Dear Residents and Stakeholders:

During the month of May, we are proud to celebrate our seniors during Older Americans Month, a month designated by President John F. Kennedy 53 years ago to recognize and honor the contributions of past and current older persons in our nation.

Making up nearly 12% of our city's population, our seniors represent a rich legacy of commitment to making a difference in the lives of those who live, work and play in our community. The individual and collective impact they have made over the years contributes greatly to my vision for East Orange to set the standard for urban excellence.

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I am proud to say that under the leadership of Manager Rita Butts, the Division of Senior Services has significantly expanded its advocacy, outreach and services, providing a wide array of over 100 programs, recreational and cultural outings, weekly fitness classes, and support services such as daily transportation for senior citizens and disabled adults. 

Well-established and popular senior groups such as the East Orange Senior Volunteer Corps, the Red Hat Society and the East Orange Silver Steppers are among our city's most valuable treasures. 

In 2016, we've also implemented several new programs, including a Senior Workforce Development Program to connect seniors seeking part-time work with local employers and weekly golf clinics at the East Orange Golf Course in Short Hills. Staying active provides tremendous physical and mental benefits, and we are always looking for creative opportunities to keep our seniors engaged. 

As we honor our seniors this month, I want to encourage East Orange residents, ages 60 and over, to share their inspiring stories with us through our "Blaze the Trail" Writing Project. Stories and photographs can be submitted throughout the month to the Division of Senior Services for publication in the next issue of our Senior Newsletter. Submissions can be emailed to sala.small@eastorange-nj.gov or dropped off at 90 Halsted Street. For those who are interested in sharing their stories during our Older Americans Month Celebration on May 5, 2016 at 12pm, please call 973.266.8832. 

To stay informed about upcoming activities, please visit our website at eastorange-nj.gov, like us on Facebook.com/EOCityHall or contact Senior Services at 973.266.8832.