30 Years of Serving Central Texas

AGE of Central Texas co-founders Bert Kruger Smith (left) and Willie Kocurek
AGE of Central Texas co-founders Bert Kruger Smith (left) and Willie Kocurek

As AGE of Central Texas celebrates its 30th Anniversary Year during 2016, here is a look back the historical moments that guided the humble organization, founded in 1986, to grow into a leading community non-profit that today serves senior adults and family caregivers across four Central Texas counties:

1984: Dell Computer Corporation is founded in Austin.

1985: Austin Groups for the Elderly established by Austin civic leaders Bert Kruger Smith and Willie Kocurek, to expand services to the elderly and provide them in the most efficient, cooperative manner possible.

historical-building1986: AGE purchases the vacant School for the Blind from the State’s General Land office; opened in 1907 as the Confederate Woman’s Home, the facility cared for more than 340 indigent women during a period of 55 years, and was popular site that hosted many Austin community events throughout the years. On Dec. 10, 1990, and the AGE Building mortgage is paid off.

1987: South by Southwest film, interactive, and music festivals and conferences begins.

1989: The World Wide Web created.

1990: Elderhaven senior day center, run by Lutheran Social Services, moves to the AGE Building.

1991: The Cold War ends.

edithroyal_johnhenderson1994: AGE launched the annual AGE Awards, recognizing outstanding achievements by individuals and organizations whose leadership and contributions have had a significant impact on the quality of life for aging adults and their caregivers in Central Texas.  The 22nd Annual AGE Awards were held on April 7th at the LBJ Presidential Library on the University of Texas – Austin.

1996: AGE assumes operation of Elderhaven, which was launched in 1974 as the first adult day center in Central Texas.  The program still operates today in the AGE Building as the Austin Adult Day Health Center.roberta-group-bw

1998: SeniorNet opens, teaching computer skills to adults 50 years of age and older.  The program continues today as the AGE Computer Lab, offering peer-based technology classes for Central Texas adults.  AGE’s annual operating budget is $631,838.00.

1999: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport opens, replacing Robert Mueller Municipal Airport.

SAB_logo_20162001: “Striking a Balance” Caregiver Conference launched in collaboration with the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area, and remains the longest-running caregiver conference in Central Texas; the 2017 Conference is slated for Saturday, September 23rd.

2002: Austin City Limits Music Festival is founded.

2004: AGE Caregiver Resource Center opens to provide information, education, and consultation to caregivers; the AGE annual operating budget tops $800,000.00.

2005: University of Texas becomes the National Football Champions under coach Mack Brown, while hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit New Orleans and Houston.

2006: The first sections of Austin’s first toll roads open.

2007: Austin’s population approaches 750,000 residents.

jan2016bday12008: AGE transitions from “Austin Groups for the Elderly” to “AGE of Austin” and assumes control of the Adult Day Health Center in Round Rock; both the Austin and Round Rock Centers remain the only licensed adult day health care program in Central Texas.  AGE’s annual operating budget exceeds $1,229,000.00.

2009: Barack Obama elected first African American President of the United States.

2010: Capital MetroRail begins operating, and Impact Austin funds the creation of AGE’s Health Equipment Lending Program, which today serves more than 1,700 families a year with free loans of durable medical equipment.caregiveru_logo_new2016

2011: CaregiverU launches to provide free caregiver classes in Central Texas, starting with 5 partner agencies and 10 class leaders.  Today, more than 100 class leaders from more than 30 partner agencies offer 40+ free caregiver support classes annually in Travis, Williamson, Hays, and Bastrop counties.

2012: AGE officially changes from “AGE of Austin” to “AGE of Central Texas” and assumes the “New Connections” early memory loss support program at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church, which has now grown to four Central Texas sites as the “Memory Connections” program.

2013: AGE’s annual operating budget tops $2 million.

wilco_conference_logo2014: The annual AGE Williamson County Caregiver Conference debuts in Round Rock and AGE celebrates the 20th anniversary of the annual AGE Awards.

2016: AGE celebrates its 30th Anniversary and launches a partnership with the City of Austin to provide transportation options for senior adults living in 7 of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) community residential properties.

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