Local seniors are have proven that “age is never a deterrent to being a vital member of society,” says Mae Carpenter.
The commissioner of the county’s Department of Senior Programs and Services said its latest Hall of Fame honorees “show the importance of people giving back to their communities and to each other.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer plans to join in the honoring of 74 senior citizens at the 37th Annual Luncheon, on Friday, Dec. 6, at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown.
This year’s program taps Sister Alice Conrad of Mount Vernon and Vincent Greco of Armonk for top honors.
Latimer praised all members of the Class of 2019 for “their dedication and commitment to our communities.”
It includes 31 nominees over the age of 80 and eight over 90. One of the honorees is 98 years young. Four pairs are married couples.
Six recipients will receive Special Recognition: Phyllis J. Feingold of New Rochelle, Dr. Alfred John Liotta of Yonkers, Jagadish Mistry of Tarrytown, Ann Muro of Yonkers, and David Schwartz of Ardsley.
According to Carpenter, age is “an advantage because of the life experiences they bring with them.”
“Their generous contributions have helped to make Westchester County one of the most senior-friendly places in the world,” she said.
Tickets are $65. For more information, contact Rose Cappa at email@example.com or 914-747-0519.
Here are the honorees:
Suzannah Glidden, 82, has worked for many environmental organizations and has fought for the quality of Westchester’s air and water for more than 20 years. She has created and run organizations, testified at hearings, educated herself and others, motivated those around her, and brought about change in her immediate community and beyond. Glidden has also advocated for seniors with breathing and other health issues.
Allan L. Mendelsohn, 76, has been a volunteer at the North Salem Boy Scout Troop 1 for 28 years, serving as Scoutmaster and assistant Scoutmaster. He volunteers at Temple Beth Elohim and has chaired its house and grounds committee and been a board member, president, and chair of the Rabbinical Search Committee. He is its immediate past president.
Teresa Clifford, 80, has been a Heritage Hills Condo Board president and member for almost 20 years. She worked to upgrade the development’s fitness center and has helped seniors with computer skills at the Mahopac Kohler Senior Center and Heritage Hills. During Sandy and last winter’s storms, she worked with elected officials, police departments, and the Red Cross to help folks find food and shelter. Clifford also helps people “age in place” and serves on the Westchester County Council for Seniors.
Marilyn and Lawrence Kaufman have coordinated and run many veteran-related activities, particularly for Jewish War Veterans. They have supported and advocated for veteran benefits and rights.
Arthur D. Salzman, 85, has served as a leader and contributor to Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester in Chappaqua since 1962. He has been very active in United Jewish Appeal - Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and is the former chair of its Northern Westchester campaign and a former member of the Westchester Campaign Committee. He also headed the annual Temple Beth El campaign for many years. As a volunteer, Salzman has been held several positions on the Northeast Westchester Rotary Club, the Community Center of Northern Westchester, Heritage Hill of Somers, and the Chappaqua Drama Group. A sculptor, he gifted his sculpture “Eternal Light” to the temple and displays other pieces at a local gallery.
Susan Petroccione, 70, is a retired school teacher and cancer survivor. She is a founding member and president of the non-profit Somers Library Foundation. She volunteers at Support Connection (family support for breast cancer patients), Opengate (developmentally disabled persons) and Friends of Karen (families of children with life-threatening illnesses). She has held various positions at the Somers Women’s Club and been involved in local and international relief efforts.
Pamela Veith, 61, directs Lewisboro’s Senior Adults programs and is also the town’s senior outreach coordinator. She coordinates senior adult trips with North Salem and Bedford and recruits members for senior programs and special events. She hooks seniors up with programs and services that help them stay in their own homes.
Daniel Strauss, 79, works with the town and local businesses to keep Yorktown Heights neat and tidy. He weeds, cleans up litter, and encourages businesses to take pride in their appearance. He also nudges corporate headquarters to ensure that they are good corporate neighbors.
Linda Doerr, 77, was active in the Lakeland Federation of Teachers. Since her retirement, she has served on the Westchester/Putnam Retirees Executive Board as vice president of community outreach. She is an at-large member of its executive board. She is a delegate to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Representative Assembly. Doerr is also a member of NYSUT’s Committee of 100 and the Yorktown Grange Fair Association.
Fran Ryan, 76, has been vocal and visible, participating in protests, marches, championing issues around LGBTQ equality, women’s rights, and abuse survivor advocacy since the 1980s. She trained facilitators and held administrative positions in I.S.S.U.E. (Incest Survivors Sharing Understanding and Educating) a support group. A former volunteer with Westchester Community College’s Art Department at Westchester Community College, Ryan also trained facilitators and held administrative positions with Lambda Peer Support Services (LPSS), a LGBTQ organization. She hosts support groups and events for the LGBTQ Community through LPSS and The Loft. Ryan also facilitates a self-help support group for sexual trauma survivors and will be leading a couples’ dance class at The LOFT. She is a member of The LOFT’s chorus and its Silver Connections group.
Rodger L. Guest, 63, is a retired Chief Warrant Officer in the Coast Guard. He was involved with its response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina. Guest is a founding member of the Town of Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee and helps organize campaigns for Wreaths Across America. Committee members lay wreaths on more than 500 veterans’ graves in Bedford each year. He is the commander of the Mount Kisco American Legion, where he organizes monthly service dinners for patients at the Montrose VA Hospital. Guest also serves on the Bedford Hills Fire Department Board of Directors.
The Senior Hall of Fame began in 1983, the 300th Anniversary of Westchester County’s founding. Its purpose was to showcase how seniors have contributed to building the county. More than 1,100 seniors have been inducted since.
To be nominated, seniors must have made significant and enduring contributions to enhance Westchester’s quality of life through their professional work, volunteer achievements or both.
Nominations are made by members of the community, and the honorees are selected by a panel of judges and Hall of Fame members.
The names of past honorees are engraved on plaques displayed at the DSPS’s office in Mount Vernon.
The Senior Citizens Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services; the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation; Westchester County Livable Communities and the Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging Services. United Health Care is a Gold Sponsor. Sponsorships are still available.