From the Hartford Courant: Shepherd Park hosted an Elder Appreciation event on July 31st.
With several hundred in attendance, the West End Civic Association (WECA), led by members of its Southeast Sector Community Engagement Team, and in collaboration with Schochet Companies, hosted an Elder Appreciation event on Friday afternoon, July 31st at Shepherd's Park, 170 Sisson Ave. Patricia Johnson, longtime Community Organizer and Consultant, spearheaded the endeavor, bringing together elders of the neighborhood with representatives of State and City government and community leaders who recognized the many volunteer activities of neighborhood seniors and honored them with citations.
Convocations were offered by Pastor James Aherne, Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, Emam Kashif Addul-Karim, Mohammed Islamic Center of Greater Hartford, and Rabbi James Rosen, Beth El Temple.
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy wrote a letter of commendation to the seniors, presented by Shea Watson, Senate staff. Special guests included State Senator Eric Coleman, State Representative Matt Ritter, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, City Councilors Kyle Anderson, Dr. Larry Deutsch, Raul DeJesus, Jr., and Ken Kennedy. Shawn Wooden, Council President was represented by his Special Assistant, Juan M. Hernandes.
In addition, the recently-elected President of WECA, Bongi Magubane, was on hand to lend words of appreciation to all, alongside neighbor John Gale and WECA Southeast Sector Rep, Otis Cox. Members of Schochet Companies, the management corporation of Shepherd Park, received awards, as did Juliet Edwards, the resident Coordinator, for outstanding support and service to the seniors of the West End and the City of Hartford.
Live entertainment in the form of Afro-Latin Dance was provided by KIZOMBA HARTFORD--WE DANCE FOR OUR ELDERS, in addition to popular, Latino and Caribbean music by JDX Band. A sumptuous luncheon was served, both outside under a tent on the lovely Shepherd Park grounds and inside the community room where Milo Sheff's Art Exhibition graced the walls. A West End native musician and visual artist, Sheff had hosted a well-attended reception the previous afternoon as part of the celebration.
This Elder Appreciation project grew out of several weeks of meetings among Pat Johnson, Otis Cox, the Southeast Sector Community Engagement Team, and seniors at Shepherd's Park. Other Community Engagement Committee members providing support for the endeavor were: JoAnne Bauer, Latonia Matthews, Lois Sanders, Z. Schnittke and Rachael Stephens. For additional information about this event, contact Patricia Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org); or about WECA, contact President Bongi Magubane (email@example.com).