Older American of the Year

James Ponnet Banner 3

Each year the City recognizes an outstanding older adult in the Temple City community and honors them as part of national Older American Month in May. The Older American of the Year is a special designation for an exemplary recipient that has contributed to Temple City over many years.

This year’s theme "Make Your Mark" was selected to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities. Their time, experience, and talents benefit family, peers, and neighbors every day. This year’s theme highlights the difference everyone can make – in the lives of older adults, in support of caregivers, and to strengthen communities.

The 2020 Temple City Older American of the Year recipient, James Ponnet, has definitely "made his mark" in Temple City. Mr. Ponnet personifies the definition of "volunteer" as he has provided volunteer support for the older adult community for over 30 years. Each week he has dedicated 20-30 hours, providing rides for seniors to doctor’s appointments, meetings, church, or special events. He does so all out of his own pocket and goodwill to the community. 

Mr. Ponnet opens his home to anyone that is lonely or who does not have family that are close to celebrate holidays. Anyone that is welcomed for a holiday gathering becomes a part of the Ponnet Family circle.

Mr. Ponnet is well known as Temple City’s "Santa Claus," serving over 20 years as a professional Santa. During the holiday season you can find our Temple City Santa participating in events, making appearances at hospitals and senior homes, and bringing the joy of the holiday season to all. 

In addition, Mr. Ponnet makes time to volunteer at Saint Luke the Evangelist Catholic Community in a variety of capacities. He has served as a cantor, lecturer, Eucharistic Minister and routinely works a booth at the Fiesta. 

The impact Mr. Ponnet has made on the Temple City community is truly amazing. We are proud to honor such a selfless and dedicated resident as our 2020 Temple City Older American of the Year. Congratulations to Mr. James Ponnet!