Local senior advocate Nona Safra speaks at a ceremony honoring her work on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Local senior advocate Nona Safra speaks at a ceremony honoring her work on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Local senior advocate honored for her work

Nona Safra sits on the board of the Alaska Commission on Aging.

A local advocate for seniors was recognized last week by the Office of the Borough Mayor for her work on behalf of that community, and other vulnerable Alaskans.

Nona Safra sits on the board of the Alaska Commission on Aging, has volunteered for a number of years with the Anchor Point VFW Post 10221 Auxiliary, and served on the Anchor Point Senior Center board of directors. After moving from Anchor Point to Homer, she also joined the American Legion Post 16 Auxiliary.

Safra was recognized in a small ceremony last Wednesday at the Homer Chamber of Commerce, where she received an exemplary service award from Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce for her “exceptional professionalism, commitment to the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the State of Alaska’s senior citizens, Alaskans with disabilities, rural Alaskans, lower income Alaskans, (and) Native Alaskans.”

“Many of us in the room here today could say that we’ve probably worked on a project or two with this lady,” Pierce said.

He said Safra’s hard work and dedicated time is a credit to her both as a professional and on a personal level.

Peter Zuyus is executive director of the nonprofit Seniors of Alaska. He co-hosted the event with the chamber, and has worked with Safra for a number of years on projects specifically benefiting seniors.

“Her efforts and tireless work to improve the lives of Alaska’s seniors, disabled, rural, low income Alaskans is nothing short of amazing,” Zuyus said. “Nona has made, and is making, a difference.”

He also thanked her for the work she’s done regarding messaging with Seniors of Alaska to let seniors know about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Homer Mayor Castner made a mayoral recognition of Safra’s work at the March 8 Homer City Council meeting. He also spoke at last Wednesday’s event, and thanked Safra for her volunteer work in the Homer community.

“I have to say, you know, coming from a town like Homer, we’re surrounded by great volunteers,” Castner said. “… We wouldn’t have the community that we have without people willing to step up and do things for free, you know, out of the goodness of their heart.”

Castner thanked Safra for becoming a volunteer for the Homer community.

Homer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brad Anderson thanked Safra for being a resource when he first arrived in Homer, helping fill him in on the area’s history.

Safra described meeting former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt when she was 4 years old, an event that would continue to inspire her years later. Roosevelt became one of Safra’s first “sheros,” she said.

“From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be like her, and I wanted to grow up and make a difference,” Safra said.

She said all the projects and her work that was mentioned at the event were the result of working with good people “who care about community.”

“None of this would be possible without the efforts of so many people who allow me to be part of the work,” she said.

Safra shared a favorite quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Since you get more joy out of giving to others, you should put a great deal of thought into the happiness that you’re able to give.”

Safra said that quote is relevant today.

“That type of happiness is accomplished when the work is done side by side with others in your community,” she said. “It makes it a better place to live, to work, to play and to thrive.”

Safra said she’s touched by the recognition of her work, and looks forward to the opportunity to do more.

“Because there’s much more to be done as we come out of COVID,” she said. “And you know, to make the word a better place.”

Sen. Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak) and Alaska Commission on Aging Chair Gordon Glaser submitted letters honoring and thanking Safra for her work, which Anderson read aloud at the event.

“You have found seniors where they only saw despair,” Glaser’s letter said. “Thank you for helping the Alaska Commission on Aging achieve its mission to ensure the dignity and independence of all older Alaskans, and to assist them to lead useful and meaningful lives.”

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

Peter Zuyus, executive director of the nonprofit Seniors of Alaska, speaks at a recognition and award ceremony for local senior advocate Nona Safra on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Peter Zuyus, executive director of the nonprofit Seniors of Alaska, speaks at a recognition and award ceremony for local senior advocate Nona Safra on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer Mayor Ken Castner speaks at an award ceremony for local senior advocate and volunteer Nona Safra on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer Mayor Ken Castner speaks at an award ceremony for local senior advocate and volunteer Nona Safra on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce presents local advocate Nona Safra with an exemplary service award Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer Mayor Ken Castner speaks at an award ceremony for local senior advocate and volunteer Nona Safra on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

More in News

Drummers perform during a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Dena’ina Wellness Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenaitze tribe celebrates 10 years of ‘far-fetched dream’ at wellness center

Community members recognized the work done at the Dena’ina Wellness Center over the past decade

The Kenai Safeway is seen on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai and Soldotna Safeways may be sold under proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger

The local stores will be sold to CS Wholesale Grocers only if the merger overcomes suit from the FTC

Sockeye salmon caught in a set gillnet are dragged up onto the beach at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Draft plan published for disbursement of $11.5 million in 2021 and 2022 ESSN disasters

Public comment will be accepted for the draft spend plan until July 24

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
King salmon fishing closed on Kasilof starting Monday

The emergency order is being issued to protect returning king salmon, citing weak returns

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna’s city council appropriates funds for FY 2025 capital projects

Improvements are described for streets, police facility, Soldotna Creek Park and Soldotna Community Memorial Park

Gina Plank processes sockeye salmon caught on the first day of Kenai River dipnetting with her table set up on the bank of the Kenai River in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, July 10, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai River open for dipnetting

As of Tuesday, a total of 226,000 sockeye had been counted in the Kenai River’s late run

Assembly Vice President Tyson Cox speaks during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly won’t pursue further discussion on tabled bed tax resolution

Members say they’re going to work on a new version of the idea this winter

Gov. Mike Dunleavy pictured with members of the House majority after signing the fiscal year 2025 budget bills, Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Anchorage, Alaska. From left to right: Reps. Stanley Wright, Tom McKay, Thomas Baker, Craig Johnson, Kevin McCabe, Julie Coulombe and Laddie Shaw. (Photo provided by Office of the Governor)
Dunleavy signs capital budget with $3.7M in state funding for Kenai Peninsula, vetoes $3.3M

Roughly $90 million in federal funding also allocated to Kenai Peninsula

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna man arrested Friday after 30-minute police chase

The man had an outstanding warrant for felony probation violation

Most Read