Our cherished seniors...

Every September part of the ritual for me at Coxe & Graziano is hosting  “Senior Appreciation Days”.  While many find some humor in this connecting it back to my line of work, these days, for me, are priceless.                                   

Each year I line up vendors who provide key services and resources to the senior community and bring them to one central place at the local senior center.  There, the seniors browse through each vendor and enjoy a meal on us.   It began as something so simple, a way to give back and a way to connect with people on happier occasions.  I could never have imagined 12 years ago the life it would take on, the anticipation it would garner and the feelings it would conjure up inside me.

Over the years I’ve grown to recognize the significance that senior centers play in the community.  They are more than just a gathering place of those 55+, rather they are places that provide purpose.  The eager groups that gather at these centers on a daily or weekly basis rush through the doors in search of conversation and camaraderie.  These are places where a nourishing meal can be had, a deck of cards can be dealt, an itinerary of trips can be planned, and most important, the loneliness, at least for a short time, can be forgotten.  So many seniors feel that sense of loneliness as I hear the repeated sentiment, “all of my friends are gone”.  Longevity can be a blessing but can also come with a steep price tag; the ones you love go before you.  Adult children rarely live around the corner let alone in the same zip code.  Grandchildren’s lives have become exceedingly inundated with sports practice, homework and extra curricular activities.  The senior community is often an unintended consequence of the modern world we live in.      

Socialization and a sense of purpose are arguably the best medicines to combat any ailment.  When you can will yourself out of bed with the promise of what lies ahead, you’ve won half the battle.  Local community senior centers are so important in preventing isolation and providing a will to keep going.  I can’t say enough about the moderators of the centers I’ve had the privilege of working with.  I’ve watched them, some longer than others, vigorously lead groups of seniors with intense passion and love.  Maria Gallagher, Kathy Flynn, Diana Pantore, Roseanne Benedict, Lori Contadino, Suzanne Testani, Tom Acompora and Angela Tamucci, I am in awe of you.  You provide the seniors with activities and itineraries that I’d challenge any millennial to keep up with.   Anything done well in this world is done with love, and that you all certainly have for your seniors.  Thank you for allowing me time to be a part of the fun.

My message to anyone who should read this, take time for a senior.  This group is often overlooked yet a strong part of the fabric of our families and communities.  At some point, stop the hustle and bustle and take time to sit and listen to a story they want to share.  They are the link to our past that can only help build a better future.  And if a senior you know remains isolated in their home, try and encourage them to visit a local senior center.  The benefits are too many to number. 

There are so many resources available even to those who are bound to their home by condition or circumstance.  I urge you to reach out in search of them.  Everyone deserves a purpose, a desire to face the day head on and most importantly, a reason to smile. 

I’m grateful for another year of events at local senior centers.  As always, I leave with more wisdom than when I arrive.


My best to all,


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