In recognition of the services provided by the Schuylkill Elderly Abuse Protective Alliance, Gov. Tom Corbett honored Schuylkill from the 52 area agencies throughout the state with a public a proclamation in observance of "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day" on June 15.

The governor sent Brian Duke, Secretary of Aging, who read the proclamation at the meeting of the county commissioners Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville. Earlier, he presented an award to the county agency at a breakfast sponsored by the Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce held at the Pottsville Club.

Prior to becoming the Secretary of Aging, Duke served as director of the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging. The Department of Aging administers older adults protective services for Pennsylvanians 60 years or older in partnership with the commonwealth's 52 area agencies on aging.

The proclamation declared, "The Department of Aging is committed to to preventing and protecting our older residents from being victims of physical and emotional abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment and that the health and well-being of older people in the commonwealth should be one of our highest priorities and of concern to all Pennsylvanians.

"In 2011 there were 18,000 alleged reports of abuse in the state. Older individuals are among the most important assets of any prosperous community and it is every Pennsylvanian's responsibility to protect their health, safety, dignity and rights."

County Commissioner George Halcovage, a former board director, commented that the county task force is very active and keeps a continuous check on all institutions which provide care for the elderly and investigates all complaints.