In honor of his years of service to senior citizens, Southwestern Illinois College Trustee and Programs and Services for Older Persons founder Gene Verdu will be inducted into the Illinois Department on Aging’s 2018 Senior Illinoisan Hall of Fame for Community Service.
Verdu will be recognized at an induction ceremony and reception Friday, Sept. 14 from
11 a.m. to 1 pm. at PSOP, 201 N. Church St., Belleville.
“This is a great honor,” Verdu said. “It has been my pleasure to serve the older residents of Illinois through my work at PSOP and the St Clair County Office on Aging. I hope to continue long into the future.”
The Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame was initiated by the General Assembly in 1994 to commemorate the achievements and contributions of citizens age 65 or older. Inductees are selected through a statewide nomination and judging process. The program targets candidates in the areas of community service, education, the workforce and graphic/performance arts. See the excerpt from the Illinois Act on Aging establishing the
Hall of Fame.
Verdu began his career with then Belleville Area College in 1973 as the director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and was the catalyst for creating PSOP. This branch of the college serves as a “one-stop shop” for senior citizen’s programs ranging from health screening to legal advocacy and from activities to volunteer opportunities. He served as director of PSOP from 1975 until his retirement in 2003. He was appointed to the SWIC Board of Trustees in 2005.
In addition, Verdu serves as the diplomatic consul of Belize for the greater St. Louis Area. He spearheads the Belize Children’s Project, a program to bring children from Belize to
St. Louis Shriner’s Hospital for medical treatment that they cannot get in their home country. To date, more than 450 children have been helped by this service.