ASTORINO ANNOUNCES GOLDEN HARVEST HONOREES – Awards Breakfast to Take Place Oct. 3 in Tarrytown


Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino has announced that three leading champions for older adults and an expanding senior services facility in Mount Vernon will be honored at the 22nd annual Golden Harvest Awards Breakfast on Thursday, Oct 3.

“The prestigious Golden Harvest Awards recognize service of the highest order to enhance the quality of life for the elderly,” Astorino said. “The wonderful achievements and dedication of these honorees throughout their long careers are examples for us all to follow.”

The Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging (WPPP) sponsors the award breakfast, which will be held at Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill, 81 Highland Ave., Tarrytown from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Judith Fink of Purchase will receive the Golden Harvest Distinguished Service Award; Janice Lubin Kirschner of Pleasantville, the Golden Harvest Humanitarian Award, and Rita C. Mabli of New Rochelle, the Golden Harvest Jim Curran Leadership Award.

The Wartburg senior services facility in Mount Vernon will receive the Golden Harvest Corporate Award, which will be accepted by David J. Gentner of Mount Vernon, Wartburg’s president and chief executive officer.

Mae Carpenter, commissioner of Westchester County’s Department of Senior Programs and Services (DSPS), said the distinguished honorees have helped tens of thousands of seniors and their families over the years.

“They are passionate about their work,” she said. “Their contributions have been outstanding.”

The deadline for tickets to the awards breakfast is Sept. 27. An individual ticket is $100; $85 for Aging Network members.

For tickets and more information, contact or call (914) 747-0519.

Fink, a certified social worker, has been with Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) for 18 years, and for the past seven has been director of geriatric services where she provides care management to hundreds of Westchester seniors.

She also served as coordinator of WJCS’ Project Time-Out, an in-home respite program to give caregivers a break from their 24/7 responsibilities. In 2005, she received the UJA Federation Communal Award, and the following year, WJCS’ Leonard Rohmer Award for high professional achievement.

Before joining WJCS, Fink worked many years in hospitals providing services to cancer patients and their families.

Kirschner, a certified social worker, has worked for JCY-Westchester Community Partners (JCY-WCP) since 1997 and has been its executive director for the past seven years. For much of her career, she focused on intergenerational programs, which bring people of different ages together. Kirschner spearheaded the Westchester Chapter of the New York State Intergenerational Network, and was its president for six years.

She has successfully initiated more than a decade of programs, which harness seniors’ skills and life experiences to mentor students in the public schools. Among the most successful ventures are SMART (Students and Mature Adults Read Together) and Reading Buddies After School.

Mabli, the immediate past president of the WPPP, began her career at United Hebrew in New Rochelle in the late 1970s. In 2007, she became president and chief executive officer of the facility, a non-profit, multi-service health care agency for seniors. Its offerings include a nursing and rehabilitation facility, the Willow Towers Assisted-Living Facility, the Soundview Independent Living Apartments and AZOR, a licensed home care agency.

Under Mabli’s direction, United Hebrew has greatly expanded is services, invested in infrastructure and modernized is campus. In 2009, the Lucile and Joseph Skalet Pavilion opened with 176 additional private rooms for long-term care and rehabilitation. More recently, she has new initiatives ready to be launched within the next six months: a secure dementia unit, palliative care and hospice services, a geriatric care management program for the community and a tracheostomy care program.

Wartburg is an award-winning provider of comprehensive senior services, including independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s/dementia care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and hospice care. Its 34-acre campus in Mount Vernon serves seniors and their families in southern Westchester and the northern Bronx.

It has been recognized by “U. S. News & World Report” as among the most elite nursing homes in New York State.

In 2010 Wartburg was awarded a $27.6 million grant from HEAL NY (the Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law of NY State). The funding resulted in major construction projects: the Friedrichs Residence, a four-story building of 61 affordable senior apartments, which opened this past March. and a new multilevel Rehabilitation & Adult Day Services Pavilion, scheduled to open in October.

Gentner joined Wartburg in 2004 as vice president of health services, and was named president and chief executive in 2011. He has been the driving force behind its award-winning “Creative Aging & Life-Long Learning Initiative,” recognized by other institutions for its innovative programs designed to enhance the lives of seniors through the arts. He has received many awards, including the Thomas Clarke Memorial Award from the New York Association of Homes & Services for the Aging.

The WPPP members are from government, the business community and social service agencies. The public/private partnership was founded in 1991 to develop resources for services that enable senior citizens to remain independent and active members of the community. Its chair is Kathy N. Rosenthal, Esq.

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