The 20th annual Senior Appreciation Month is underway with events presented at multiple locations across the borough through a collaboration of elected officials at the city and state government levels.
The calendar of events includes miniature golf; jazz concerts; senior line dancing; a tour of the Queens Botanical Gardens; resource fairs; virtual workshops; a vigil for those lost to COVID and honoring essential workers; a senior prom; and a limited number of free tickets to one or two New York Mets games at Citi Field.
“Now in its 20th year, Senior Appreciation Month honors the invaluable, lifelong contributions seniors make to our shared communities,” state Senator Leroy Comrie said. “In addition to building community and fostering intergenerational connections, Senior Appreciation Month gives us an opportunity to share resources and information. This year, our reconnecting in person is especially important as we strive to ensure we continue to look out for one another.”
Senior Appreciation Month began as Senior Appreciation Week in 2002 and became a monthlong celebration in 2007. During the most challenging periods of the pandemic, the events were shifted online. This year, most of the events will be in person and will include a limited number of virtual events.
“Senior Appreciation Month is a great tradition here in Queens and one that I look forward to every year,” Congresswoman Grace Meng said. “Seniors are vital and active members in every neighborhood and their wisdom and intimate knowledge of the community helps guide many elected officials in making the best decisions for our constituencies.”
Many of those elected leaders gathered at Roy Wilkins Gym on Sept. 2 to announce the schedule of events. First up was a senior fitness program at Springfield Park on Monday hosted by Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson.
“Our seniors are faith leaders, veterans, community advocates, trusted neighbors and family members,” Anderson said. “I look forward to collaborating to host this month’s events that include the Furry Friends Festival, Boogie in Brookville Park and Day Bowling.”
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards is sponsoring the tour of Queens Botanical Gardens on Thursday, Sept. 22 from noon to 3 p.m.
“Our seniors have set a great example for all of us as they have shown us how to handle adversity with perseverance, tenacity and a concern for others,” Richards said. “I salute all of our borough’s seniors for being amazing people and outstanding contributors to our society.”
Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman said the events allow the younger generations a chance to show their appreciation and support for seniors.
“The guidance and life lessons of our seniors must serve as a true testament for the younger generations to follow,” Hyndman said. “The wisdom that is provided should be respected, as their life experiences afforded us essential liberties that we enjoy today. Let us continue to attend to them as they took their time to nurture us.”
Councilwoman Linda Lee is sponsoring Senior Theater with Queens Theatre of the Arts at the SNAP Center in Queens Village from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, Sept. 23.
“As we continue to emerge from the pandemic that forced us to isolate and lose contact with our loved ones, I am proud to join in and help put together enjoyable events for our seniors so that we can show them our gratitude and how much they mean to our neighborhoods,” Lee said.
More events are being scheduled as Senior Appreciation Month stretches into the first week of October. Those hoping to participate are encouraged to check the social media accounts of their local representatives for more information.