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The Network in Aging will hosted their 32nd Annual Meeting and Conference "Humor for the Soul:
Thriving in Your Work with Older Adults" on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at Samuels Grande Manor in Williamsville, NY. The featured speaker will be Sister Anne Bryan Smollin, CSJ, Ph.D., an international speaker on topics such as humor, laughter, joy, stress, interpersonal relation-ships, communication and motivation.
Download the Program Brochure
View the event program book or click here to DOWNLOAD.
Dr. Evan Calkin’s Meritorious Service Award Winner: Helen Ferraro-Zaffram
Helen Ferraro-Zaffram has been a staff attorney at Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled or Disadvantaged of Western New York, Inc., for twenty-three years. In addition to handling health care and other elder law cases, her primary expertise is in Article 81 Guardianship matters. The agency serves as Guardian of both Person and Property for approximately one-hundred individuals at any given time. Over the course of her career at Legal Services, Helen has handled the duties of this Guardian role for hundreds of seniors. She is the first person our local Judges contact when they have a case involving elder abuse. She has been known to accompany her wards to the hospital, cleans their homes, and advocates to insure they receive their maximum entitlements.
She is able to effectively handle her caseload because of a wonderful group of colleagues who work tirelessly to advocate on behalf of the elderly to preserve benefits, trouble shoot and assist her in any way possible.
In 2005, Helen was a recipient of the “Women in the Law” award presented by the Gender & Racial Fairness Committee of the 8th Judicial District. That award recognized women who contributed significantly to the judicial system; to its fairness and its sense of equality.
In her free time, Helen serves as a Community Liaison on the Erie County Medical Center’s Ethics Committee, and is an Erie County Bar Association Liaison to the Medical-Legal Partnership with the Erie County Medical Society. She is the only New York State Board Member of the National Guardianship Association.
She has presented at Continuing Legal Education seminars for the American Bar Association as well as the Erie County Bar Association. In addition, she delivers dozens of presentations each year to community groups in an effort to increase awareness of issues affecting the elderly.
2012 Program of Excellence Award Winner: Volunteer Program at the Amherst Senior Center
They are the reason that over 1,686 seniors get up and get going each day. These inspired seniors are part of the Amherst Center for Senior Services Volunteer Program which was established in 1962 with one of its main goals: “To enable members who want to give of themselves to work on community services projects, both in and out of the center.”
That has remained a top goal at the Center which has developed an outstanding Volunteer Program for the senior population of this community. Members of the Center are always invited to be part of the Volunteer Program. There is a dedicated team on staff at the Center who work with each senior, one-on-one, to make a volunteer placement happen.
“Many seniors don’t know where to start when it comes to volunteering and may not realize what valuable assets they could bring to a position,” noted Jodi Kwarta, Director of Volunteer Services at the Amherst Center for Senior Services.
New volunteers can choose to volunteer right at the Center where there are dozens of options ranging from positions at the Welcome Desk, Gift Shop and Audubon Café. These volunteers are trained and spend time with current center volunteers “shadowing” them. All volunteers are briefed in a positive code of conduct that emphasizes respect for diversity.
Volunteers may also choose to work at over 80 agencies in the community where relationships have already been established by the Center. Staff connects new volunteers with an agency and gets the process underway. These agencies include American Cancer Society, Buffalo Zoo, Literacy Volunteers, Niagara Frontier Radio Reading, Women & Children’s Hospital, Brothers of Mercy and Shea’s Performing Arts Center.
These 1,686 senior performed over 96,490 hours of service in the community in 2011! Based on current minimum wage, that represents $699,552.50 in savings to the community. These volunteers bring amazing business and life experience to their volunteer work ~ making them far more valuable than any dollar amount.
“You have changed my life,” Kwarta has heard countless times from volunteers who are enjoying their new purpose and renewed interest in life, thanks to their volunteer work.
The Center honors their volunteers annually at the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon which is held each May and coincides with National Older Americans Month.