Thursday, May 30, 2013

EPAC hosts CHOW benefit Saturday

The Endicott Performing Arts Center will host the Community Dance Showcase Benefit for Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The showcase will feature many local artists, including Bruce’s Kountry Kickers, EPAC’s Dance Stories, EPAC’s adult jazz and tap, Southern Tier Dance Society, USA Dance and more. A variety of dance styles will be represented, including country, jazz, tap, swing, ballroom, lyrical and modern.

The director of CHOW, Mike Leahey, says he is thankful for the community’s support of CHOW. This time of year, when children are home from school, the need for non-perishable food items increases substantially. He noted that the following items are in high demand: non-perishable fruits and vegetables, tuna, peanut butter, cereal, and macaroni and cheese.

The event is free, but each audience member should bring two items for CHOW. Bins will be placed at the entrance to the theater. Seating is general admission on a first-come, first-served basis.

EPAC is located at 102 Washington Ave. in Endicott. For more information, call 785-8903 or go online to

Monday, May 20, 2013

Senior Connection: Older Americans Month recognizes, celebrates contributions

Since 1963, the month of May has been designated Older Americans Month, a time set aside to recognize and appreciate the value of older people in our communities. This year’s theme, Unleash the Power of Age, is an appropriate way to characterize the contributions that many older people make as they teach others the skills they’ve refined over the years, support those in need or engage in civic matters.

There are now more Americans age 65 and older than at any other time in U.S. history, and most of the contributions they make are voluntary. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2012 volunteer rate for older adults was 26.5 percent, which represents a massive contribution to our social well-being.

The Broome County Office for Aging provides support, opportunities and recognition for older people in order to maximize their ability to make these valuable contributions. In an effort to help elders remain independent in their homes as long as possible, they provide educational services and programs that enhance the quality of life for many of Broome County’s elders.

The gifts that older people make to their families and communities are priceless, but all too often they are overlooked. The Broome County Office for Aging has recognized Barbara Bagan and Marta Alomar as volunteers who are Unleashing the Power of Age in their communities.

After completing a 42-year career, Barbara began looking for volunteer opportunities. She volunteered as a driver for Meals on Wheels in the Conklin area for 12 years and has also volunteered with the Office for Aging HEAP office for more than 10 years. Literacy Volunteers and Broome County Council of Churches have also benefited from her talents as a volunteer. Barbara says volunteering gives her an awareness of what is going on in the community and she appreciates that connection. “Doing something for others is the greatest reward,” she says.

Marta is a foster grandparent who has fun at the Broome County YMCA Y’s Kids Child Care Center where she has volunteered for 5 years. She says, “I love playing with the kids and reading books to them.” Her volunteer work there is greatly appreciated. Tammy Donnelly, assistant director of Child Care at the Y, says, “I don’t know what we would do without her. She is patient, helpful and good with any age.”

As you look ahead to the coming year, think about ways you can recognize elders like these and make additional efforts to Unleash the Power of Age in your community. It’s a “win-win” proposition because when we create opportunities for elders to share their many talents and engage in service to others we also help them stay positive, active, and vibrant.
Written by
Rhoda Meador

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) As postal carriers collected mail Saturday, they also collected food donations left out near mailboxes.

Thousands of pounds of non-perishable foods were collected in the Greater Binghamton area for the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

The food will go to the Broome County Council of Churches, or CHOW.

The drive was a team effort. Binghamton University's Alpha Kappa Alpha helped organize the donations as they flowed in.

"It's crazy," Naisha Blijd said. "Two, three trucks coming in at a time and they're full, very full. There's definitely a lot of donations out here. A lot of people in the community are giving back. It's awesome to see."

This food drive is the nation's largest one-day food drive.

A CHOW representative said collecting food this time of year is especially important for children who are now out of school, and need help getting a lunch.

By Erika Mahoney