Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Announces The 2018 Ulster County Senior Of The Year Award Recipients

Posted May 7, 2018


The Awards Recognize Dedication and Community Engagement

Kingston, NY- Ulster County Executive Mike Hein is pleased to announce that the 2018 award recipients are Berenice FitzGerald of Rosendale, who was named “Ulster County Senior Citizen of the Year,” and Susan Wiand of Walker Valley, who was recognized for “Most Outstanding Contribution by a Senior Citizen.”    

“We recognize Mrs. FitzGerald and Mrs. Wiand, for their extraordinary community service as they work tirelessly to enrich the lives of those around them,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “They represent the many outstanding seniors in our county who volunteer and contribute their time and talents to assist other in our community. I want to thank Mrs. FitzGerald and Mrs. Wiand, as well as each and every one of the seniors who make a difference in the lives of so many.”  

Berenice FitzGerald is a role model of selfless action. She has volunteered at People’s Place for over 26 years, and is usually there five days a week, often bringing work home while she watches her beloved New York Mets. Berenice’s commitment to the well-being of her neighbors has impacted thousands over the past three decades. She gives complete attention to helping families, and has a true talent for networking as well as sharing with those who need services, and those who may donate to the organization. It is no exaggeration to say Berenice has helped over 25,000 people through her volunteer activities. She was recently honored by the Ulster County Office for the Aging at their annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon for providing more volunteer hours than any other senior in Ulster County. Due to her volunteer work which includes providing food and support for those in need, Berenice not only feeds the body, but also the soul.

Susan Wiand’s life tells the story of her passionate commitment to country and community. At her local community center, which is very active with groups providing support, activities and services, she is instrumental in responding to resident concerns and issues by referring them to the proper agencies and personnel to help resolve problems. She never backs down from a challenge or an invitation to make her community and the world around her a better place. Sue assists Eagle Scout candidates with projects, responds to emergencies with the local fire company’s Ladies Auxiliary, and supports other volunteers to help make sure that all residents are safe and well. Sue continues to stay on top of whatever the newest community need might be, either on her own or through one of the many organizations she is involved with. Sue is a perpetual motion machine, always available to help where needed.

Both award winners will also be recognized in Albany on May 22nd as part of New York State Senior Citizen’s Recognition Day. 

“May is Older Americans’ Month and this year’s theme is “Engage at Every Age.” At the Ulster County Office for the Aging we emphasize that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being,” said Shelly Wager, Director of the Ulster County Office for the Aging. Older Americans’ Month also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities.”

The Ulster County Senior of the Year Award is a yearly recognition of two of Ulster County’s outstanding senior citizens.  Nominations are sent to the County Executive’s Office for consideration by the Aging Advisory Council from numerous groups in order to make selections. An Advisory Council Selection Committee chooses two senior citizens for the awards based on the significance of their contributions to the community.

Pictured above: 1) Berenice FitzGerald, Senior of the Year 2) Susan Wiand, Most Outstanding Contribution by a Senior.