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2 active senior citizens in Orleans County honored for community service

Posted 20 May 2020 at 1:58 pm

Press Release, Orleans County Office for the Aging

ALBION – Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. The theme for 2020 is “Make Your Mark.” This theme was selected to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities.

This theme was selected to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities. Their time, experience, and talents benefit family, peers and neighbors every day. Communities, organizations, and individuals of all ages are also making their marks. This year’s theme highlights the difference everyone can make – in the lives of older adults, in support of caregivers, and to strengthen communities.

Gil Cain

Unfortunately, we are not able to hold our local Older American Celebration due to Covid-19.  We are sad that we cannot celebrate our clients and 45 years as Office for the Aging! We will look at rescheduling in the fall. We did send two nominations to Albany for Volunteer of the Year to represent Orleans County. Please read the nominations we received.

Gilbert Cain is a native New Yorker and lives in Medina. Gil retired from Lipton after 38 years as a distribution analyst. He is a widower with nieces in the Medina area. Gil has been a Hospice volunteer since June 2015 and in that time he has mastered the residence volunteer meal server position. Gil now trains new volunteers.

Gil won the 2018 Hospice of Orleans Volunteer of the Year Award for outstanding volunteer service. In 2019, Gil provided over 700 hours of service to Hospice. He stands out as a volunteer because he take time to learn patient’s favorite foods and makes certain that those foods are available to the patient. Gil has been known to deliver spaghetti dinners, lemon pie and special donuts to patients at all hours of the day and night.

Gil also donates prepared holiday meals from Tops or Wegmans for residence patients and their families. The patients are able to sit down to a delicious holiday meals with all the trimmings due to Gil’s generosity. Gil works at least six shifts per week in the residence.

Hospice patients and family members are amazed at all that Gil does at the age of 85. Gil also participates in the Hospice fundraisers and is a friendly, welcoming face around the campus.

Gil would offer to other New Yorkers that volunteering is a great way to keep your mind and body busy. Gil states that volunteering and giving to others is a great way to lift your spirits and feel rewarded at the end of the day.

Louise Henderson

Louise Henderson was born and raised in New York and has lived on the same property in Orleans County since the early years of her marriage to her husband, John. The two bought and remodeled a one-room schoolhouse into the home where they raised their 6 children. In 1984, disaster struck when their home caught fire. The schoolhouse was gone, but resilient as ever they built their current house on the ashes.

Louise worked at the Cornell Cooperative Extension for 20 years prior to her 25 years as a library assistant at Swan Library and its successor, the Hoag Library. Even though she retired, she still volunteers at the Hoag Library. When she isn’t working, you can find her surrounded by family celebrating birthdays, holidays, and planning and creating 4-H projects.

Through her platform as a library assistant, Boy Scout leader, 4-H assistant and church volunteer, Louise has been fortunate enough to touch the lives of many community members. She often talks of how she has helped children learn how to read and she has shared with them the humble virtues of patience, kindness, and using their manners.

For many she has been that mother figure who you could count on to help you with your homework, provide you with encouragement when it seemed like on one else would, and always has a word to wisdom of you when you need some life advice.

In her role as a 4-H leader and mother of 6, she was able to aid so many youths in learning necessary life skills and leading them to a brighter path. Louise has been volunteering for over 40 years.

If you are ever lucky enough to obtain an unsolicited piece of advice from Louise, she would remind you that kindness, patience and being polite will never go out of style. After her lifetime of service, she would also ask that you never stop learning and giving back to your community.

Thank you to both Gil and Louise for all that they do for the community. The State Office for the Aging looks to hold a recognition event in Albany in the fall if feasible.

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