Otsego County residents Sheila Serbay and Neil Riddell were recognized by New York State’s Office for the Aging at a celebration of Older New Yorkers’ Day on November 4. The pair, along with 92 others from around the state, received honors for their volunteerism and service to older adults in their communities.
“These are two individuals who unselfishly give up their time, resources, and skills in order to make someone else’s life a little better, and we are proud to have such genuine volunteers representing Otsego County in this statewide recognition,” stated Tamie Reed, director at the Otsego County Office for the Aging.
There are increasing studies on Social Determinants of Health which are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. While domestic violence affects people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic classes, and religious affiliations, the effects of domestic violence can result in a wide array of issues, ranging from broken bones to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
More and more healthcare providers are screening for domestic violence. But it’s difficult for survivors to admit or talk about. Which is why it is important to repeatedly call attention to domestic violence because it is not only a crime but a health crisis as well. The Violence Intervention Program at Opportunities for Otsego, Inc. joins hundreds of domestic violence programs and coalitions around the country in declaring that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
More prevalent than most realize, one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity or orientation, or socio-economic status, can become a victim of domestic violence. This year’s campaign theme, #Every1KnowsSome1, strives to highlight how common domestic violence is and that it is more than physical violence.
Last year, in Otsego County, the Violence Intervention Program at Opportunities for Otsego, Inc. assisted over 180 victims of violence, answered over 800 Hotline calls on our 24/7 staffed Crisis Hotline, and provided emergency shelter to over 20 victims at our Safe Shelter.
The Violence Intervention Program 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 607.432.4855. This program’s services are free and completely confidential. The program can assist with individual counseling, legal advocacy, medical advocacy and accompaniment, Crime Victims Compensation Assistance and emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Dan Maskin Chief Executive Officer Opportunities for Otsego
Habitat for Humanity of Otsego County is one of the local chapters, called affiliates, of Habitat for Humanity International. Our official mission is “seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope” with a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
In the early 1970s, on a community farm outside of Americus, Georgia, Linda and Millard Fuller developed their idea of “partnership housing,” in which those in need of adequate shelter worked side by side with volunteers to build decent, affordable houses. Thanks in no small part to the personal involvement of former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn and the awareness they have raised, Habitat now works in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries. The key to Habitat is partnering with potential homeowners. Partner families actively participate, actually wielding hammers and drills to build their own homes.
Rich McCaffery displays his award with Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh
After logging decades of tireless service to his community, Cooperstown’s Rich McCaffery has become only one of 100 people across the country to receive a Certificate of National Recognition as a Civic Volunteer.
“Nominating Rich for this award was an easy choice,” said Village Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh. “There is no one more deserving.”
FAMILY FARM FUN – 11 a.m – 12:30 p.m. Bring the children, 4-8+, for fun program about the process of how plants, animals, and communities change through time. Includes reading of ‘A Farm Through Time’ by Angela Wilkes. Continued Thursday with scavenger hunt and finishes with historic childrens game. Free with admission, reservations recommended. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org
COOPERSTOWN – Long-time Cooperstown resident Ruth Schweinfurth passed away on June 23, 2021, after a brief struggle with cancer. She passed peacefully at her home, comforted by her loving daughters and her beloved dogs. She was 83 years young.
Ruth’s life’s work focused on improving the lives of others. She was passionate about nursing, her first calling, and equally passionate about her volunteer work in the community. Over the years, Ruth selflessly devoted countless hours to assisting area families at the local food bank (at its original location in the Cooperstown Library building) and to sorting and selling clothing and other items at the thrift shop that supports the Susquehanna SPCA, an organization of which she was especially fond.
RALLY – 2 p.m. Get together in solidarity to support and celebrate Asian American’s against racism and hate. Masks & social distancing required. Organized by the Tri-County Women’s Coalition. Held at Otsego County Courthouse, 193 Main St., Cooperstown. Visit Tri-County Women’s Coalition Facebook Group for info.
The Susquehanna SPCA is overflowing with kittens, according to a recent media release.
“Kitten season is in full swing,” the release said. “Recently, we have had an influx of cats and kittens of all ages that need our help.”
The spring season often brings with it batches of new kittens, according to the release.
“Just before spring, unspayed cats often go into heat. Approximately 60 days later, they begin giving birth to litters of kittens. Between the months of March and October, animal shelters like the SQSPCA become overwhelmed with mother cats with their kittens and even orphaned kittens that need care around the clock. This is what we call kitten season.”
With herd immunity headed our way – by mid-summer or earlier – it IS time to look toward what’s next.
So interim Otsego Chamber President Al Rubin’s letter to members, which arrived Monday in e-mail boxes, is ideally timed.
The letter was an appeal to members to volunteer for chamber committees: Marketing/Education, Membership Services/Events and Finance/Audit.
“We want your input, we want your voice,” wrote Rubin, “and we encourage your engagement to step in and involve yourselves in any way you might be able to utilize your skill sets and connections within our community.”
For sure. Intrigued chamber members should jump in.
Likewise, all other organizations and businesses should be preparing for the rebound, be it this spring, mid-summer or sometime this fall.
VOLUNTEER – Last day to register to help with The Lords Table Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Cooks, Drivers, Food Prep, Serving, & Clean-up needed. Presented by The Lords Table. Call 607-226-1785 to sign-up.
WINTER PROGRAMS – 1 – 3 p.m. Bring the kids for some learning fun over February break. Choose from programs ‘Forest as a Habitat’ featuring interactive games on how action of animal & humans affect the forest, or ‘New York State Breakout Box’ families try to open the Breakout Box with their knowledge of NYS social studies. Free, open to public. Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org/index.htm