Canton Woods hosts Volunteer Recognition Dinner

Dedication ceremony held for new automatic door opener

Lots of energy filled the chilly air outside Canton Woods Senior Center in Baldwinsville, as opening ceremonies began for the facility's Volunteer Recognition Dinner.

Held at 11 a.m. Tuesday April 20, the dinner included a dedication ceremony for an automatic door opener, which had been donated to Canton Woods through memorial funds received from friends and family of Joe Cimitile.

A long-standing member of Canton Woods Senior Center, Cimitile served on the Board of Directors before passing away in November. He was a retired Baldwinsville teacher and served in WWII and Korea with the Army and Navy. He also taught ballroom dancing professionally.

The Baldwinsville Teachers Association (BTA) contributed generously to the automatic door fund and Sheri Wineland, a BTA representative, took part in the ceremony. She said Cimitile was "well respected and well known in the community" and that the BTA wanted to "honor Joe and his involvement with the kids in the school district."

Ruth Troy, director of Canton Woods, spoke highly of Cimitile and his wife, Gloria, noting that Cimitile volunteered at the reception desk and was the first person people saw or spoke with upon entering the building.

"[He was] a huge advocate for the center," she said.

Troy said Joe's friends and family had "voiced an interest in providing something tangible for the center that would be long lasting, and the automated door opener was decided upon."

Judy Laurange, an Outreach worker at the center, added that the automated door opener "served an obvious purpose for people that didn't have strength, people in wheelchairs or whoever needed easy access to the building."

Cimitile's wife, Gloria, who Troy referred to as "an exemplary woman with strength and grace," read aloud at the dedication ceremony.

"Joe frequently talked about Canton Woods. He often said 'I don't know what the seniors would do without Canton Woods. It's where they go and what they do. It's like their second home.' I would smile to myself and think and sometimes say: 'and you too!'"

"The new doors mean that Joe will always be remembered due to your kindness and generosity," she said.

Gloria Cimitile, left, thanks Sheri Wineland for coming to a dedication ceremony honoring Cimitile's husband, Joe, a former Baldwinsville schoolteacher.

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