CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell was joined by other elected officials, community leaders and seniors at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Friendship Center of Philipstown—the new county-operated senior center, on the former Butterfield Hospital Property in Cold Spring on Tuesday, Dec. 18.  The 6,000 sq.ft. senior center will provide meals, social activities, physical fitness classes, and other programs through the Office of Senior Resources.

“County government has come to Philipstown and we hope that the senior center is the first of many programs that will extend to the western side of the county,” said County Executive Odell. “We must thank several people for making today possible: Leg. Barbara Scuccimarra for speaking up for the needs of District 1; Leg. Carl Albano, as the chairman of the Physical Services Committee, for making sure project was both socially responsible to our senior population and fiscally responsible for our taxpayers; developer Paul Guillaro for his unwavering confidence in Putnam County; the trade unions and the highway department for their talents and craftsmanship as well as helping us implement the pilot PLA; our state representative – Sen. Sue Serino and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef for helping use secure funding for the senior center; and to Donna Anderson for her leadership and citizenship and being a shining light for this community. Each of us played a piece in the history made here today.”

Leg. Scuccimarra was proud to work on behalf of the seniors for the Friendship Center and thanked County Executive Odell for her commitment to the seniors.  “Seeing the senior center come to fruition will be one of the highlights of my legislative tenure,” she said. “Let us remember those seniors who started this journey with us but who were not able to see this day come.”

The need for a senior center for the Philipstown community had been discussed for more than a decade. County Executive Odell has been committed to the project since at least 2013.

Sen. Serino spoke about perseverance. “Thank you to County Executive Odell, Leg. Scuccimarra and Paul Guillaro for not giving up,” she said. “I am so happy that the seniors have a place to come to and be Putnam proud.”

Assemblywoman Galef agreed with Sen. Serio. “Good things don’t happen overnight, but this senior center proves that good things can still happen,’ she said.

Michael Cunningham, Director of Putnam County’s Office for Senior Resources, was excited about the opportunities the Friendship Center of Philipstown will be able to offer the services. “The seniors are already loving this new center, which reaffirms that this was worth fighting for,” said Cunningham. “We are already looking at what other programs we can utilize here to better serve the seniors.”

Cunningham’s predecessor, Patricia Sheehy, was also in attendance of the ceremony. “I am thrilled to have been able to walk through those doors and see this senior center be a reality,” Sheehy said.

Donna Anderson thanked the elected officials. She also thanked her fellow seniors for their willingness to take on the fight. “We rallied together,” Anderson said. ‘We challenged the village board for what we deserved.”

Joining the officials at the ribbon cutting were two local centenarians, Rosina Parcesepe and Joseph Etta, both of Cold Spring, and many other seniors who are looking forward to being active participants at the new center.

The Friendship Center of Philipstown is located 1756 NY-9D, Cold Spring, NY 10516. For more information about the programs and services available through the Office for Senior Resources, visit www.putnamcountyny.com/osr.

Photo caption: Leg. Barbara Scuccimarra, surrounded by seniors, elected officials, representatives from Teamsters Local 456, Plumbing and Heating Local 21 and North East Regional Council Of Carpenters Local 279 as well as community leaders, cut the ribbon at the grand opening celebration of the Friendship Center of Philipstown in Cold Spring on Tuesday, Dec. 18.