by Nadine OCASIO
The Burt P. Flickinger Caregiver Award
|Salvator Giambrone became a caregiver in the late 1990s
when his wife of 53 years, Rosalie, became ill and was eventually diagnosed with cancer.
He took her to her doctors appointments, helped keep her motivated when she was
down, sat with her through her hours of dialysis, and never once complained. He was a rock
for her and the rest of the family. As she was dying, he came to appreciate all she had
done for him and how hard she worked. She soon died and at 79 years old, Salvator had to
learn to live again, and he did so with grace, dignity and class that has been the
hallmark of his life.
Shortly after Rosalie died, Salvators daughter was diagnosed with MS. He has since been a primary caregiver for her as well. He takes her to appointments, cooks for her and her family, and makes sure they are all doing well, you see her husband is quadriplegic. The family relies heavily on Salvator for assistance with doctors appointments, fixing things around the house and so on. Salvator never stops trying, never stops caring and never waivers in his strength, courage, integrity and love for his family and friends.
The Ralph W. Loew Humanitarian Award
|Gordon Gross is a practicing attorney with Gross, Schuman, Brizdle & Gilfillan. He attributes his own commitment to community activities to his parents' community involvement. Many organizations such as The Foundation for Deaf Education, St. Mary's School for the Deaf, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Kleinhan's Music Hall and others have benefited from his philanthropic efforts. In 2000, Gordon intertwined his love for cycling with his commitment to the community. Riding approximately 74 miles a day, six days a week, for seven and a half weeks, Gordon completed his 3,157 mile cross country trip raising $72,000 in the process for charity. He truly emulates the compassion and leadership demonstrated by the late Dr. Loew.|
The Dr. J. Warren Perry Health Professions
|During his professional career Gary Brice has established
the first Western New York Wellness Summit, which is now recognized by the AHA as a
national "Best Practice." Gary Brice has also created the first hospital-based
wellness and disease prevention program for elderly in the region, as well as developed
the first Alzheimer's behavioral unit in New York State as part of a long-term care
facility. Mr. Brice has received national recognition for developing training programs for
caregivers in dealing with the elderly.
He truly expresses compassion and dedication for the elderly of our community.
The Lifetime Achievement Awards
Honor five individuals who exemplify successful aging through their commitment to family, community service, and/or dedication to social causes, the arts or business.
These awards were created in 1995 to honor Western New York citizens who
exemplify successful aging.
The Prime Time Awards dinner honoring this years awardees will be held on
Thursday, September 23, 2004 at the Statler Golden Ballroom from
4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. For more information please call 858-2389.
|Tom Kazmark wasted none of his early retirement on relaxing-he was too busy helping his neighbors. In addition to his work as a volunteer van driver, Tom is active in the Odd Fellows and has held several offices in that organization. He has been involved with raising funds for the "Happiness is Camping" program for kids with health conditions and the "John C. Sable Heart Fund" which sponsors research. Tom serves as Deacon at First Presbyterian Church helping with the bi-annual rummage sales, the over sixties club, and just about anything else that needs doing. There is no doubt that Tom Kazmark exemplifies what a significant difference one person can make in the lives of many.|
|John Russo has donated blood 536 times for the American
Red Cross. He has given over 67 gallons of blood to help save lives, that's sitting in a
chair every two weeks or 24 times a year, which is the maximum allowed.
However, John is not just a donor, he is also a volunteer for the organization to which he is so committed. John helps donors by serving goodies to them after they have donated, providing good conversation and a great smile. The people at The Red Cross say that John's animated conversations have persuaded some donors to become regular donors, some who will only donate on the days that John volunteers so they can enjoy his company.
When John began donating blood The Red Cross was always in need, much like they still are today. But at that time, so many more people did their share to help patients in need. John says, "We didn't give blood because we would get medals or honors; we did it because we knew people were waiting for it, that they needed it to survive. That's still the reason I donate now."
|June Schillinger has taken many people under her
comforting wing and shares her experience and knowledge with an openness that is rare. She
has 'adopted' several aging people, including several who have had no children, and cared
for them for as long as they needed.
A dedicated advocate of the Niagara Lutheran Health System, June began her volunteer association with Niagara Lutheran more than thirty years ago. Family is of primary importance to June and she and her husband remain close with their three children and very supportive of their four granddaughters, one of whom is challenged with spina bifida.
June's attitude and demeanor are upbeat and happy; no wonder many of her friendships have lasted more than fifty years. From supper clubs to two different PTA's, from bowling to swimming and diving at age 80, June has been a role model for active aging. Her nominator writes: "I especially appreciate her honesty and integrity, and mostly her Christian values to find someone who cares about others without considering what's in it for them is rare - and June Schillinger is one of those rare people. Her enthusiasm for life and caring for others is contagious."
|Rita Simmons exemplifies care in action. She has not only
taken care of her aging sister but also her sister's elderly neighbor, and in her
community Rita is known for her ability to cook for large numbers of people, a skill she
acquired from her food service experience with Letchworth State Park. Whenever a
fund-raiser is planned, people can count on Rita to be an active participant.
Despite the time-consuming task of being a caregiver, Rita has been active in projects throughout Wyoming County including the Castile Historical Society, Portageville Fire Company and the Wyoming County Office for the Aging. When someone is in need, Rita finds a solution.
Rita learned of a young family that tragically lost its father; the younger daughter was later diagnosed with cancer and the mother unable to afford the health insurance premium. With a suggested $500 donation from her parish, Rita thought they could do better. She asked her pastor to devote a special collection at weekend services; the pastor involved another parish. By the time Rita was finished, the two churches raised $3000 to help with the medical insurance and expenses - six times the original suggestion. That's care in action.
|J. Milton Zeckhauser's dedication began when he
volunteered for the U.S. Army immediately after Pearl Harbor, rising through the ranks
from Private to Major. Mr. Zeckhauser's gardening project is a year-round one. It involves
environmental studies, testing the ground for chemicals and acid/base levels, as well as
interviewing and instructing potential gardeners, planning and purchasing materials,
raising funds, etc. This project may qualify both as a service to humanity as well as to
the community because it not only helps feed the gardeners with healthful vegetables, but
it rejuvenates once vacant land, overgrown, rundown lots. There is a social benefit to
this project as well, as these gardens are bringing together people of different
backgrounds and experiences. Milton has also presided over many social organizations such
as The United Negro College Fund, The Buffalo Philharmonic, The United Jewish Fund, Jewish
Family Services, The City of Buffalo and many other organizations.
On New Years Eve 2001, a 91 year young (2 days before 92) J. Milton Zeckhauser carried the official Olympic Torch up Delaware Avenue during the relay celebration.
Coordinated Care is a not-for-profit human service
organization that provides long-term care information, referral and coordination of
services to the eight counties of Western New York.
Back to Home Page