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Celebrating Long Island Women for Women's History Month!

Posted on 03/13/19 by Andre Hidalgo, AARP Blog Author

This Women’s History Month, and in celebration of our National Theme “The Good Life after 50”, AARP NY is featuring profiles of members and volunteers in Long Island that are doing amazing things for the 50-plus communities on Long Island.

Gail Adams proves that love is vibrant at any age!   She started a dating/matchmaking service, 7 in Heaven, when she became single in her 40’s after the end of a 22-year marriage.  After perusing the internet dating site scene and not seeing any real quality connections, she decided to take matters into her own hands and launch her own business.  11 years later, she is still creating connections through her singles events and activities.  Gail has been an AARP member for 4 years and appreciates the resources AARP has to offer including “solid advice, places to go, things to do.”  What she noticed about the dating scene is that it is more challenging as we get into our 50’s and 60’s because you are dealing with things like “Divorces (how many?) Adult children still living at home, money spent to care for elderly parents, who are retired (has lots of time) and who is still working (doesn’t have as much time to date).”  So her speed dating and theme events provide an outlet to have fun and make new friends, with events that suit the over 50 crowd.

Fran Greene is proof that social interaction and connection are very important and that age does not define her ability to help others make love connections! She believes “We all want to feel connected and loved no matter if you are 29 or 79”.  This philosophy propelled her to start her relationship coaching, which includes people over 50.  She conducts workshops on Long Island and says flirting is a hobby for her and she wants “everyone over 50 to have a loving relationship”!   Fran has been an AARP member for 7 years and finds that living on Long Island provides her with the best of both worlds – – enjoying the East End and also being close enough to New York City to be able to enjoy all that it offers.  What she’s experienced over the last 20 years when it comes to dating is “There’s no difference when it comes to matters of the heart. On the practical side, some of the concerns are caring for an aging partner (if they were a caregiver), driving at night, financial concerns, living together, knowing that time can’t be wasted!”

Jacqueline Del Priore has been a volunteer for AARP in Smithtown, Long Island for around three years, helping out at many local events and advocating for AARP’s various initiatives.  She enjoys all the interesting experiences she has taken part of as a volunteer and states, “Getting involved with advocacy has taken me some exciting places I might not have otherwise gone, speaking to politicians and traveling to Albany, learning the inside scoop about the issues. Volunteerism has put me on the stage, on line in videos and on live TV!”  Reflecting on Women’s History Month, she notes, “It’s a time to reflect and I feel like we have come so far, yet we still have so far to go!   We are still fighting for equality but this year in particular I feel like we can really celebrate that our votes and our voices count.  We are making a real difference. History is her story too.”

Sara Cohen has been a volunteer for AARP in Hempstead, Long Island since 2015 where she has coordinated teams that grew from a five-person team to over 30 very active members! She

was an audiologist at a school for the deaf, a stay at home mom, and for 17 years went back to her first love of participating in community theater and entertaining (singing) at places such as public libraries, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. When she retired, she was looking for something to fulfill her desire to help others and joining the AARP Volunteer team has provided so many different ways for her to do just that, “I particularly enjoy community outreach activities.   I have distributed fresh produce at a subsidized housing project, filled and organized a local food pantry, organized a sock, hat, and glove drive for veterans, served lunch at a senior citizen organization, participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and much more!” Her favorite event is the annual Holiday gift giving/sing along at a local state subsidized nursing facility for residents who do not get many visitors or holiday treats.  Women’s History Month is personal to Sara because her mother and aunt survived Auschwitz (her aunt and co-wrote a book, “Rena’s Promise”, about her mother and aunt’s experience). “It has been our mission to remember and honor the forgotten women in the Holocaust. It is a story that exemplifies women’s strength, loyalty, and resilience which to me is the essence of what Women’s History Month is all about.”

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