Age of Champions

The 2024 Age of Champions Health & Wellness Fair April 20th

Visit our Facebook page to see all the photos from the event!

graphic of the Age of Champions tagline

The Age of Champions Health & Wellness Fair is a community-oriented intergenerational wellness event,  made possible by the Center of Aging and Community Living (CACL) in partnership with UNH and several vendors and sponsors from throughout the New England region. The event provides high-impact, real-world experience for UNH students about to head out to the workforce and introduces the community to informational resources, organizations that serve older adults, demonstrations, and workshops to engage participants in the joy of healthy aging.

Age of Champions 2023

Follow the links below to learn more!

crowd at the Age of Champions event


Previous Events


Photo of Dick Durette
Dick Durette

At 106 years old, Dick is a living testament to the power of positivity, intellectual stimulation, and clean living. His unwavering commitment to helping others and his willingness to try new things has inspired countless individuals in his community. 

Dick's passion for learning started at an early age, and he went on to graduate from Dover High School in 1934. He joined ROTC at UNH in the fall and earned a degree in electrical engineering, overcoming the challenges of the depression and the war to achieve his goals. 

Today, as a resident of Langdon Place in Dover, Dick continues to inspire others through his daily actions. Despite having eyesight challenges, he helps fellow residents navigate the online world and participates in community activities. 

One of the most remarkable things about Dick is his insatiable thirst for knowledge. He keeps himself up-to-date with the latest medical research, environmental news, and information on health and wellness. He even offers guidance to other residents on how to use technology like computers and cell phones. 

Susan Putney, the Director of Admissions at Langdon Place of Dover, summed up Dick's amazing spirit, saying, "How many 106-year-olds do you see ordering groceries weekly on Instacart, researching online for health information, using a cellphone to stay in touch with family? I don't know any others quite like Dick!" 

Dick Durette's journey is an inspiration to all, and his unwavering commitment to living life to the fullest reminds us that age is just a number. We celebrate his accomplishments, his unrelenting spirit, and his contributions to his community. 

This year at Age of Champions Health & Wellness Fair we decided on a new award called UNH Age of Champions Wildcat Inspirational Award. 

Gayle and Bob Hylen
Bob and Gayle Hylen

Bob and Gayle Hylen, now in their mid-seventies, grew up in Holbrook, Mass.  They first met in the sixth grade. Following high school graduation, Gayle pursued a career in nursing, graduating from Mass. General Hospital School of Nursing and later from Mass. College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  Bob received a basketball scholarship to Northeastern University and later was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army.

In the 1970’s, Gayle began volunteer activities which continue to this day. She was the campaign coordinator for State Representative Andrew Card (who later became the White House Chief of Staff),  chaired the Whitman Town Recreation Committee and the Whitman-Hanson H.S. Music Association, managed the South Shore Chapter of Camp Fire and American Heart Association,

while also participating in local theater and choral groups. Following retirement and moving to Durham, Gayle has sung in a number of choral groups and volunteers at the Durham Community Church’s thrift shop (ECHO). As a member of the Active Retirement Associations, she served on the Board of Directors for 13 years as the Cultural Tours Director, Hospitality Director while also organizing an art exhibit and food drives during the pandemic.

In his working life, Bob served As a Platoon Leader, Troop Executive Officer, Troop Commander, and Squadron Operations Officer in the US Army. Follow his discharge, he worked in the US Postal Service as an Investigator and eventually was in charge of all investigations in his field for New England and upstate New York. Bob served as the first President of the Cottages at Spruce Wood Condominium Association here in Durham and has been the President or Vice President of Jordan’s Camps, Inc. in Fryeburg, Maine for 41 years. In ARA, Bob served on the Cultural Tours Committee, was the hike’s coordinator and was the longest serving President in ARA’s history.

Bob and Gayle have been married for 55 years and have two children, five grand children, and an 18 year old cat. They love living in Durham and greatly appreciate this nomination and would be honored to receive the award as the 2023 Age of Champions Excellence in Volunteerism Award.

Photo of Joanne Casino


Joanne Casino

Joanne began her career in New York City working in book publishing and later finding success in advertising.  Using her English BA from Long Island University, she built upon that foundation when she moved to New Hampshire in 1991.  In NH, Joanne entered the world of corporate training, including employee, sales, and leadership coaching. Along the way she acquired a MS degree from Springfield College in Organizational Management & Leadership. Prior to retiring, Joanne directed marketing and communication efforts for a multi-state health insurance company. These days, Joanne finds work/life balance primarily between volunteering and “grandmothering” – both extremely rewarding endeavors.

For Joanne, volunteer activities provide purpose, community, and the realization that supporting those who need help can be great fun!  Joanne is both thrilled and motivated to be recognized by this UNH Wildcat Age of Champions Excellence in Volunteerism Award.

Sustaining Sponsors

Age of Champions Sustaining Sponsors logos


AARP is a non-profit, nonpartisan, social mission organization with a membership, focused on advocacy, education and outreach to the 50+ community.

American House
American House, formerly Bentley Commons, offers independent and assisted living apartments, with the vision of providing high quality living for seniors at a price affordable for retirees and families. In 1899, John P. Rust purchased the historic mill building and it became the headquarters for his wooden pail factory. In October 2008, the mill complex was renovated into a senior living community, and in 2018 became American House Keene.

Bellamy and Watson Fields

At Humana, our focus is on supporting your total health with benefits and extras designed to help you live your best life. It’s not just healthcare—it’s human care.

UNH Department of Recreation Management & Policy
As the fabric of life in contemporary society grows in complexity, people are increasingly turning to leisure and recreation services to find meaning, renewal, and enrichment. Recreation services can improve public health and wellness, promote sustainable environments, develop a sense of community, and enhance the quality of life of all citizens. Recreation professionals work in diverse settings, including human services, health care, natural recreation resource areas such as parks, wilderness programs, and commercial recreation businesses. Population and economic projections suggest that recreation service industries will continue to expand and thereby continue to provide numerous professional career opportunities.

The RMP degree prepares undergraduate and graduate students for rewarding careers in a variety of settings in the recreation and leisure services industry. Students pursuing the B.S. degree study in one of three program options: Therapeutic Recreation, Program & Event Management, or Outdoor Leadership & Management. Students pursuing the M.S. degree study in one of three program options: Therapeutic Recreation Administration, Recreation

Annual Sponsors

2022 Age of Champions Annual Sponsors logos

Active Retirement Association (ARA)
Expanding Your World Since 1982, the Active Retirement Association has provided educational and cultural programming in the Seacoast area and beyond. The association is an outreach function of the University of New Hampshire and is financed entirely by the membership and managed through an elected board of directors. The ARA aims to enhance the quality of life for individuals who wish to keep intellectually alert, broaden their interests, explore new fields of knowledge, and make new friends. Members are encouraged to use their talents and experiences as program leaders, panelists, organizers, officers and committee members. ARA is open to those 50 and up, retired or not.

Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer’s Association was founded in 1980 by a group of family caregivers and individuals who recognized the need for an organization that would unite caregivers, provide support to those facing Alzheimer’s and advance research into the disease. Jerome H. Stone, a true visionary in the Alzheimer’s movement, was our founding president. When his wife, Evelyn, was diagnosed with the disease in 1970, information about Alzheimer’s — even among the medical community — was limited. With drive and determination, Mr. Stone took a disease that was cloaked in silence and helped to create a global conversation.  Today, the Association reaches millions of people affected by Alzheimer's and all other dementia. We are the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.

Community Health Institute/JSI
The Community Health Institute/JSI is a Public Health Partner in identifying community needs, planning and implementing effective responses, andevaluating the impact on our communities.

NH Care Collaborative
The New Hampshire Care Collaborative (NHCC) is dedicated to providing information, resources, training and service coordination to help individuals and families in ways that identify strengths, reduce duplication of effort, and relieve stress and anxiety.

ServiceLink Network
ServiceLink is the Aging and Disability Resource Center for New Hampshire. We are certified community resource specialists who provide options counseling to help people find and coordinate community resources based on their needs: like home care, health insurance, food, and housing. We specialize in helping older adults, people with disabilities and their families, access long-term supports and services to live as independently as possible.

2023 Age of Champions Schedule