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Queens Chronicle

Senior leadership award winners chosen

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Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010 12:00 am

United Adult Ministries, the parent company of Flushing House, will honor three outstanding persons with the Rose Kryzak Senior Leadership Award, during their annual gala fundraising dinner on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. at Westbury Manor, Westbury, LI.

The awards are named after the late Rose Kryzak, a dedicated senior citizen advocate and activist, and a long-time resident of Flushing House who passed away in 1999 at the age of 99. She is perhaps best known for her key role in spearheading New York state’s landmark 1987 Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage legislation, but throughout her life she fought for many other causes as well.

This year’s honorees are Sue Bouffier, Maria Cuadrado and Lucy Garcia. “They have all soldiered on in the great tradition of Rose Kryzak, making major contributions of service and caring for older adults,” said Robert F. Salant, Flushing House director of community relations. “The legacy of Rose Kryzak shall not be forgotten, and that’s why each year since her passing, we bestow these awards in her name,” Salant said.

Sue Bouffier has served as program manager of the Franklin Square Senior Community Service Center since 1999. The Franklin Square SCSC is part of Catholic Charities, the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Bouffier was responsible for fostering many new initiatives at the center. She has an EPIC presentation each year, and has helped sign up many of her members to this popular state drug program. Each year she also has a speaker give updates on Medicare, wills, health care proxy and other healthcare issues.

Bouffier advocates for older adult concerns such as healthcare coverage, funding for food and nutrition programs, Meals-on-Wheels, EISEP, and SNAP. She was busy this past May with Older American Month activities and Strawberry Picking Trips. Sue has a corporate background, having served with Citigroup from 1976 to 1984, and with Bristol-Myers Squibb from 1984 to 1996.

Maria Cuadrado has been president of the Queens Interagency Council on Aging from June 2005 to the present. She was director of program operations of the Institute for Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly, and director of the Elmhurst/Jackson Heights Senior Center, from 1998 to 2007.

As director, she oversaw operations of seven Queens senior centers. She ensured all center functions were in compliance with the regulations of the city’s Department For The Aging.

Cuadrado was also deputy bureau chief of DFTA’s Bureau of Senior Assistance and Benefits from 1993 to 1998. She worked previously as the director of social services for a Queens-based nursing home, and earlier in her career served the Peace Corps as a recruiter. Throughout her career, she has been an effective advocate fighting on behalf of the rights of seniors, and the funding needs of the agencies which serve this population.

Lucy Garcia started out as associate director of the Elmhurst/Jackson Heights Senior Center in 1990, and became director in 2006.

She actually served as co-director at the center with Maria Cuadrado for one year. The center serves over 10,000 registered members.

Garcia has implemented English as a Second Language courses for Spanish and Chinese seniors. Garcia also started computer classes, painting, sewing and ceramic classes at the center. She always advocates to maintain good relations with city and state politicians, and to obtain support for her center, securing funding from various sources.

Those interested in attending should R.S.V.P. by Friday, Oct. 22 by sending their name and address, along with a $75 check payable to United Adult Ministries, to Robert F. Salant, Director of Community Relations, Flushing House, 38-20 Bowne Street, Flushing, NY 11354. For more information, call (347) 532-3025 or send an email to rsalant@uam.org.

All proceeds support a special endowment fund, which helps keep Flushing House affordable for many of the older adults who live there.

Built in 1974, Flushing House is a nonprofit retirement residence, and was one of the first to offer older adults independent living with supportive services on premises. Go to flushing house.com for more information.

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