A decade ago, Kent Turner was working in the kitchen at Oneonta’s B-Side Ballroom, the popular nightspot, when he noticed a vivacious woman and her girlfriends were becoming regulars.
“We starting talking,” said Kent, and one thing led to another. “She had a heart of gold.”
Kent and Jackie fell in love.
Soon, the couple was attending Oneonta’s Community Gospel Church. For seven happy years, “she was really helpful in turning my life around,” he said.
But it wasn’t to continue.
Jackie was stricken with premature dementia in her late 50s, and she was admitted to Cooperstown Center’s Serenity Place, where her loving companion visited her regularly – until he couldn’t.
In February 2020, as COVID-19 loomed, state regulations forced Cooperstown Center to close its doors to visitors. For 13 months, not just Jackie and Kent, but the Center’s more than 150 residents were cut off from their families.
“When we had to close those doors,” said Lacey Rinker, director of nursing, “it breaks your heart.”
Social isolation among seniors is a reality that has become an even greater concern since the onset of COVID-19.
To minimize its effects on our older population, Cooperstown Senior Community Center, CSCC, took full advantage of the sunshine and warm temperatures summer and early autumn provided.
Seniors, living in and outside of Cooperstown, have been gathering 1 – 3 p.m. Thursdays since the end of July on the lawn and parking lot of St. Mary’s at 31 Elm St.
Hand sanitizing, mask wearing and maintaining distance while outdoors provided the safe and healthy social environment much needed by seniors during this time of uncertainty.
Now thanks to the warm generosity of the Rotary Club of Cooperstown, the arrival of colder weather has not brought CSCC gatherings to an end.
Rotary President Richard Sternberg, members Cathy Raddatz and Katherine Dina received $4,000 from two grants they wrote on behalf of CSCC. This grant money has purchased three Healthway Intellipure air purifiers which utilize the ultrafine 468 air filters strongly recommended by Governor Cuomo for use in schools and hospitals.
These air purifiers, along with other precautions, create a safe and healthy environment inside the large brick building behind St. Mary’s where seniors now meet. We are so grateful to Rotary for this generous donation.
On behalf of the many who enjoy coming to CSCC, I thank Rotary Club of Cooperstown for its service and commitment to addressing the needs of our seniors within the community, as well as surrounding areas.
Thanks to an anonymous donation, the OHS Class of 2017 were able to enjoy their senior prom in the Atrium of Foothills, where they enjoyed dinner, dancing, daiquiris and a candy bar before heading to the after-prom party in the High School cafeteria for a chance to win prizes at casino games and raffles. Above, the dance floor was hopping throughout the night to tunes spun by DJ Hectic. At right, Nick Giacomelli and Maria Farrell enjoy a slow dance together as the evening winds to a close.(Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
CONFERENCE – 8:30-10 a.m. Local manufacturers and training providers meet to discuss goals to ensure there is a trained workforce in the county to meet employers needs. Reservation required. Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Info, Barbara Ann Heegan, President/CEO Otsego County Chamber of commerce, (607)432-4500 ext. 202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PICKLEBALL – Noon-2 p.m. Come learn the sport. Gymn floor, Clark Sports Center, 124 Cty. Hwy. 52, Cooperstown. Info, www.clarksportscenter.com
CONSERVATION MEETING – 12:30-3:30 p.m. Discussion of manure spreading strategies to reduce nutrient runoff. A must for farmers spreading or storing manure this winter. Otsego County Meadows Complex, 140 Ct. Hwy. 33W. RSVP by 1/12, (607)547-8337 ext. 4. or email email@example.com
AUDITIONS – 3-6:30 p.m. Catskill Choral Society opens auditions for new members and potential Dox Apprentices. Unitarian Universalist Church, 12 Ford Ave., Oneonta. Call 431-6060 to schedule and appointment.