even dressed up for the day,” Slinkard said as she presented a plaque to Tranum and thanked her for her “participation in our program and we appreciate you!”

Tranum expressed thanks for the honor and returned the appreciation to Slinkard for her work in the Elders Nutrition program.

Slinkard said two other honorees and program participants this year are Dean and Jack Shoemake, but they were absent during the event.

According to the federal Administration for Community Living website, the 2017 theme for Older Americans Month is “Age Out Loud,” “to give aging a new voice – one that reflects what today’s older adults have to say. This theme shines a light on many important trends. More than ever before, older Americans are working longer, trying new things, and engaging in their communities. They’re taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others. What it means to age has changed, and OAM 2017 is a perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate what getting older looks like today.”

Daily meals

On the Osage Nation website, the Elder Nutrition program provides a monthly menu listing the weekday lunch meals planned for that day. Weekday congregate meals are served at the program from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For a suggested donation fee, meal delivery service is available within Osage County for homebound elders.

For more information on the ON Elder Nutrition program, contact its office at (918) 287-5454 or visit its website at


Benny Polacca

Original Publish Date: 2017-05-23 00:00:00

Benny Polacca

Title: Senior Reporter


Instagram: @bpolacca

Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.


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