A West Columbia woman who is active in volunteer work and a Columbia man who founded Honor Flight South Carolina are finalists in this year's State Aging Awards.
Jean R. Bridges has won numerous awards for her dedication to seniors, including the 2005 Jane Kennedy Excellence in Aging Award (which covers a nine-state region) and the 2009 Senior Advocate Award given by the Senior Care Professionals of the Midlands.
Bridges also is a finalist for the 2010 Outstanding Older South Carolinian Award and the Volunteer Service Award.
Columbia restaurateur Bill Dukes is the driving force behind Honor Flight South Carolina, a program that flies World War II veterans and their guardians to see the new World War II memorial in Washington D.C.
He was one of South Carolina's 10 delegates to the National White House Conference on Aging in 2005.
Dukes also is a finalist for the 2010 Leadership in Aging Award.
The Outstanding Older South Carolinian Award recognizes individuals 65 years old or older who have rendered outstanding and ongoing contributions to the community, state or region.
"South Carolina is truly blessed to have so many com-passionate individuals and or-ganizations supporting our sen-iors with their time, spirit and in-dustrious nature," said Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who heads the state's Office on Aging.
Other finalists for this year's Aging Awards include Nancy Eaker of Spartanburg, Rep. Herb Kirsh of Clover, Dave Honkonen of Aiken, William Bradham of Florence and Col. Terry Brown of Charleston.
Rounding out this year's finalists are Dawn Amerson of Ware Shoals, Leslie Hall of Rock Hill, Roger Jellenik of Camden and David Unwin of Summerville.
The winners will be announced Tuesday during Senior Day at the State House.
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Dr. Gregory Tarasidis of Greenwood will be installed the 149th president of the South Carolina Medical Association today during the association's annual meeting in Myrtle Beach.
"This past year has been challenging for patients, physicians, and practices across the country as health care reform came to light, and as budget cuts took a toll on our statewide health care programs," Tarasidis said. "As president, I will continue in my efforts to guide South Carolina physicians through the political process so that our state's patients will have the best health care outcomes."
Tarasidis is chairman of the South Carolina Physician Assurance Co. He also chairs the Outpatient Surgery Center at Self Regional Healthcare and is a South Carolina alternate delegate to the American Medical Association.