After opening the door to the basement of Cedarhurst Village Hall there was a cry of “O 67” from the other room. There were more than a dozen members of the Cedarhurst Senior Center playing bingo on Feb. 28, and as they played, from time to time the seniors would cheer or jokingly heckle one another.
The center serves not only as a place for seniors to gather, socialize and play games, but it assists in their daily lives. On Mondays there is aerobics, Wednesday a fitness class and on Friday, Pokeno. On Tuesdays, a Town of Hempstead bus takes the seniors food shopping and on Thursday they’ll go to the Green Acres Mall, and then often, food shopping again.
Additionally, the center’s new director, Anne DeMichael, said she assists seniors with their applications to Medicaid, food stamps or help them file a property tax grievance. DeMichael retired from her job in constituent services for the Nassau County Legislature, but has enjoyed staying busy. “I love it,” she said. “Taking care of people and getting things done.”
DeMichael said that she’s looking forward to spring and summer, when she can walk from her home to the village hall, although less mobile members can apply to be picked up by a Town of Hempstead bus.
Carol Sterlacci, the center’s president and a member for around eight years, is in her first year of serving in the position. She said she did so to help keep the program running, she gestured to her fellow board members and said, “They’re good people and that’s what makes it happen here.”
Members don’t have to attend every single event either. Robert Elio, a member for almost five years said, “It’s basically a lot of fun you, can enjoy yourself, and being retired I enjoy coming. I like most of the stuff, but not everything.” Elio noted the trips to restaurants like Olive Garden or Outback as his favorite events.
While the members enjoy their time together they also hope that they can get some new members soon. Sterlacci said, the dozen people they had on that day was one of their better turnouts. “The more people we get,” DeMichael said, “the more stuff we can do.”
For more information on joining, call the senior center at (516) 295-1177.