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DeWitt:Menorah Park celebrates Older Americans Month

When Menorah Park honors people, it does so in style. More than 175 people attended its annual event called "Our Shining Stars," grossing the highest attendance in its four-year history, and rivaling the rehab and residential center's other, bigger fundraiser, its annual golf tournament that's been a staple for 26 years, and is set for July 31 this year.

Three tents adorned the campus, and guests were treated to cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and dinner with entertainment by Syd Tennenbaum and Brad Ozinksy. Board president Joe Greenman of Manlius read a proclamation given by New York Gov. David Paterson in honor of Older Americans Month.

"It's really nice to be able to honor people," said Jill Allen, director of development, who listed the seven honorees as a "mix" -- some residents, some board members, volunteers and staff. "Stars" were nominated by family members, staff and the community, and chosen by a small committee from Menorah Park.

The event, co-chaired by Robin and Steven Siskind of Manlius, raised approximately $15,000 with every dollar going back to the park's residents through programs and services.

"[The] weather was perfect," said Jessica Lawrence, development associate. "It was windy and then all of a sudden, as soon as the program started, the wind stopped. It was such an omen."

'Shining stars'

A group of seven individuals were chosen out of more than 50 nominations.

The winners were Jane Elkin, an Ahavath Achim resident and Syracuse native who taught in the Liverpool School district for 37 years; Oaks resident Sam Koss, a former dentist in Russia and New York City; volunteer Chuck Mosseau who joined the campus of Menorah Park in 2005; Dorothy Kruth Shuffler who lives at the Jewish Health and Rehabilitation Center and was noted as saying she loves that everyone goes out of their way to treat her like family; Dr. Bill Meyer of Syracuse who is a board member and caregiver for a family member at Menorah Park; Reggie Robinson, a CNA who has dedicated 13 years of service at Menorah Park; and Bob Steves, a social worker at the center who joined the staff in 1995.

Golf tourney

This year's golf tourney is set for July 31 at the LaFayette Hills Country Club. Contact Jessica Lawrence at jlawrence@menorahparkcny.com for further details.

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