On December 3, 2014, at age 80, Beverly Domengeaux opened the first of three thrift stores dedicated to raising money to feed seniors in St. Mary Parish. The parish’s Council on Aging, where Beverly is director, had a good meal program through its three senior centers, but limited funds meant a limited number of people were fed and too many were left hungry. With the additional thrift-store revenues, the council now serves nearly 4,500 meals a year.
Drawing on the knowledge, insight and empathy she gained over her years as a registered nurse and in hospital administration, Beverly brings to the parish more than an understanding of issues facing seniors; she brings the tenacity, creativity, political savvy and passion to craft solutions. She is driven to create programs that, as she says, “Let seniors live the way they want to live.”
This isn’t a job to Beverly. This is different. This is a calling. It called her when she was 70 years old, and she’s been tirelessly advocating for seniors ever since. To Beverly, seniors are more than a group of people defined by their age; they are individuals defined by their own histories and too often limited by today’s circumstances. She knows their names. She knows their stories. And with eight decades of life experience guiding her, she knows how to help. This is what we mean by “excellence through experience.”
Beverly keeps a wish list of things she wants to accomplish to help area seniors. At the rate she’s been making those wishes come true, St. Mary Parish will have model senior and wellness centers with facilities and programs that people in other places could only dream of. There’s more work to be done, but Beverly is looking forward to enjoying the fruits of her labor. She can see retirement coming. But not yet. Maybe when she’s 90.
Beverly Domengeaux … Peoples Health Champion.
If you think about it, you probably know a Champion.
A Champion may even be you. Nominate yourself or someone you know—like a relative, co-worker or neighbor—as a Peoples Health Champion.