Since 1980, the Long Beach City College Foundation and LBCC's Lifetime Learning Center has hosted an Outstanding Seniors Luncheon.

Each year, one or more Lifetime of Service awards were given out. This year, the event has been expanded to become the program's primary fundraiser, Executive Director Theresa Brunella said.

"Mary Thoits started this event in 1980," Brunella said, "and she is still teaching ‘World Affairs and Current Events' at the Lifetime Learning Center. She's 95 years old!"

Honorees have included Isabel Patterson (1983), Eunice Sato (1999), Tom Hennessy (2003), Ray Bradbury (2006), Tom Shadden (2013) and many more.

This year, three people will be given Lifetime of Service awards. First is Joseph Prevratil, who retired this year after 24 years as CEO of the Archstone Foundation, and has been a community leader for more than 40 years. He operated the Queen Mary for a number of years and was instrumental in bringing Carnival Cruise Lines to Long Beach.

Next is Shirley Wild, the longtime columnist for the Long Beach Press-Telegram who writes about social events for charitable causes. She is the co-founder of Steel Magnolias, a group dedicated to raising money for the Stramski Center, which serves children with special needs from autism to cleft palates.

Last is Grunion Gazette Executive Editor Harry Saltzgaver, who has served on a number of community and city boards in his 27 years in Long Beach.

The luncheon, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 at The Grand, is open to the public, and sponsored by the LBCC Foundation and Dignity Health-St. Mary Medical Center. Individual tickets are $45, with several levels of sponsorship available.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call (562) 938-3046. For sponsorship information, call Brunella at (562) 938-3047.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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