Skip to main content

Schenectady County Announces 2022 Karen B. Johnson Older New Yorker of the Year Awards

2022 Schenectady County Older New Yorker of the Year Awardees

2022 Theme: “Age My Way”

The Schenectady County Legislature announced the winners of the 2022 Hon. Karen B. Johnson Schenectady County Older New Yorker of the Year awards, which are sponsored by the Schenectady County Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services. The awards were presented at a luncheon earlier today for the awardees and their guests.

The awards were created to recognize older adults in the community who have offered their time and experience to worthwhile projects or causes, either through professional or volunteer efforts. The Senior and Long Term Care Services Advisory Council voted to rename the award in 2019 after Karen B. Johnson, who previously served on the Council and was a liaison between the Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services and the County Legislature.

“The volunteers we are here to honor today have served our community as first responders and through not-for-profit and senior organizations,” said Schenectady County Legislator Michelle Ostrelich, Chair of the Health, Housing & Human Services Committee. “Congratulations to all the awardees. Your commitment to our community has helped countless residents when they need it the most.”

2022 Schenectady County Older New Yorker of the Year Awardees

Nancy Massaroni

Nancy, a mother of two, grandmother of four children and retired employee from the NY State Department of Health, was nominated by St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church. Nancy is a lifelong resident of Schenectady, who spends her retirement as a board member of the Sons of Italy. In addition, Nancy spends many hours knitting and crocheting for the Rotterdam Senior Center, Stitches of Heart Ministry, local crafting stores and her granddaughter’s girl scouts troop. Nancy turned her passion into a mission, most notably demonstrated through the Stitches of Heart and Stitches of Love Ministries which she leads at local churches. Prayer shawls are made and distributed to community members who experience illness, grief, or any type of struggle, shawls are made to welcome new babies into the community and to honor Veterans. Homemade dishcloths and potholders are included in welcome home kits for families transitioning from homelessness into new homes.

Adrienne Westfall

Adrienne, a lifelong resident of Rotterdam and teacher at Scotia-Glenville’s Lincoln Elementary School for 34 years, was nominated by Schenectady ARC. Adrienne has served on the ARC board for more than three decades. Through her commitment and genuine desire to help, Adrienne has helped to ensure that the participants of Schenectady ARC are able to live healthy, rewarding and fulfilled lives living, learning, working, and playing within the community. Adrienne is highly regarded by her former students and colleagues and is considered one of the most influential volunteers at Schenectady ARC. Her service to SARC combined with her passion, dedication and wealth of knowledge has helped shape SARC into a top provider of disability services.

Schenectady County Hon. Karen B. Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award

Angelina Pomykai

Angelina, a mother of two, grandmother of one, and has a faithful companion, an American Eskimo dog named Cody. A retiree from General Electric was nominated by the Town of Glenville.  Angelina is a lifelong member of Schenectady County. Angie’s outstanding contribution to seniors is her dedication to the Glenville Senior Center’s newsletter, which is published six times a year with each issue distributed to about 1500 seniors and other organizations in and outside the community. Her friendly disposition makes Angie a pleasure to work with. The volunteers and staff enjoy collaborating with her on each edition. Her efforts ensure that seniors are aware of events and happenings in our community, thereby providing opportunities to keep them actively involved.

Schenectady County Hon. Karen B. Johnson Older New Yorker of the Year Nominees

Edwin Brush

Edwin, a native of Schenectady, is a father of five, grandfather of seven and great grandfather of two, and a retiree of Schenectady General-Electric-Security and Fire Department as well as a NY State Department of Corrections Counselor. He was nominated by Kingsway Community. Edwin volunteered for 10 years with the Scotia Fire Department, fighting fires and in emergency management services for both Scotia and at General Electric. While living in Florida, he volunteered as a Veterans coordinator serving veterans who were admitted into the hospital on Hospice and who were on Hospice Service in their homes.

Richard Hollister

Richard, a father of two, grandfather of four and a retiree of the 109th Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard, was nominated by his daughter. Richard, who lived most of his life in Schenectady, has volunteered for over 20 years, including serving as the safety ambassador for the St. Luke’s Faith Formation Program. “Robo cop” as the kids and parents knew him, didn’t miss a week during his tenure as the safety ambassador and made sure that everyone safely entered the building, the halls were safe during sessions, and everyone got to their cars safely when the sessions were over. Richard also set up the coffee hour and snack bar for families who were waiting for their kids to complete their classes, creating a warm and welcoming environment. He also was an active volunteer for Daily Bread Food Pantry, picking up donations, working in the pantry and delivering food to people. Richard giving is endless – he has a huge heart and is always willing to help anyone and everyone in need. It wasn’t uncommon for him to give the gloves off his hands to those in need.

Fredric Lindsay

Fredic, father of two, grandfather of one and retiree from First National Bank of Scotia, was nominated by Kingsway Community. Fredic volunteered as a firefighter for the Village of Scotia, following in the footsteps of this father, and was part of the DARE program for the Glenville Police Department. December 30th, 1988, was proclaimed to be Frederic K. Lindsay Day in the Town of Glenville.

Kathleen Spano

Kathleen, stepmother of three, grandmother of six, great grandmother of one and retiree of the NY State Department of Health, was nominated by St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church. Kathy began volunteering at the St. Luke’s Daily Bread and assumed a leadership role and lovingly served the Schenectady community through her service at the pantry. In addition, Kathy visits and distributes communion to individuals at home and residents at Schenectady Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. She is an associate of the sisters of St. Joseph.