Ocean Bay Welcomes New Senior Center & Van
By Theresa Racine
Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation recently celebrated Senior Citizen Month and with that celebration came some pretty big announcements. On Monday morning September 26, Ocean Bay invited community members, partners and local elected officials for a ribbon cutting to celebrate their brand-new senior center and a new senior van service.
On October 15, Ocean Bay’s new Senior Center will open its doors at Pilgrim Church on 74-16 Beach Channel Drive. The new center, funded by the NYC Department of Aging, will have computers, exercise classes and serve as a place where seniors can gather to talk, break bread and much more. Spectrum has donated computers for the technology corner of the senior center and the Department of Health donated yoga mats.
Additionally, Ocean Bay announced the start of a new 15-passenger sprinter van that will be able to transport senior citizens to doctors’ offices and more, all across the peninsula and through the Five Towns. The van will even make weekly trips to Walmart for seniors to go shopping. This van service was made possible through $100,000 in grant funding allocated by Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson. Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers allocated and additional $100,000 toward this service.
Ocean Bay staff, including Executive Director Ebony Beaty, Patricia Simon, Kahlii Thompson, Angelica Shoenfeld, Efrain Eechevarria Patricia, Walter Jones were all on hand to celebrate these big announcements for their seniors. “Thank you for all the support and dedication from our Board of Directors, staff, funders, community partners and political leaders…and of course our Seniors!” Beaty said. “This is grand and well deserving for Rockaway communities!”
Mrs. Alice, who is one of the residents and a volunteer, got up to speak and gave some very kind words about Walter Jones, who is the driver for Ocean Bay. Jones has been driving people for the center for 16 years Herman Collins spoke on behalf of Ebony Beaty’s character and how he was blessed to know her. He thanked her for not stopping no matter what and for her tenacity to get things done like the new senior center and van.
Photos by Theresa Racine.