Each spring, the City of Mercer Island’s Youth and Family Services Department awards the Flash Family Inspirational Award (FFIA) to honor a Mercer Island senior adult (55 and older) who exemplifies the spirit of good sportsmanship and/or community leadership, and who possesses an optimistic attitude and friendly demeanor while acting as a role model to others.
This year, the 2015 FFIA award honors Island resident Karen Beck, a group fitness instructor at the Stroum Jewish Community Center.
Karen teaches, inspires and helps seniors continue to live active lives, and her seniors classes attract a variety of ages and fitness levels. Her extensive fitness knowledge and sense of humor keep participants engaged, and her students are also encouraged to connect with one another. Her classes are physically, emotionally and socially stimulating because Karen serves not only as an instructor, but also mentor and friend.
Karen host luncheons for students at her home, notices when participants miss classes, and she follows up with notes and phone calls to make sure all is well – she is genuinely committed to her students’ functional and personal well-being.
Phil Flash was one of many students touched by Karen’s kindness and care: she taught Phil for nine years and helped him celebrate his 90th birthday.
The city expresses its gratitude and congratulations to Karen for all of the many Island seniors who have benefitted from her caring, energetic and supportive exercise classes, and for the personal community she has created.