This story has been updated.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- A total of 53 county residents were inducted Friday, Dec. 2 into the prestigious Westchester Senior Citizen Hall of Fame.
Honorees during the 34th annual awards luncheon ceremony in Tarrytown included Richard Edelson of Hartsdale, Larry Nardecchia of Ardsley, , Bruno Viani of Ardsley, Jeanie C. Jee of Dobbs Ferry, Eleanor Carren of Irvington, Elenora Smith of Greenburgh and Mary Williams of Greenburgh.
“It is a privilege to honor this dynamic group of Westchester residents for their service to others and their dedication to the community at large by inducting them into our Senior Citizens Hall of Fame,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “This longstanding Westchester tradition is our way of recognizing and thanking seniors for their time, energy and commitment to enhancing the quality of life of those around them.”
Top 2016 Senior Citizen honors went to John “Jack” Lotz of Yonkers. Lotz is a lifelong Yonkers resident. As an actor and member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1978, his roles have included roles in “Raging Bull” and “The Sopranos.” He was also a stunt driver in many films. His latest role was Ruben in “The Hurricane Carter.” He has also been a referee in professional wrestling and boxing.
As a volunteer, Lotz has supported and had leading roles with the Yonkers Central Committee of Veterans Organizations, the Korean War Veterans and the New York State Korean War Veterans. The past four years he has organized events for the Veterans State Nursing Home and the Federal Nursing Home Building 6 in Montrose. He has started a fund with the Yonkers Veterans Posts for needy and homeless veterans. He is the founder of the Medal of Honor Ceremony and has worked with members of the Yonkers Central Committee of Veterans to find a site to house the Yonkers Veterans Museum. His focus is also on helping youth learn more about veterans and he has organized bus trips to Montrose Nursing Home and Kings Bridge Veterans Hospital for local middle and high school students. In addition, Jack was one of the organizers of the Veterans March on Washington, D.C., for mandatory health care for all veterans.
A man of many accomplishments, he has received the Americanism Award twice in recognition of his efforts within the veteran’s community. Jack and his wife Mary have been married over 63 years and have five children, 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Jean Carol Anderson of New Rochelle received a Special Recognition Award. Anderson, 48, is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Anderson spent her career working in the Westchester County Department of Social Services and also worked with Westchester County Opportunity Program. She also was a weekend house parent with the New York State Division for Youth in Mount Vernon.
Anderson is an active volunteer with many organizations. She is a New Rochelle District Leader, a member of the NAACP, a past president of the Interreligious Council of New Rochelle and the Westchester Council of Women.
She spends a tremendous amount of time in service to her church – Union Baptist Church, in New Rochelle. She currently serves as the Director-Servant Leader of the Union Baptist Church Manna Ministry Feeding Program, which serves hundreds of families per week. Fellow volunteers and friends have shared that Jean is someone they can count on as a calm and sensible problem solver who always knows just what to say and do to handle almost any situation.
J. Michael Cindrich, Mount Kisco mayor, received a Special Recognition Award. Cindrich has committed his life to public service including as mayor of the Village of Mount Kisco for the past 13 years. He has also served as Deputy Mayor, as well as Village Trustee. He was a Police Lieutenant in the Town of Mamaroneck and is a former United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration Deputy and Special Agent. He has been decorated and recognized for heroism and exceptional contribution to law enforcement by the New York State Attorney General, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of the New York Drug Enforcement Administration, the American Legion, the Town of Mamaroneck and Westchester County.
Community Service is a priority for Cindrich, according to a county news release. He was chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, a member of the Mount Kisco Special Police, and for 11 years he coached Mount Kisco Little League and junior football. He is a member and volunteer of the Knights of Columbus, the Mount Kisco Ambulance Corps, the American Legion Post 136, the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, the Italian American Club and Saint Francis of Assisi Church. He also volunteers time to Guiding Eyes for the Blind and the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation. He and his wife Linda are parents to four and grandparents to seven.
John F. Larkin of Eastchester also received a Special Recognition Award. Larkin is a lifelong Westchester resident. He worked for 37 years as an educator and coach at Mount Vernon High School. He taught government and economics, as well as world and American history. John won several “Coach of the Year” awards in basketball and softball.
Larkin is an active member and leader of several committees for the John A. Keogh Council 2108 of the Knights of Columbus, including membership and the Knights of Columbus Food for Families Committee. Every weekend he drives to East Harlem to deliver food, clothing and shoes and works in the Solanus Casey Soup Kitchen. He spends considerable time recruiting volunteers and members to help encourage more giving and support for the charities he is involved in. Larkin and his wife, Julie, also volunteer at the Adult Learning Center in New Rochelle, where they teach English as a Second Language. Together they have three children and recently welcomed a granddaughter to the family.
Katherine Moore of Rye also received a Special Recognition Award: Moore came to Rye in 1952 after living abroad in London and Lisbon. She began her volunteer career early while her family was still young. Katherine has always been concerned with the general welfare of our local and regional communities. She spent time at United Hospital, the Rye Free Reading Room and helped found the Rye Arts Center, serving as its first secretary. She also volunteers and has held leadership roles with Osborn Library, Planned Parenthood, the Rye Mental Health Association, the Katonah Museum, Hope House, the Westchester Community Foundation, and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.
Moore was widowed a few years ago after over 60 years of marriage. Though she has supportive family and friends, she is well aware of the isolation and loneliness experienced by older adults who can no longer drive, live alone and may not have family or a support system to depend on. Her involvement with SPRYE has allowed her to address some of the unmet needs of older adults in her community. Katherine spent countless hours developing programming for SPRYE and as a result, members have access to a myriad of social and educational programs that keep them connected by providing different outlets and exposure to new experiences and people. A mother of four, and grandmother to seven, Moore continues to volunteer every day.
An awards luncheon was held at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown in their honor.
"Each of the honorees has been outstanding role models in our community and have made positive contributions to our community,'' said Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner.
Richard Edelson has served as Captain of the Greenburgh CERT team which provides help to residents in the event of emergencies or disasters.
"I have seen Richard and other CERT volunteers working at emergency shelters after power outages and snow storms," Feiner said. "The CERT team helps out when there are major events."
Other members of the "Class of 2016" in the Westchester Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and their hometowns are:
Amawalk-Somers: Robert W. Roth
Ardsley: Larry Nardecchia, Jr., Bruno Viani
Bronxville: Irwin Rothman
Cortlandt Manor: John R. Cito, Helen F. Markus
Croton-on-Hudson: Richard W. Nagle
Dobbs Ferry: Jeanie C. Jee
Eastchester: John F. Larkin, Jim Fillis (Special Recognition)
Harrison: Mary Kingsley
Larchmont: Jack Adler
Mamaroneck: Kathleen Flynn, Barbara Werber
Mount Kisco: J. Michael Cindrich (Special Recognition), Karen B. Schleimer, Antoinette Whalen
Mount Vernon: Janice Benjamin, Mary Figueroa, Ruby Figueroa, Aldora Dunham, John Frusciante, Dolores Mack, Florence Okharedia, Helen Schiavello, Emma C. Stackhouse, Jim Williams
New Rochelle: Jean C. Anderson (Special Recognition), Ruth Katz, Janice Malett
North Salem: Helen M. Culen
Ossining: Mamie Masullo, Fremont Pete Stafford
Peekskill: Geraldine Kearse, Marie Murphy
Port Chester: John W. Reavis, Jr.
Rye: Katherine Moore (Special Recognition), Ralph Vellone
Scarsdale: Richard Liu
Somers: Lorne H. Robbins
South Salem: Connie Bobletz
White Plains: Patricia Diggs, Maria Gallagher, Benjamin Latimer, Stanton C. Selbst, William White
Yonkers: John “Jack” Lotz (Top Honoree), Mary M. Hoar, Arlene Penn, Gloria Schlacter
Yorktown: Mary DeSilva, Gilbert Kaufmann, Usha Sharma, Rhoda Sussman-Adler
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