On May 20, the community joined with Port seniors to celebrate their 40th anniversary and to honor their founder, Morrey Barsky. A fund-raising dinner dance was held at the senior center, 80 Manorhaven Blvd. A delicious buffet dinner was catered by Bayview Deli. Music was provided by The Port Trio and beautiful floral decorations were arranged and donated by Falconers. Balloons were donated by Creations by Linda Valenza.
TONH Supervisor May Newburger gives a citation to Mr. Barsky.
Marianne O'Neill, vice president of the seniors board of directors, welcomed the guests. Cantor Jacob Yaron gave a moving invocation which was followed by numerous presentations. May Newburger, supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead, spoke of Mr. Barsky's long association with the town's senior advisory commission dating back to 1965. He now chairs the commission for the third time. She presented him with a certificate of appreciation from the town. Doreen Banks, councilwoman from the Town of North Hempstead, spoke of her work with Mr. Barsky and how much she had learned from him. The center and Mr. Barsky were presented with beautifully engraved plaques from the members of the Port Washington Chapter of Cancer Care, Inc. and from the board and members of the Port Washington Senior Citizen Center. Tom DiNapoli, representing the New York State Assembly, honored Mr. Barsky with a citation. Other citations were received from the Nassau County Legislature and from Thomas Gulotta, county executive. Gladys Goldberg, representing the Board of Directors of Denton Green Housing, Inc. spoke glowingly of Mr. Barsky's service as one of the founders of this senior housing development and as its manager. John Michael Marino Lodge, order of the Sons of Italy and the Knights of Columbus and Columbiettes presented donations.
After the presentations Mr. Barsky spoke proudly of the accomplishments of the Port Washington Senior Center and of its history. In the beginning there were four regular members which has now grown to a membership of 400. There was no official director but there was a program. Interest grew steadily and teachers were hired - Elsie Nydorf for ceramics, Frank Kleinholz for painting and Roslyn Bell for choral singing. Many members found artistic talents they had never used. Mr. Barsky supplied all supplies that were needed as well as paying teacher salaries for the first four months.
The Community Synagogue provided the first temporary home for the center - rent-free. In the following years the seniors had to move at least 13 times. Custodial service and moving fell on the shoulders of Mr. Barsky and his family.
The center started with a one-day-a-week program and every few years a day was added. A director was hired and programs and membership grew. Lottie Dreiwitz was the first director, followed by Ethel Hoar, Alicia McCarvill and Dolores Holliday. One of the major achievements of the PWSC was the building of its own center using federal funds. They moved into their new quarters in 1982. The program now includes arts and crafts, painting, calligraphy, sewing, bridge instruction, bingo and billiards. To keep our seniors active there are dance, exercise, yoga and tai chi classes. Many services are offered to the members - monthly blood pressure screening, flu shots, mammography, visits by an elder law attorney, a podiatrist and a social worker and invited speakers. Nutritious lunches prepared in the center's modern kitchen are served four days a week. A petite boutique run by the three Sofio sisters offers handmade and unusual items for sale. Very popular with the members are one-to-five-day trips offered at frequent intervals. And the seniors do charitable work for local organizations - like The Community Chest, and Cancer Care.
Mr. Barsky gave special thanks to the committee that planned the 40th celebration (Barbara Faticone, Robert Seiden, Sal Zimbardi, Fred Pollack, Marianne O'Neill, Peter Ephraim and Dolores Holliday) and to the members of the center, the board of directors and the community who have supported the work of the center all these years.
Morrey Barsky founded the Port Washington Senior Center in 1961 to meet the needs of his 70-year-old mother and other seniors in the community. The Port Seniors moved into their own spacious building in 1982. The center is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The PWSC, Inc. is a non-profit organization dependent upon the public for its funding. The center receives funds from the Community Chest, Town of North Hempstead, Port Washington Board of Education, Port North and the Port Adult Club. Money from private donations, revenue from rentals and occasional fund-raising affairs help to meet the expense of running the center. A beautiful ballroom (40x100 feet) complete with large dance floor, cathedral ceiling, suspended chandelier lighting, floor to ceiling windows, dining facilities and modern kitchen is also available and perfect for such occasions as weddings, graduation parties, anniversaries, meetings, fund raisers and the like. Anyone interested in reserving space can call Dolores Holliday at 883-6656. If you would like to support this wonderful home away from home for Port Washington seniors with a donation, a bequest, or a memorial contribution, please contact Sal Zimbardi at 223 Main Street, Port Washington, 11050, telephone 767-2600. Everyone is invited to visit this warm and friendly center. Visitors are always welcome.