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Celebrating Volunteers

The Heart And Soul Of

The Life Enrichment Center

On April 25 the Life Enrichment Center at Oyster Bay celebrated 35 years of recognizing the contributions of its volunteers.  Staff and seniors selected four volunteers for their efforts in making the Center a warm, welcoming and important resource for seniors in the surrounding communities.

As Silvana Gullo, Executive Director, explained, “Every volunteer is important to the well-being of the Center.”  The seniors themselves help make up the 300+ daily volunteers performing such tasks such as preparing the monthly calendar mailed to members, which would be a very difficult undertaking if not for volunteers who fold, stuff and mail it to over 1,000 members!  This is done with smiles from seniors and staff who enjoy working side by side. Other important volunteer tasks include driving seniors to medical appointments, visiting homebound seniors and nursing homes, organizing trips, managing the “Silver Threads” thrift shop, decorating for events, and greeting guests at reception.

This year’s Volunteers of the Year have demonstrated an ongoing commitment and dedication to the Center’s mission.  Diane Aerne of Syosset, formerly an Oyster Bay resident and currently President of the Senior Executive Advisory Board, leads the “Happy Hookers,” a group she founded to crochet blankets and shawls for nursing home residents. Andrew Cintolo, a Wantagh resident, joined the Center in 2011 after months of searching the internet for a meaningful volunteer opportunity. Andrew found his niche assisting Chef Anthony two days a week consistently.  Sheila Cisco, of Oyster Bay followed in her mother’s footsteps by joining the Center’s Friendly Visitors Committee bringing song and cheer to local nursing home residents. Sheila’s work doesn’t end there, she can be found in Angela’s Café selling home-baked goods or greeting guests at the reception area five days a week. Tom Colgrove of Locust Valley is a favorite amongst all the ladies at the Center. Tom helps out in the dining room delivering lunch trays with a smile and spends his afternoons twice a week helping the visually impaired with their Bingo cards!  

The Recognition Luncheon was extra special this year with a visit by Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Joseph G. Pinto representing Supervisor Joseph Venditto and Victoria Meyerhoefer, Nassau County Director of Human Services, Office of the Aging, representing County Executive

Edward Mangano. Both delivered and read printed and framed Citations praising the volunteers for their commitment.

The center is proud to be successfully providing Oyster Bay and the surrounding community seniors with a comprehensive resource.  Nutritious lunches, wellness and fitness programs, and entertaining activities are offered five days a week, 250 days a year!  The center’s Daybreak Program presents caregivers a social adult day care option for their frail and memory impaired seniors.  Additionally, from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, “After Hour” programs make low-cost wellness and fitness classes available for individuals’ 50 and over.  The center will continue expanding and enhancing programs with support from the community.

“Volunteers are essential to the well-being of the Center” stated Silvana Gullo, Executive Director.  “Everyone has an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the seniors by volunteering their time”.  The Center is presently seeking drivers, Friendly Visitors, personal trainers, writers for public relations initiatives, evening and Saturday volunteers for our thrift shop, bakers for the café’, creative thinkers for our event planning and customized opportunities for all.  For information on how you could volunteer your time call Silvana Gullo at (516) 922-1770.

News

This holiday season, Oyster Bay will once again be home to unique, homemade, scrumptious confections from The Chocolate Lady, in the form of a mobile chocolate boutique set up at Buckingham Variety Store on Audrey Avenue. She arrived on Sunday and plans on staying throughout the holidays, and possibly longer.

“I have been developing this concept for the last year and a half and am excited to be coming home to Oyster Bay for this year’s holiday launch,” says Lee Perrotta, aka The Chocolate Lady, who had her shop across the street from Buckingham’s for about five years before she was forced to shut her doors on Christmas Eve in 2012 due to excessive water damage at the rental space.

The Raise The Roof Concert, held at Christ Church on Nov. 9, was an intergenerational event to benefit the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay’s seniors.

Board member Suzanne Paolucci explained the center’s wish to get iPods for the seniors as a source of musical therapy. She brought the idea to the center from a talk by social worker Dan Cohen, the founder of Music & Memory. He has produced a film, Alive Inside, that tells the story of music as being restorative. Music is like therapy for the elderly, in particular for those with dementia, as it has been shown to awaken memories of happier times in life, when energy and enthusiasm were boundless.


Sports

Long Island Lutheran High School senior Samantha Horton of Oyster Bay signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Siena College and compete on the Girls Division I Lacrosse Team in the goaltender position next year. Samantha will be receiving a full athletic scholarship. Horton is pictured with her family.

On the weekend of Nov. 8, the Oyster Bay High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to the State University of New York at Canton just a few miles from the Canadian border to compete in the New York State Cross Country Championships.

Alex Tosi became the first Bayman since Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin (2008) to become All-State, placing 16th with a time of 16:53. Most runners ran about 20 seconds slower than their Bethpage times because of the muddy conditions on the course. Tosi’s time was basically equivalent to his best Bethpage time, as he powered through the toughest parts of the race. He led the Baymen to a seventh place finish in the Class C race, an improvement from their 11th place finish last year, which ties the highest place at the New York State Championships of a Baymen team since 2009.


Calendar

Annual Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 27

Turkey Detox Workshop

Friday, Nov. 28

East Norwich Holiday

Sunday, Nov. 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com