vitality in action foundation

A Foundation That Uses the Power of Communication Creating Ability for a Lifetime

Barrier Busters

Leonard Nelson

In a 2019 story on, Leonard was described as "Pilot, Vietnam vet, skier, farmer, husband, dad, granddad, jokester and pickleball fanatic — Leonard Nelson is a fascinating guy. He’s led a life of adventure, taking his last flight in the F4 Phantom in Vietnam on Christmas Day in 1966, then coming home to a career as a pilot for Delta airlines." 

In 2003, a ski accident left him with a spinal cord injury left him in a wheelchair.  by 2012, Leonard was introduced to pickelball at the Apex Center where he now plays nearly daily. 

Betty Grandquist

Betty Grandquist was executive director of the Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging and a member of the Iowa AARP Executive Council.  In 2009, she received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award at Iowa Governor’s Conference on Aging. She is the former director of the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs and has spent the past 21 years directly involved in improving the quality of life for older Iowans.

Betty survived polio as a child, was trained as a registered nurse, earned a masters degree in social work.  After she retired at the age of 80, Betty was appointed by Iowa’s Governor to chair of the state’s Commission on Aging.  She served in that capacity for ten years until March of 2017.  For her commitment to the well-being of Iowa’s senior population, in 2009, the Commission established the first-ever annual Betty Grandquist Lifetime Achievement Award.

At 92 years young, she says that she plans her day two hours at a time. 

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