WESTFIELD, NJ — Lifelong Westfield hosted the Senior Activities Expo at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield. 

The free event last Friday featured over 30 local clubs and organizations offering social and enrichment activities to benefit seniors for seniors seeking social, volunteer and employment opportunities.

Gail Cassidy, longtime Westfield resident and active volunteer, gave a talk on “Finding Passion in Retirement” and handed out free copies of her book, “Discover Your Passion.”

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“There is something special about everyone,” Cassidy told attendees. “Seniors need something positive. There are opportunities at every table to make a difference.”

Seniors were encouraged to:

Join a club, such as the Westfield Model Railroad Club, the Rake and Hoe Garden Club, the Garden Club of Westfield, the Friends of the Westfield Memorial Library, the Genealogical Society of Westfield Historical Society or the Holy Trinity Senior Group.

“Gardening is so good for seniors and everyone to have a sense of purpose and community,” said Rosemary Shire, president of the Garden Club of Westfield. 

Be part of the arts, by volunteering with the Friends of the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, join the Westfield Community Band or NJ Intergenerational Orchestra or volunteer with the Westfield Community Players and Musical Club.

“We are looking for volunteers to serve in the Board of Trustees and looking for volunteers to lead the tours of noble homes,” said Keith Hertell, president of the board of trustees of the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, which is based in Westfield.

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Get out there by attending events at places like the Westfield Community Center, the Westfield Area YMCA, JCC of Central NJ, the Westfield Adult School, the Westfield Art Association, the Westfield Recreation Department, the Westfield Neighborhood Council or the even local schools.

“Westfield Public Schools offers the Golden Pass which grants entrance to concerts and sporting events, where we connect the community through outreach,” said Mary Ann McGann, Coordinator of School and Community Organizations. 

Volunteer with organizations such as the Westfield Food Pantry at Holy Trinity, The Jewish Family Service of Central NJ’s Westfield Area Youth Volunteer Program (which features intergenerational workshops), Caring Contact, Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Union County, the College Women’s Club, Mobile Meals of Westfield, Furniture Assist or the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Westfield Police Chief Chris Battiloro was on hand to talk about volunteer opportunities through the Westfield Police and Fire Departments. Even more volunteer positions are available through the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Lifelong Westfield is an initiative of the Mayor’s Senior Advisory Council to attract and retain the senior community, and the Senior Activities Expo is the sixth event hosted by the group on topics relevant to seniors. 

“We will hold this event every year or twice a year,” said Brad Chanaire, co-chair of Lifelong Westfield. 

For a calendar of events and list of senior services visit www.westfieldnj.gov/lifelong. To join the mailing list, email lifelong@westfield.gov to receive the newsletter and updates about future events.

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