By Tammy Scileppi

Throughout the Bible one finds evidence of how giving makes us happier.

Ronnie and Hank Arond are both 90 years young, and they’ve been married for 70 years. Ronnie Arond says she can’t believe it, and doesn’t know anyone can be married that long.

It seems clear that the Aronds’ giving ways have contributed to their happiness and longevity.

Ronnie Arond says, ”We’re busy as long as I can teach yoga and synchronized swimming.” She attributes these activities, along with genetics and watching their fat intake to their long and fulfilling lives together. And it seems, too, that their zest for life and a great sense of humor have kept them moving and grooving. Literally.

They still share fun activities together as a couple even after seven decades of matrimony. It seems they never get bored and they really love sharing their time with others as well. Volunteering is a big part of their lives.

Moreover, the time they spend giving back has kept them socially connected to folks in their community. It’s a known fact that giving has beneficial effects for volunteers, including improved physical and mental health.

The couple has been living in Bellerose for the past 63 years. They have two children (a doctor and a nurse), four grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Ronnie Arond says she might be president one day.

They belong to the Unitarian Universalist Church. Ronnie says it has a strong action committee and they meet lots of friends there.

Helping others, even in small ways, gives the Aronds’ lives a sense of meaning and purpose.

“I’ve been involved in my community in many, many ways as a volunteer,” said a young-sounding Ronnie. At the Cross Island YMCA, she has been teaching yoga for 20 years, and she also performs and helps out at the STAR Theatre group.

For 12 years she was an registered nurse at Long Island Jewish Hospital and at Deepdale Hospital for 25 years. She had experienced working as an Army nurse during World War II.

It turns out Hank Arond is a great sailor. He takes people out in his sailboat in Douglaston every chance he gets. He was a violinist for 27 years and worked as an electrical engineer. He currently plays his violin at residences and churches. And he is also on the board at the Y and at NORC, the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community, in Bellerose, assisting people living in their own homes. He even entertains them.

Together, the Aronds enjoy life as an active team, and amazingly, have just celebrated their 70th anniversary. Ronnie Arond jokes, “I told him, I’ll stay with you until I find somebody better.”

So, how have they managed to stay together for so long? She reveals their secret: “We promise never to take cranky pills on the same day, and every time I make a mistake he has to apologize.”

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