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SilverSneakers Announces National Inspiration Award Winner

Posted: July 8, 2019 in Suppliers

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CHANDLER, AZ – SilverSneakers by Tivity Health, the nation’s leading community fitness program for older Americans, announced the national winner of the 2019 SilverSneakers Richard L. Swanson Inspiration Award. Greensboro, North Carolina resident Lonnie Cathey has been named the winner of the 15th annual award, which is presented to one member who has improved their life through a healthy lifestyle that incorporates fitness and social interaction, while helping others navigate their own fitness journeys.

Cathey is a retired information technology manager from North Carolina A&T State University. Since joining SilverSneakers, Cathey has lost 30 lbs., participated in several marathons and achieved his black belt in martial arts. At his SilverSneakers classes, you can find Cathey at the front of the class ready to take on his next fitness challenge. He is often helping others set up their equipment, and inspiring others on a continued pathway for a long, fulfilled and independent lifestyle of health and wellness.

Cathey also performs on stage in the Fred Astaire ballroom dance showcases at the Carolina Theatre. He is an active member in the Persimmon Grove AME church and gives back to his community as a Rotary International member. Additionally, Cathey volunteers with Faith House International, an organization that helps immigrants settle into the Greensboro community.

“Lonnie Cathey exemplifies the mission of the SilverSneakers program by living out the true merits of the program which are: social connections, physical fitness, and overall well-being,” said Donato Tramuto, CEO, Tivity Health. “His passion and commitment to helping others is a true testimonial to the spirit of the Swanson Award and I am personally grateful to him for the inspiration he has provided to so many others.”

Cathey and nine other SilverSneakers members were selected as finalists for the award, and a public online vote determined the national winner. Cathey’s inspiring story received 44 percent of all votes earning him the honor of the national SilverSneakers Swanson Award winner. The award is named for SilverSneakers founder, Mary Swanson, whose father served as the inspiration for the nationally-acclaimed fitness program.

SilverSneakers is a fitness program for seniors that is offered at no additional cost to the member through more than 60 Medicare Advantage plans. The program gives members access to more than 15,000 partner locations across the country. With national reciprocity, members have the freedom to travel and not miss a workout. The program offers access to the location, including weights, cardio equipment, pools and other amenities, as well as group exercise classes led by trained SilverSneakers instructors.

SilverSneakers has something for everyone at all levels of ability to support the more than 15 million seniors eligible for the program. To learn more about the SilverSneakers Swanson Award and the stories of the winner and finalists visit, To check eligibility or to find a class near you, visit

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