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Queens Chronicle

Flushing senior center wins

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Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2019 10:30 am

If the borough of Queens enters a state of emergency in the near future, no one will be better prepared than the senior citizens of Selfhelp Innovative Senior Center.

New York City Emergency Management and the Department for the Aging presented center Director Mayer Waxman, top center, with this year’s Senior Center of the Year Award on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The seventh annual award recognizes a city senior center that has made an ongoing commitment to preparing older adults for emergencies.

“Known locally as Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center, Selfhelp has long served as a focal point of our neighborhood by capably serving our senior population with everything from educational workshops to entertainment to social services and more,” said City Councilmember Peter Koo, top fourth from left.

New York City Emergency Management First Deputy Commissioner Andrew D’Amora, above left, presented Waxman with the award and discussed the importance of emergency preparedness for all New Yorkers, including older adults.

Joining Waxman, Koo and Amora were Community Engagement Coordinator of NYCEM Ed Powell, top left, Community Board 7 District Manager Marilyn McAndrews, Selfhelp Innovative Senior Center Program Director Jane Qiu, Democratic District Leader Neeta Jain, Assistant Commissioner of DFTA Louella Byers, and Brian Lam, community liasion for Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, right.

The center has shown its dedication to emergency preparedness through its coordination of multilingual, interactive and educational workshops for seniors. Selfhelp recently participated in the Ready New York emergency preparedness program, which provided training and presentations that reminded members to pack a Go Bag with basic supplies, medical information as well as contact names and numbers. Two seniors, above right, pose with one of the pamphlets that are distributed during such training.

The center boasts a strong relationship with the Fire Department and 109th Precinct, both of which regularly conduct safety presentations for the seniors. Selfhelp serves as an emergency haven for those outside the facility as well — it acts as one of the 500 city cooling centers that New Yorkers are welcome to use during the sweltering summer months.

“Flushing is fortunate to be home to the Selfhelp Innovative Senior Center and the dedicated staff and volunteers delivering vital social services from health and wellness programs to educational workshops,” Rozic said. “Today’s recognition is a testament to the community Selfhelp has built and its mission to ensure no one is turned away from having a safe space and quality care.”

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