Oneida County Honors Seniors and Organizations with 2019 Older American Awards

Carole and Ed Grove, Rome Wesleyan Community Church Overall Winners

The Oneida County Office for the Aging & Continuing Care presented its 2019 Older American Awards Thursday at Hart’s Hill Inn, recognizing nearly 50 individuals and organizations for their contributions to the community.

The Older American Awards honor senior citizens and senior-related organizations for their efforts helping one another and the community. Oneida County’s annual awards luncheon is presented by the Office for the Aging & Continuing Care’s Advisory Long Term Care Council in conjunction with National Older Americans Month each May.

“We are proud to celebrate the achievements of the older citizens in Oneida County and the organizations that support them,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The hard work of this year’s winners and nominees have made a great difference in improving the quality of life for everyone in this community.”

This year’s overall winners were:

  • Outstanding Contribution Made by a Senior Citizen or Couple: Carole and Ed Grove
  • Outstanding Contribution by an Organization or Business: Rome Wesleyan Community Church

Together, Carole and Ed Grove have worked hard to serve the Oneida County community and to change people’s lives through the non-profit organization Your Neighbors, Inc.

Carole is a founding member of the organization and for nearly 40 years has served as its Food Coordinator, Board member and past Board President. She was recognized by the New York State Assembly and was named the 2015 Caregiver of the Year by the Greater Mohawk Valley Community & Elder Wellness Council Inc. for her efforts.

Ed joined the Your Neighbors, Inc. board in 1991, and since that time has served as a non-board financial officer and oversaw the receipt of the organization’s $35,000 Robert Wood Johnson grant. He continues to spearhead the group’s fundraising efforts.

In spite of its small size and limited financial resources, the Rome Wesleyan Community Church has provided many outstanding supports to the community.

In the last year, the church relocated to a facility with a large parking lot, children’s outdoor play area and a multi-functional basement equipped with classrooms, kitchen and dining area to better serve those in need. The church is now able to provide a soup kitchen that serves lunch and breakfast on weekends to more than 200 clients and bag lunches on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The church also offers family and holiday dinners, hosts a number of activities and programs including a cancer support group and will soon be offering a women’s shelter to assist those coming out of drug rehabilitation.

“These honorees are a clear example of how highly regarded our older citizens are amongst their families, their peers, and the organizations across our community who work side-by-side with them every day,” said Michael J. Romano, Director of the Oneida County Office for the Aging & Continuing Care. “The theme chosen by the Administration for Community Living to signify the 2019 Older American’s Month is ‘Connect, Create and Contribute,’ and that is exactly what our honorees are doing. They are connecting with friends, family and services that support participation; creating by engaging in activities that promote learning, health and personal enrichment and contributing time, talent and life experience to benefit others.”

Photo Caption: (L-R) Oneida County Office for the Aging and Continuing Care Director Mike Romano, Carole Grove, Ed Grove and Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.