Oneida County Honors Seniors and Organizations with 2018 Older American Awards

Florence Wood, Bank of America Overall Winners

The Oneida County Office for the Aging & Continuing Care presented its 2018 Older American Awards Thursday at Hart’s Hill Inn, recognizing nearly 50 individuals and organizations for their contributions to the community.

The Older American Awards honor senior citizens and senior-related organizations for their efforts helping one another and the community. Oneida County’s annual awards luncheon is presented by the Office for the Aging & Continuing Care’s Advisory Long Term Care Council in conjunction with National Older Americans Month each May.

“We are proud to celebrate the achievements of the older citizens in Oneida County and the organizations that support them,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The hard work of this year’s winners and nominees have made a great difference in improving the quality of life for everyone in this community.”

This year’s overall winners were:

• Outstanding Contribution Made by a Senior Citizen: Florence Wood
• Outstanding Contribution by an Organization or Business: Bank of America

Florence Wood is a native of New York City who moved to Whitesboro in 1962 where she became an elementary school teacher, got married, raised a family and became a vital member of the community.

After a career, that included teaching gifted students for 10 years, she retired in 1995 and began assisting other teachers with their retirement issues and now advocates for the rights of all retirees. She has been a volunteer tutor with the Literacy Volunteers of America for 12 years where she teaches citizenship. Wood was also named the “Unsung Heroine of the Year” by the local chapter of New York State Women Inc. last year, and was honored Tuesday at the Annual New York State Older New Yorker’s Day celebration in Albany.

Bank of America was the first business to participate in the Office for the Aging & Continuing Care and Big Frog 104’s Annual “Santa for Seniors” event in which it has adopted nearly 100 seniors. Bank of America employees who volunteer for the event go above and beyond purchasing and delivering gifts for their adopted seniors, and Bank of America further brightens up the holidays for many area nursing home residents and Office for the Aging homebound clients.

“The nominations received this year were outstanding,” said Michael J. Romano, Director of the Oneida County Office for the Aging & Continuing Care. “They were a clear example of how highly regarded our older citizens are amongst their families, their peers, and the organizations across our community who work side by side with them every day.

“The theme chosen by the Administration for Community Living to signify the 2018 Older American’s Month is ‘Engage at Every Age’ and is exactly what our honorees are doing. They are engaged in helping move our county and region into the future, as well as setting positive examples and improving the quality of lives for persons of all ages.”

Photo Caption: (L-R) Oneida County Office for the Aging & Continuing Care Director Michael J. Romano, Outstanding Contribution by a Senior Citizen Winner Florence Wood and Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.