On the occasion of her 99th birthday in January, 2021, Betty White, the star of Golden Girls was asked the secret of living as long as she has. “Don’t take yourself too seriously,” she said.
For Ms. White, that’s an ongoing theme, since just a year earlier she was quoted as saying, “Look at the positive side and don’t dwell on the downside. It takes up too much energy being negative."
Having a sense of humor, and trying to stay positive, is a reason often given for living a long life, of course there are a number of others factors at play, but thinking positive and staying active is never a bad idea.
The Glen Cove SAGE Foundation (Senior Activity Generational Endowment) believes in helping seniors to live a better, happier and more active life. The SAGE Board is made up entirely of volunteers, whose primary focus is to raise funds to enhance the programs of the Glen Cove Senior Center.
“I was inspired to become a part of SAGE as I watched my Aunt Edna blossom after reluctantly joining the Senior Center’s Adult Day Program,” said Pam Panzenbeck, the current President. “The program provides people, who shouldn’t be home alone all day with a warm, loving place to socialize and take part in dance, music, art, current events, and a wide range of feel-good programs. It is a happy environment with lots of laughs and smiles.”
“The main floor of the Center also offers a wide range of programs from exercise to art, and the Center provides a healthy, hot meal to all,” adds Pam. The center’s mission is to pursue and provide the highest quality programs and services for the senior citizens of Glen Cove and surrounding communities. Seniors have the option of being picked up at their homes by the Senior Citizen bus, or drive their own cars to the Glen Cove Senior Center which has been referred to as a “gem of Glen Cove.”
Today, under the leadership of Christine Rice, the Glen Cove Senior Center offers a wealth of programs that provide a variety of intellectual and recreational opportunities. Seniors can focus on their health in the multi-faceted wellness and exercise classes, workshops and health screenings, or nourish their minds in our nationally recognized Life Long Learning Program, weekly discussion groups, computer training, cultural arts celebrations, excursions and inter-generational partnerships.
SAGE donations enhance the many programs offered by the Center, and also subsidize city funding to provide a full-time social worker. The annual Golf outing is the main fundraiser of the SAGE Foundation. SAGE is also the recipient of grants, and donations of thanks and in memoriam.
SAGE consists of up to twenty one Board of Directors and eight Associate members. The Glen Cove SAGE Foundation was established in 2005 by former Mayor Vincent (Jimmy) Suozzi for the purpose of establishing a non-profit private organization which would manage and raise funds for the Glen Cove Senior Center above governmental sources.
SAGE saves lives, as their website suggests, by enriching, reshaping and transforming them. They believe that “all older adults should have every opportunity to live healthy, creative lives by being, doing and becoming all that they have come to value throughout their lifetime.”
Thanks to SAGE donors the following programs/enhancements have been possible:
1. Physical Activities include: Dance Therapy, Tai Chi, Chair Yoga
2. Brain Boosters include: Dakim Machine for Memory Skills: Purchase and maintenance.
3. Lifelong Learning: Programming, Lectures and Educational Series.
4. Relaxation and Inspiration includes: Music Therapy, Inspirational Afternoons, Meditation Therapy, Yoga Therapy, Special Events and Musical Entertainment.
5. Environmental/Center Enhancements include: Wireless tour guide headsets, Pod Cast Equipment, Program Supplies, Lobby Renovation and Furnishings, New Sound System for Programs Furniture and Window Treatments for Art Gallery.
As fundraising during the pandemic has been difficult, SAGE will soon be starting their virtual online raffle sale via Facebook and welcomes your support.
All other donations can be made directly through our new website www.glencovesage.org or a check can be mailed to: Sage Foundation Inc., 130 Glen Street, Glen Cove, NY 11542. Corporate contributions are most welcome.
For more information on this, please contact Board Treasurer, Peter Heilig, email at email@example.com or leave a message at the Glen Cove Senior Center (516) 759-9610.
The difference between the pursuit of science and art is that one is more often based on objectivity and the other is subjective.
When a scientist and an artist are asked to describe what happens when a match is lit, the explanations can make it appear as if they are seeing two completely different events occurring, as the scientist witnesses chemicals combusting to form light and heat, while the artist sees an emergence of colors that ignite the senses and spark the imagination.
And it is in that moment that science and art often become one.
In the words of one of the greatest scientists the world has even known, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."
It was Albert Einstein who said that, and while no one would call him an artist, he may have understood that the study of science and art were equally important. In fact, throughout his life, Einstein played the violin, and was said to be “a very good amateur” and a fan of Mozart sonatas.
In 2006, Glen Cove's poet laureate Victoria Crosby, founded the Glen Cove Arts Council (GCAC) as a way to bring the arts to those in the local communities who didn't have opportunities to visit an art museum, theater, ballet or opera.
Her goal was to provide exposure to the arts and to fund people, especially youth, who showed a desire and aptitude, yet lack the financial means to pursue their “imagination.”
“My four sons always had music in their life, and two have gone on to enjoy careers in music,” explained Victoria, whose passion for the arts is apparent when you speak with her. “I wanted to give the same experience my children had, to children who might not otherwise have a chance, as well as those whose lives would be enriched by visiting a museum, watching a theatrical production, or attending an art exhibit.”
For Victoria, who has given a reading of her work at many of the city’s mayoral inaugurations, and has written poems that capture so much of the history and majesty of Glen Cove, the arts are vital to a child’s education, because they allow them to express themselves through dance, music, writing, painting and more.
“Self-expression is essential for psychological and mental health,” adds Victoria. “The arts provide that opportunity, which is why it is so important that we encourage and support people throughout their life to participate, and why it’s so unfortunate that these programs are often the first cut when school budgets are tightened.”
Now, in its fifteenth year, The Glen Cove Arts Council has helped to purchase instruments and dance costumes; and provided scholarships to students at the Long Island Academy of Fine Art, (LIAFA), located in Glen Cove, through the Michael Califano Memorial Art Scholarship.
These scholarships were started by GCAC board member Eve Califano in memory of her late husband's father. Scholarships have helped students study drawing, oil painting and sculpture, helping them develop a portfolio, and to study art in college.
A scholarship was given to a Vietnam Veteran to relieve post-traumatic stress through art, while another recipient, who was a formerly incarcerated woman, learned to be self-sufficient through her own graphic art designs.
“One young man was a brilliant violinist, but sadly his family could not provide him with a quality violin of his own,” recalled Victoria. “Fortunately, we were able to raise the money to buy him one. He was 18 years old when I first met him and he won the talent competition at the Morgan Park Summer Music Festival, an event I organized. This inspired me to create and formalize the Glen Cove Arts Council as a nonprofit. To date, this young man has performed with major orchestras all over the world, including the NY Philharmonic.”
GCAC works with youth from local Boys & Girls Clubs in Glen Cove, Locust Valley and Oyster Bay, The Glen Cove Youth Bureau, Glen Cove EOC, Economic Opportunity Council, Interagency Council of Glen Cove, Living Water for Women, and the Glen Cove School for Language.
GCAC organizes visits with youth to Tilles Center in Brookville, and Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor.
Activities also include a poetry contest with cash awards for the winning elementary, middle, and high school student.
The Glen Cove Arts Council is a non-profit organization run by volunteers that receives no government funds. All funds are through donations and fund-raising events. All proceeds go directly to increase outreach and support their programs.
Victoria, who has written several books of poetry and was asked to write a poem for Glen Cove’s recent 100 year anniversary as a city, and 350th year since its founding (click here to read) has a background in education and is a strong advocate for helping those less fortunate, as well as all people connect with the arts whether it becomes a profession, a hobby or just an escape.
Her many contributions to Glen Cove include her time as Music Director for Morgan Park and Americas' Sail & Tall Ships Festival.
You can donate to, or contact the Glen Cove Arts Council by regular mail at P.O. Box 27, Glen Cove NY, 11542, by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting their website at: https://www.glencoveartscouncil.org.
You can often tell about the vitality of a community by the number of local residents who volunteer their time, effort, and even their money to assist or support a cause.
Such is the case with Glen Cove, where “volunteerism” can be seen everywhere and often makes the difference in strengthening and maintaining the many organizations in our diverse city.
Being a volunteer is often about caring for others, and that is certainly the case with Kimberly Velentzas, who along with Kirsten Kenney and Kit Raper Zias run The Porch Pantry, a nonprofit organization with the main focus of ending local hunger.
With a mission to “Do good and be better,” The Porch Pantry, which started on the front porch of Kimberly’s home, as a place where people could leave non-perishable foods, has quickly evolved into a massive community effort to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have the food they need.
Along with Kimberly, Kirsten, and Kit, this small, but growing group of extraordinary people provides food and inspiration to their community and leads by example.
“It all began last March, 2020, with the uncertainty of school’s closing due to Covid-19, and the concern that some less fortunate families may not be able to get the food they required,” recalls Kimberly. “We needed to look out for them.”
As the Finley Middle School PTA President, Kimberly reached out to Kirsten, a teacher, who also ran the Builder’s Club food pantry at the school. Their goal was to create an alternative plan to provide food for what they believed at the time were about seven families.
Kimberly, and others, pitched in by shopping for these families and delivering food, but as more families were identified, she reached out to her Facebook friends and “donated” her front porch as a drop-off point for non-perishable foods.
“I honestly get choked up thinking about the response from the Glen Cove community,” added Kimberly. “There are so many wonderful people in this city that simply want to help.”
As the number of Covid-19 cases increased dramatically, shopping was no longer an option for some, which is when the money started coming in, as people gave what they could knowing how much it would mean to others.
“It was about that time I received a call from Kit, a longtime friend, who knew how to get grant money related to the pandemic,” added Kimberly. “She was wonderful and did all the research required, and when we learned that qualifying meant becoming a recognized 501C non-profit organization, she got the ball rolling and handled all the paperwork.”
As a non-profit, The Porch Pantry qualified for a $7500 pandemic-related grant, and was now receiving larger donations, since they were tax deductible.
The pantry was still operated from Kimberly’s porch, but by now it had grown substantially, and was helping to feed about 300 families.
“When it became too cold to leave items on my front porch, we donated our garage to the cause,” adds Kimberly. “We had more families and more volunteers, and we were even attracting corporate friends.”
Electrolux donated two large freezers, and The Porch Pantry had volunteer drivers from ages 17 to 75-plus helping to get the food were it was needed.
Kimberly, who moved to Glen Cove about ten years ago, and had worked at non-profits in the past, was inspired to “do good” in her community; but it was the reaction of so many others she gave as the reason she “Loves Glen Cove.”
For Kimberly and the other co-founders, whether it’s giving a few cans of vegetables or participating in their “Adopt A Family” program, where participants shopped for and delivered full Thanksgiving meals, making any contribution is meaningful, although one really caught her by surprise.
“During the holidays, a woman came by and asked if we were The Porch Pantry she had heard about,” recalls Kimberly. “When I said yes, she handed me a piece of paper. It was a check for $2500, and she wanted nothing other than to give.”
One day a volunteer driver called Kimberly to confirm the delivery of an order, which is a standard procedure, but she was crying as she spoke. She said that as she pulled up to the family, they apparently knew who she was and the young children began screaming that the “food lady” was here. Among the items were a box of cookies and a loaf of bread. After the driver got back in her car, she watched the young boy of perhaps 5 or 6, pick up the bread and kissed it, as he ran to his mother.
“When she stopped crying, the driver thanked me for giving her an opportunity to take part in such a touching moment, and that’s when I began to cry as well,” added Kimberly.
Those are the moments that stand out for Kimberly, who also spoke to a young boy, who when asked if he’d already eaten lunch replied, “I only eat lunch on the days I go to school.”
“I know that what we are doing is very important,” concluded Kimberly,” and every day that I come home to a new food donation on my front porch, I understand how much you get when you give. There are some events where you are asked to buy something for a needy child that you never met. These are wonderful programs, but frankly what we do is for our neighborhood kids. That makes it really special.
The Porch Pantry is supported in large part by donations from everyday people who want to give back, or just make a difference and caring volunteers. To learn more, visit https://theporchpantry.com, email Info@Theporchpantry.com, or drop off non-perishable food at 99 McLoughin Street, Glen Cove, NY.
At the North end of Glen Cove’s Welwyn Preserve, in the original Georgian-style mansion known as "Welwyn," one of the many Pratt family homes that can be found throughout the city, the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County stands as a reminder of a very dark period in our history, and a shining beacon for a better tomorrow.
“Our stated mission is to teach the history of the Holocaust and its lessons through education and community outreach,” states Andrea Bolender, Chair of the Board. “We teach about the dangers of antisemitism, racism, bullying and all manifestations of intolerance. We promote resistance to prejudice and advocate respect for every human being.”
The Center, founded in 1992 by a group of Holocaust Survivors, clergy and politicians as the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center, officially moved into the mansion and the 200-acre preserve in 1994.
In 1996, the Louis Posner Memorial Library, Long Island’s largest collection of Holocaust,
genocide, anti-bias and anti-bullying materials was added to the Center, and in 2003, the Children’s Memorial Garden, dedicated to the memory of the million and a half Jewish children and other children who were killed during the Holocaust, was opened. It was the first children’s memorial garden on public land in New York State.
“The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center keeps the memory of what happened alive,” adds Ms. Bolender. “By never forgetting how a handful of people used only words, to begin creating an environment where unimaginable acts of violence took place, the Center helps us to learn and understand how we can ensure that this never happens again.”
Each year, upwards of 25 - 30,000 students from Long Island and parts of NYC take place in a program that teaches tolerance, using the lessons from the Holocaust. During these sessions, which take place in the Center, at the school, or online, students are shown age-appropriate videos, and listen to Holocaust survivors or their children talk about the importance of being a better person, or what they refer to as an “Upstander,” a person who affects positive change in his or her school or community.
Programs are given to children in 4th grade and upwards. After evaluating the efforts of some of these students to make a real difference, the Center awards four $5000 scholarships yearly, two each to children from Nassau and Suffolk County.
Among the recent winners was a person who created a theatrical company in her school for disabled and special needs students.
“This year, the Center will present a program on some of the students who have received scholarships, added Ms. Bolender. “We will discuss how the Upstander program has made a difference in their lives, how they used the scholarship money, and what they are doing now.”
Working with children is an important part of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center, and when the center re-opened on October 25, 2020, after being closed as part of Covid protocol, a local Boy Scout Troop 6 honored Bob Praver, a Glen Cove resident, who had turned 95 and was an important part of helping to reclaim and re-beautify the Children’s Memorial Garden at the Center. Bob, who was also an Eagle Scout and had served in the Navy during WWII, was given a Knot Board, made by the Scouts to honor his many contributions.
The Garden is an especially moving tribute to the lost children of the Holocaust who were never given a proper burial, and are remembered with commemorative butterflies displayed on the memorial wall, and inspiring quotes on stanchions that keep Holocaust memory alive and enduring.
The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center also offers a number of community- based programs that impact the day-to-day professional lives of those who serve Long Island’s diverse population, especially first- responders.
Since 2010, every Nassau and Suffolk County police cadet has taken part in a Law Enforcement and Society program, given by the Center, before they are permitted to graduate. A program for Long Island nurses, who often deal with people at their most vulnerable moments, some of whom may not know the language, is also part of the Center’s commitment to bringing forth the lessons learned from the Holocaust.
“We are all born without hate, but our innocence can be taken from us all too easily” adds Ms. Bolender. “After WWI, German society bore the financial cost of war, and their economy was devastated, allowing a small group of people, who promised a better life, to gain power and begin to manipulate the thoughts of the masses. Despite the fact that Germany was a cultured, educated country, and that people understood right and wrong, many succumbed to the will of these tyrants, and became participants in unspeakable atrocities. It is a time in history that we must never forget, which is why it is our mission to encourage people to do better and to speak out, so this never happens again.”
The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center is located at Welwyn Preserve, at 100 Crescent Beach Road, Glen Cove, NY 11542. For information, please call (516)571-8040, email email@example.com, or visit https://www.hmtcli.org and discover some of the new content being added to the website.
Copyright © 2021 We Love Glen Cove - All Rights Reserved. This site was created by Glen Cove residents. It is not affiliated with any City of Glen Cove organizations including the local government. Information supplied has been reviewed, and verified in accordance with our best efforts. We are not responsible for any errors and omissions.
Powered by GoDaddy