JoAnn will be honored at the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association’s annual gala celebrating Woodhaven’s finest on Friday, October 2nd at Roma View Fine Catering in Howard Beach.
JoAnn’s modest response to being named Woman of the Year is unsurprising to those who know her. She sees the award as an honor she shares with the other members of the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center that she so deeply cares for.
The Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center, operated by Catholic Charities, is located at 89-02 91st St., operating out of the American Legion, behind PS 60 on 89th Avenue. JoAnn can be found there each and every weekday, leading the seniors in activities and working in the kitchen to serve seniors their meals.
JoAnn is very enthusiastic about the center and all of the possibilities it offers the seniors in our community. “It’s important for seniors to get out of the house,” she says, noting that the center keeps them active and busy.
“We recently had our first center Olympic games; we had bowling out on the lawn, we had some seniors playing basketball and they loved it.”
In addition to such special activities, the seniors in JoAnn’s center are often treated to day trips.
“I have taken the seniors to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, we have gone to Coney Island, and we are going very soon to the Green Market so they can do a little shopping for fresh produce.”
JoAnn feels the trips are an attractive feature of the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center. “The seniors love going on trips; they get to enjoy life.”
She recalls one recent trip to the East River State Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and describes how the seniors enjoyed the beautiful views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline.
“These trips are very good for our spirits, to get us out to see different cultures, different worlds, essentially,” she says.
Within the center, JoAnn can run through a list of dozens of regular events that seniors can enjoy. At the center the seniors play cards, dominoes, book reading, crocheting, knitting, dancing, and take part in group exercises such as yoga or walking.
“It’s so important for our seniors to keep our brains and our bodies active,” she says. “We’re exercising, we’re using our brains, we’re not just staying home. A lot of our seniors live alone and they look forward to coming to the center where they can socialize with others. It helps add to their quality of life.”
Typically for JoAnn, she sees this honor as an opportunity to bring happiness to others by way of bringing the joy of such interaction into their lives and she encourages any seniors out there to come by and give the center a chance.
“Anyone over 60 is considered a senior and they can come in and we’ll give them a tour, show them all the programs we have and show them our menu,” she says.
“We are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon, and we’d love to see more of our Woodhaven seniors come out and be a part of our family at the center,” JoAnn says. “If anyone has any questions they can call the center at (718) 847-9200.”
JoAnn is a wonderful spokesperson for the seniors in our community. When the center was forced to relocate due to the collapsed building next to the Ambulance Corps, JoAnn spoke passionately about the seniors’ frustrations over the ongoing mess, both at rallies and on the news.
It is for her enthusiasm for the center and her advocacy on behalf of her fellow seniors that JoAnn Bartos is being recognized as Woodhaven’s 2015 Woman of the Year – a well-deserved honor
Those wishing to join the residents of Woodhaven as they honor JoAnn Bartos can get tickets through the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association; call (718) 296-3735 for details. Tickets to the gala are $70 each and include a full buffet dinner, beer, wine, soda and dessert.