The "ElderAct Club" of Briarcliff Manor, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Briarcliff Manor, held its inaugural meeting at The Atria, a senior living facility in the Village, on Monday, February 11, 2013. The event was packed, with a standing room only audience of about 100, including seniors, and Atria and Rotary officials.
Mr. Ryan Linehan, Director of Activities at the Atria and one of the organizers of the event, welcomed the guests. Briarcliff Rotary President Krishnan Chittur introduced the Rotary officials, and explained "why I am thrilled" at this new Club. ElderAct seeks to meet meet seniors' specific needs and tap their resources. Seniors are a huge, untapped reservoir of intellect, experience, talent, and wisdom, which are largely wasted for want of opportunity. ElderAct seeks to fill the gap, and provide seniors the opportunity for fellowship and intellectual stimulation, for involvement in coordinated activities to benefit seniors, juniors, and the community, and for forming national and international relationships and networks. Modeled on the lines of the Rotary Clubs, but for people who are unable to be members of Rotary for health, transportation, or other reasons, the ElderAct Club would be self-supporting and self-administering. ElderAct members would elect their own officers, run their own meetings, and plan and implement their own projects; the Briarcliff Rotary would provide help and assistence whenever needed.
Rotarian Past District Governor and Rotary International's Representative to the United Nations Helen Reisler explained the background and formation of ElderAct. The Briarcliff ElderAct Club is the first in our Rotary District, and sixth in the whole world. She explained other Club's projects, and how this burgeoning movement had enhanced and enriched the lives of seniors in various communities.
Reisler then inducted the new ElderAct officers: President - Pearl Blaustein; Vice President - Orial Redd; Secretary - Doris Knopf, and members of the board Bob Katzenoff, Edith Barletta, Mary Ellen Welch, Sophie Davison, Thelma Schaub, Katherine Kottner, Beverly Lackey, and Maxine Brooks. They were given Rotary International hats and pins.
The Guest of Honor was the Consul General of India, Prabhu Dayal. Mr. Dayal emphasized the significance of the Club and need for similar organizations to cater to seniors. In an informative and lively talk, the seasoned diplomat dwelt on Indo-U.S. relations.
"Our relations have never been better, and the best is yet to come," he said.
Both India and U.S. were built on similar foundations of democracy and secularism. Both face similar challenges such as economic recession and terrorism. President Obama and Prime Minister Singh had emphasized the Five "Es" of our future relationship: Education, Economy, Energy, Environment, and Empowerment. Mr. Dayal was accompanied by his wife, Chandni Dayal.
Atria Executive Director Janis Knorr was delighted at the turnout, and the new Club which added a new dimension to senior living at Atria. Also present were senior Rotary officials from the neighboring Rotary District 7210, Past District Governors Knut Johnsen and Tansukh Dorawala.
The Briarcliff Rotary is delighted to be at the forefront of this movement to cater to the elderly. We thank Atria officials Janis Knorr and Ryan Linehan for their cooperation and foresight in encouraging and providing the necessary support for this new Club, and congratulate the Club's new office-bearers.