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East Alton woman lifts way to senior hall of fame recognition

Shirley Webb shows she has the power to inspire.

The Illinois Department on Aging announced East Alton resident  as a 2020 Senior Hall of Fame inductee for her dedication to physical fitness, and the Land of Lincoln Legal Aid as its 2020 Governor’s Engaging Aging awardee for their commitment to providing services for our older Illinoisans.

IDoA Director Paula Basta recognized them at a recent one-day virtual symposium focused on COVID-19, its impact on older adults, and the Aging Network – attended by more than 600 individuals.

Webb, 83, of East Alton, is the 2020 inductee for the Performance / Graphic Arts Category. She joined Club Fitness in 2014 because of physical activity limitations that began affecting her daily routines. In just a year’s time, she went from having difficulty climbing stairs on her own, to becoming a member of USA Power Lifting, and transforming into an international professional weight lifting competitor. She has become an inspiration to many, motivating peers at the gym, older adults in her community, and individuals across the globe on the benefits of staying active and healthy.

Webb is an advocate for exercise and encourages others to recognize the importance of having a regular fitness regimen at any stage of life.

The Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame was created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1994 to honor Illinois residents ages 65 and older for their personal achievements in four separate categories. Since then, 125 people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame including the 2020 inductees. Webb is one of four inductees for 2020. She represents the Graphics and Performing Arts category. The other three are: Community Service, Education, and Labor Force.

The Land of Lincoln Legal Aid was nominated by AgeSmart Community Resources. Whether it is protecting seniors and persons with disabilities from fraud, or advocating for social justice and individual rights, Land of Lincoln has always gone above and beyond in providing services to those who need them. Land of Lincoln Legal Aid empowers older adults and teaches them to be strong advocates for themselves leaving a lasting impact. The entire team at Land of Lincoln works tirelessly and can always be counted on to help solve challenges that older adults and persons with disabilities face. The organization, with Greg Shevlin as the president of its board of directors, is trusted in the communities they serve, and there is never a doubt that if within their abilities, they will assist and follow though to solve any problem large or small.

The recipients of the Governor’s Engaging Aging Award are nominated by the 13 Area Agencies on Aging. The award recognizes groups and organizations who lead by example and have gone above and beyond to make a positive impact in the lives of our older Illinoisans this past year.

“It is a true honor to recognize Shirley and the Land of Lincoln Legal Aid for their service to their community,” said Paula Basta, Director of IDoA. “They are dedicated individuals whose contributions reflect the agency’s principles of respecting yesterday, supporting today, and hoping for tomorrow. We thank them for their commitment and generosity.”

Created in 1973, IDoA strives for efficient and effective access to services that prevent premature nursing facility placement and maximizes the state’s 2.7 million older adults’ ability to remain as independent as possible within their community.

For more information about programs and services to assist older adults in Illinois, their families and caregivers, log on to the department website at: or contact the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (hearing impaired call 888-206-1327) or by email

PHOTO: Still from YouTube video of Shirley Webb of East Alton.



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