Al Berger Community Service in Aging Award

The Al Berger Community Service in Aging Award remembers a former President of the Board of Directors of the Society. Al Berger was a past president of The Society who volunteered many hours to lead the long term care insurance initiative to protect individuals who were placed in long term care facilities as well as quality of life efforts following the passage of OBRA in 1987.

The Society remembers his efforts by recognizing individuals who have made significant community service efforts for Colorado seniors. Each year the Board of Directors bestows the Al Berger Community Service in Aging Award

Past recipients have included Gene Bloom, Cody Dental Group & Tammie Rigby, Life Care Centers of America (2013), Josh Freiberg, Red Rocks Family Dentistry (2014), Hearing Rehab Center (2015), and Mike and Ann Drake, community volunteers (2016), Elaine Allemang, Karey Bradley, Forney Museum of Transportation, and United HealthCare Volunteers (2017), and Nicholas C. Peterson, Matthew Carlston, DDS; Jeanette Hensley (2018) and Reynaldo Mireles, Steven J. Zapien, DDS, Janet Weipert, Bernard Buckley (2019), Julie Raney (2020), Venita Vinson (2021), Jeri Priest (2021), Jeanette Mayes Parker (2021), Axel Treutler (2021) and Melanie Leaverton (2021)

In 2022 The Society is pleased to present the Al Berger Community Service in Aging Award jointly to Doug Hodous, Lois Darnell, Arvella Lucas, and Linnea Couture.

Doug Hodous

Doug is a retired high school science teacher.  He has worked with more than 700 science programs in schools, acting as an exceptional resource to many of our youth.  He is a “professional” volunteer.  He spent 26 years volunteering for the Sertoma club.  He helps with Meals on Wheels, Santa’s Toy Drives, and many church activities. As a result of his association with the Sertoma Club, the Club provided support for our Holiday Baskets for a number of years.  Doug, in his early eighties, continues to deliver Holiday Baskets every year.  We are grateful for his many years of services to the Colorado Gerontological Society and our community.

Lois Darnell

By profession, Lois is a retired nursed who worked in Southern California.  Lois is amazing and 13 years ago became a SHIP counselor with St. Anthony’s Hospital.  SHIP counselors are the state’s back bone in helping older adults understand and manage their Medicare problems and questions.  Medicare relies heavily on SHIP counselors to provide guidance and support when there are major changes in Medicare, when Medicare Advantage plans close, and when beneficiaries lose coverage for non-payment or eligibility.  In all of those cases when a beneficiary receives a letter from Medicare, they are often referred to the SHIP for counseling and support.

Lois has been attending our Aging in Place, Affordable Housing and other CGS zoom meetings, especially since the pandemic.  She is 78 years old and wants to age in place.  She tells us she is concerned about being able to afford staying in her own home.  She has been very active with the Denver Housing Advocacy Coalition as we have studied and participated in both the Denver housing plans as well as the ARPA housing initiatives in the state legislature.  Thank you, Lois, for your grassroots advocacy.

Arvella Lucas

Arvella enjoyed a 34-year career with US Bank (formerly Colorado National Bank). She was the

Director of the Senior Banking Program called the Silver Elite Club. This club was for bank customers 55 years and older and provided concierge banking services along with an extensive social program which included educational seminars, theatre outings, day trips, and extended travel opportunities.

As Director of the US Bank Silver Elite Club, she provided a welcoming area for seniors to gather when they came to do their banking and maintained a resource file to help point seniors in the right direction if they had questions about Medicare, social security, community services, etc. She provided educational seminars on relevant topics such as the AARP Driver Safety Class and also inviting Eileen Doherty to give an annual update on Medicare. Her bank club members often said that they would never have been able to visit the amazing places they did and enjoy so many unique experiences if it hadn’t been for the opportunities she provided. Many folks made lasting friendship with fellow members through their involvement in the club.

During her tenure with the bank, she became involved in CGS to expand her scope of work with older adults of all income levels by actively participating in the annual Salute to Seniors planning committee. She was also an exhibitor at all 30 in-person Salute to Seniors events. She later became a CGS Board member and served for over 20 years including in the position of Board President.  Arvella also assisted with the annual CGS Medicare Mondays and the annual Holiday Basket project.

Arvella’s goal is to enrich the lives of seniors in everything she does.  Today she works at AAA Travel.


Linnea started her aging services career in 1975 as an Activity Director in a Lakewood nursing home. It was a temporary job until the “right” one presented itself. Fortunately, it was the “right position” at the “right time” which resulted in a diverse and rewarding career.

Linnea enjoyed a long career in aging.  She worked for many years with frail older adults who use the PACE services.  She was a center director for InnovAge.  This provided her the opportunity to be a part of working and designing interdisciplinary teams to provide care to older adults desiring to remain in their community as long as possible, a unique model that now is nationally recognized as one model of care to help older adults age in the community.  She also served as a consultant and educator to professionals and management within a community based center.

Linnea was also active in the field of activities and older adults, working closely with the training programs at Arapahoe Community College.  Additionally, she supported many of the activity directors as activities became an important part of long term care including assisted living and nursing homes.  Linnea taught the activities class for The Society’s assisted living 30-hour class for the better part of 20 years, always trying to find creative ways to help administrators involve residents and keep them motivated and engaged.  She says her goal and purpose over the years was to make a difference one person at a time.