Councilman I. Daneek Miller and a delegation of local elected officials kicked off Senior Appreciation Month at the York College Amphitheater on Friday, Sept. 3, announcing a month of planned activities with seniors.
Now in its 19th year, the monthlong programming features fun and informative events for seniors in eastern Queens. The initiative began as Senior Week and eventually expanded to Senior Month as more offices joined in on the festivities.
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all events were conducted virtually. This year’s calendar will feature a mix of virtual and in-person events, including a senior prom, nature walk and hike, game night, informational luncheon, barbecue and more.
This will be the eighth and final year that Miller will be coordinating and hosting the annual celebration.
“We are so grateful to be able to offer a mix of in-person and virtual programming this year for our annual senior month festivities. September is a special month for us, and it means a lot that we’re able to gather together in person again and recognize those who have meant so much to us and on whose shoulders we stand. This year is going to be our best one yet, and I am looking forward to sharing the events with the community,” Miller said.
After a year of unprecedented challenges, District Attorney Melinda Katz applauded the in-person return of Senior Appreciation Month events, which were delayed but not denied because of COVID-19.
“Our senior citizens deserve the very best our neighborhoods have to offer and I hope they can take full advantage of this slate of programs. It is a pleasure to honor our seniors this way,” Katz said.
Elected officials at the kickoff event included Senator James Sanders Jr., Assembly members David Weprin and Khaleel Anderson, and Council members Barry Grodenchik and Selvena Brooks-Powers.
Sanders applauded his colleagues in Congress, the Senate, Assembly and the City Council for bringing the event together, and sending a clear message that “the best things in life come with age.”
“It is important that we as a community continue to recognize our seniors and show our unwavering commitment to them as a thank you for paving the way for the next generation and providing steadfast guidance during the troubling times of today,” Sanders said.
According to Weprin, Senior Appreciation Month is a time to celebrate their loved ones.
“We have all benefited from the time, energy and resources that seniors have given their families and community, year after year. I am proud to be able to give back to our seniors by co-sponsoring a number of programs offered this month, including a tour at the Queens County Farm and a Senior Game Night,” Weprin said.
Anderson said he is excited to join his colleagues as they celebrate and honor seniors.
“Our seniors are faith leaders, veterans, community advocates, trusted neighbors and family members,” Anderson said. “Senior Appreciation Month has new meaning this year due to the pandemic, and I look forward to collaborating to host this month’s safe virtual and in-person events.”
After a long and challenging year, Brooks-Powers said they’re fortunate to gather together at both in-person and virtual events to celebrate seniors in the communities.
“Senior Appreciation Month is merely a small gesture to show our elders how much they mean to us. They are the pillars of our communities, and I look forward to celebrating our seniors this September,” Brooks-Powers said.
Grodenchik’s office is producing pandemic-safe outdoor events in which seniors can participate while maintaining social-distancing.
“It is a pleasure to partner with my Queens colleagues to offer senior month programming each year,” Grodenchik said. “I look forward to welcoming our seniors to the nature walk at Alley Pond Park and the tour of Queens County Farm Museum.”
The farm tour, which is only open to residents of Council District 23 due to limited capacity, will be held on Sept. 17, at 10 a.m. with a scheduled rain date for Sept. 24.
The tour will run approximately 60 minutes and will cover the four season growing operation through visiting the growing fields, annual and perennial gardens, cold frames, greenhouses and composting area. Pre-registration is required. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-468-0137 by Sept. 10.
The second event, Hiking Trails for Seniors, will be held on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 9:30 a.m. at Alley Pond Park, located at Springfield Boulevard and 76th Avenue. Due to limited capacity, this event is only open to residents of Council District 23.
The hiking will take approximately 60 minutes. Pre-registration is also required. To register, call 718-468-0137 or email email@example.com by Sept. 22.
For other scheduled activities, here’s a calendar list of this month’s events: