Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and Division of Aging Services Director John Beale celebrated Older Americans Month at the Office of the Aging annual “Celebration of Aging” event today at Villa Borghese in Wappinger. County Executive Steinhaus presented four Dutchess County residents with “Senior Citizen of the Year” honors at the event. He also presented the “Senior Achievement Award.”
“These honorees represent everything that is great and good about this county,” said County Executive Steinhaus as he addressed the more 275 attendees at this year’s celebration.
The Division of Aging Services hosts the “Celebration of Aging” each year in order to recognize the outstanding contributions senior citizens make to Dutchess County. The following seniors were recognized at the event:
- Ellenora Oberhofer of Poughkeepsie was named Female Senior Citizen of the Year. Ms. Oberhofer is committed to groups that resolve social and community issues. She serves on the Child Care Council of Dutchess and the Dutchess Interfaith Council board and leads the Churchwomen United. She is also active in the yearly Crop Walk, the blanket fund for Church World Services and Vacation Bible School.
- Albert Hallgren of Rhinebeck was named Male Senior Citizen of the Year. For more than 20 years, Mr. Hallgren has driven cancer patients for treatments in Westchester and New York City for the American Cancer Society. He volunteers at the Northern Dutchess Hospital as well as the Hospice and Hudson River Housing. He is also a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children.
- Maureen and James Monks of Hyde Park were honored with the Senior Citizen Couple of the Year award. Mr. & Mrs. Monks provide socialization to homebound seniors. They have been active in coordinated transportation for the Northern Dutchess Caregivers Group.
- The Senior Achievement Award was presented to Josephine Lapide of Rhinebeck for her ongoing community service. Ms. Lapide has volunteered at the Northern Dutchess Hospital Thrift Shop for more than 10 years, logging in over 5,000 hours of service. She also drives friends and neighbors to doctor’s appointments and visits the sick and disabled at the hospital and the Thompson House. She is also an active volunteer at the Good Shepherd Church.
County Executive Steinhaus also honored Vera & Louis Serenate who, at 77 years together, may be the longest living married couple in New York State.
The Celebration of the Aging event provides an opportunity to recognize Dutchess County Centenarians (residents over the age of 100). Centenarians are the fastest growing segment of the populations. Nine residents of Dutchess County between the ages of 100 and 103 were recognized at the event including: Dorothy Cobb of Fishkill, Margaret Currie of Salt Point, Sadie Effron of Poughkeepsie, Frances Kraeh of Hyde Park, Ira Peavey of Red Hook, Margaret Poyerd of Dover, Lillie Mae Reed of Beacon, Edwin Reynolds of Poughkeepsie and Edward White of Rhinebeck.
One of the celebrated centenarians, Edward White, served as a corporal in the Army during World War II and was held as Prisoner of War by the Germans in Luxemburg for more than 3 months. He sustained injuries during his capture. However, he never completed his paperwork for the Purple Heart. The Division of Aging Services contacted the Dutchess County Veterans Service Agency to arrange for the proper paperwork and during today’s celebration, County Executive Steinhaus added his signature to Edward White’s so that Mr. White could finally receive the Purple Heart that is rightfully his.
“It is always such a pleasure to participate in the annual Celebration of the Aging event. The seniors of Dutchess County are truly an inspiration,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.