History

Established in 1956, FiftyForward supports champions and enhances life for those 50 and older. Beginning as a three-day-a-week program for active seniors at the FiftyForward Knowles Center (then downtown), to a network of seven centers in 2007, FiftyForward has grown to be the premier nonprofit organization serving adults 50 and older in Middle Tennessee. In addition to our lifelong learning centers, we offer specific services, programs and resources to encourage volunteerism and engagement to keep older adults living independently for as long as possible.

Milestones through the years include:
2018 FiftyForward was honored to be chosen as one of four agencies to participate in a long-term, groundbreaking study launched by the National Institutes of Health. The All of Us Research Program will engage adults 50+ to participate in this momentous effort to advance individualized prevention, treatment and care for people of all backgrounds. FiftyForward is providing support by raising public awareness about the program among older adult and rural communities.
2017 Five FiftyForward centers located in Davidson County received operating support for the first time through the Metropolitan Nashville 2016-2017 budget. Five accredited FiftyForward centers received first-time special funding, along with the other two accredited centers in Tennessee, through an amendment to the state budget.
2016 FiftyForward celebrated its 60 years in service to the community by hosting a series of events including a seminar on the history of Nashville and a Dancing through the Decades celebration. In addition, FiftyForward launched its first crowdfunding effort to raise funds to purchase two wheelchair accessible buses.
2015 Executive Director Janet Jernigan and Associate Executive Director Adrienne Newman celebrated 25 years of service to FiftyForward. Through their leadership, the organization continues to be mission- focused and attentive to the needs of older adults and caregiver population.
2014 The Larry Keeton Theatre is listed by the Nashville Business Journal among the top 20 most-attended performance venues in the Nashville area.
2012 FiftyForward Music for Seniors, a program launched under the FiftyForward umbrella, was named a finalist in the SunTrust Business Acumen in the Arts Award presented by the Center for Nonprofit Management.
2011 Co-sponsored by AARP and the Council on Aging/Greater Nashville, the FiftyForward Governmental Affairs Committee hosted a forum featuring the two candidates for Governor of Tennessee with emphasis on senior issues.
2011 FiftyForward transformed our “nonprofit model” to a “social profit model” by focusing on generating revenue through emphasizing rental of our facilities and reinvesting income from the new fee-for-service Care Team program into serving more low income seniors.
2011 FiftyForward partners with the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee to produce the inaugural Viva la Diva Run for Women and Girls of all ages, a signature event featuring a certified 5K and 10 mile run.
2010 In the aftermath of the devastating May 1-3 Tennessee floods, FiftyForward staff and volunteers led and participated in a variety of flood relief efforts. Grants from The Melkus Foundation, HCA Foundation and Piedmont Natural Gas enabled the agency to hire staff for one year including a full-time care manager and part-time in-home specialist to assist senior adults in their recovery.
2009 FiftyForward Executive Director Janet Jernigan receives the ATHENA Award, Nashville’s highest honor for women.
2008 Senior Citizens, Inc. (SCI) officially becomes FiftyForward.
2007 Five centers received accreditation by the National Institute of Senior Centers: College Grove, Donelson Station, Knowles, Madison Station, and Martin Center.
2004 Senior Center for the Arts is formed and receives a boost from the Frist Foundation with a $15,000 Innovation in Action Award.
2003 Metro Government transfers management of the Knowles Trust to SCI.
2002 Capital/Endowment Campaign ends with a total of $14.3 million.
2001 SCI forms a partnership with the YMCA of Middle Tennessee to explore building a co-habited facility in Bellevue. The J. L. Turner Lifelong Learning Center and the Bellevue Family YMCA open in September 2006.
2000 SCI begins its first major capital/endowment campaign to raise $13.5 million to fund the building of three centers and grow the SCI endowment.
1998 Senior Support Services and Peer Counseling program established and continued for ten years until funding was no longer available from the Department of Mental Health.
1998 SCI Living At Home Program selected by the Tennessee General Assembly to conduct a pilot project, CHOICE, to demonstrate the benefits of home and community based care (over nursing homes). Grant expired in 2001.
1997 Victory Over Crime program begins.
1997 Respite Care Program expands to include Senior Companions. After federal guidelines changed, the grant for this program was transferred to the Respite Coalition in 2011.
1996 Brentwood Senior Group (later the Martin Center) and Madison Station Senior Center begin operations.
1994 Volunteer Respite Caregivers becomes an SCI Living At Home program. 1993 FLIP (Friends Learning in Pairs) program launched, training senior volunteers to mentor/tutor children with reading skills challenges in grades K-4.
1986 College Grove Senior Center is founded.
1969 Meals on Wheels program organized.
1965 SCI became one of the few national sites for the newly initiated, federally funded Foster Grandparent Program