For More Information Contact:
Colleen Pillus, Communications Director (845) 486-2000
Colleen Pillus, Communications Director
Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today announced the County’s Office for the Aging (OFA) will host a free Holiday “Car-aoke” event on Tuesday, Dec. 15th beginning at 1 p.m. at Bowdoin Park, located at 85 Sheafe Road in Poughkeepsie, providing seniors physically distanced socialization with OFA staff and volunteers in a safe and festive atmosphere. Space is limited for this special event, and seniors must register by calling (845) 486-2555.
The event is part of OFA’s strategy of re-imagining gatherings and adapt to current COVID-19 guidelines and protocols, an effort that will continue into next year with new resources planned for the 2021 County Budget to keep seniors engaged through a combination of socially distanced events and virtual activities.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Our Office for the Aging has done a tremendous job keeping Dutchess County seniors engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic, and OFA ‘elves’ have worked hard to ensure they can spread holiday cheer in a safe and jovial environment. This drive-in karaoke event will allow seniors to celebrate the season and enjoy holiday merriment from the safety of their cars – the OFA’s latest effort to shape events to conform to current safety protocols while enhancing the quality of seniors’ lives. We look forward to making holiday memories at our award-winning Bowdoin Park, and we hope seniors throughout Dutchess County will join us to make the season joyous for all.”
Upon arrival to Bowdoin Park, seniors will be directed to park their cars adjacent to Pavilion 1, where they’ll receive complimentary hot cider and holiday cookies. Musician Ray Watkins will play holiday music, which will be broadcast for seniors to listen to through their car radio and sing along. Between songs, OFA staff hold holiday trivia contests, offering seniors the chance to play for fun and prizes. The rain date for this event is Thursday, Dec. 17th at 1 p.m.
OFA Director Todd Tancredi said, “Though 2020 has been challenging, our Office for the Aging staff and volunteers have found inventive ways to help Dutchess County seniors continue to live independently, and our Holiday ‘Car-aoke’ event is a great way to celebrate the season and cap off another successful year of serving our residents.”
With physical distancing guidelines and the prohibition of large gatherings in place to protect residents health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, OFA has provided alternative programming for seniors including drive-through summer picnics, enjoyed by more than 4,000 seniors in lieu of its traditional, sit-down picnics; five drive-in Bingo games held throughout the county, which attracted hundreds of seniors; and new online resources, including Tai Chai instruction. The OFA’s popular and informative “Medicare 101” classes have been held online this autumn, and other exercise programs will also be added to a virtual platform.
Last year, OFA staff served over 13,000 individual seniors, non-seniors in need of long-term care, caregivers, and family members with a wide variety of community-based services, including case management, case assistance, home care, senior centers and home-delivered meals. More information about the OFA’s various offerings is available on the OFA webpage.