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Tree lighting Friday at The Grand


The holiday season will be off to a “Grand” start on Friday night as The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing hosts a community-wide tree lighting that will be open to the public.

The festivities will kick off at 7 p.m. with 98-year-old Marie Shillace, the oldest resident at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Rome, flipping the switch to bring this year’s holiday tree to life at the 160-bed facility’s decorated courtyard. In addition to enjoying Christmas carols and holiday music performed by the Rome Free Academy’s Fermata Nowhere acappella choir, there will be plenty of treats on hand for attendees. 

The event will also feature two special guests: Miss Central New York’s Princess Hannah Kusmierczak and Miss Central New York’s Outstanding Arlena Occhipinti. This will be the second visit to The Grand’s holiday tree lighting for Occhipinti, who attended last year as Miss Copper City’s Outstanding Teen. Having grown up just minutes from The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Rome, Occhipinti said she is looking forward to visiting with guests at the facility, her way of giving back to members of the local community.

“There is nothing we enjoy more than sharing the holiday season with friends and family,” said Bruce Gendron-Regional vice-president, The Grand Healthcare System. “The Rome community has welcomed us warmly over the years and we are excited to have the opportunity to return the favor by hosting this wonderful holiday event to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.”

Source: http://romesentinel.com/entertainment/tree-lighting-friday-at-the-grand/QBqqkC!4UxDSGfYtilyDidYBP2fA/

Wedding bells ring at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing


ROME — Wedding bells rang Sunday in what was an event of a lifetime at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Rome as a pair of Grand guests celebrated their daughter’s wedding, according a news release.

Betty and Tony Tornatore were unable to be with their daughter, Lisa, when she got married last month in Massachusetts, so Lisa and her husband, Dan, donned their wedding finery for a second celebration at The Grand.

While Dan and Lisa both live in Massachusetts, Lisa insisted that they would find a way for her parents to attend her wedding, despite the distance.

“I told my father, ‘Dad, I am going to be getting married and one way or another, you are going to be there,’” said Lisa.

The mood was festive at The Grand with family members and guests enjoying lively music, Italian cuisine and a delicious wedding cake. But it was Lisa’s bouquet that stole the show, made from an assortment of brooches that Betty, who had worked as a jeweler, had collected over the years. Betty has been at The Grand since 2015 with Tony joining her one year later; both are extremely well loved and everyone was excited to share this special moment with them.

“We work hard to make sure that everyone at The Grand feels like they are part of the family,” said Kristen Spohr-Fulmer, administrator. “We were so honored to be able to share this milestone event with Betty and Tony and felt like honorary Tornatores as we celebrated Lisa and Dan’s wedding.”

Having enjoyed Lisa’s wedding at The Grand, Betty, who is 78, and Tony, who is 89, are looking forward to their next Grand celebration: their upcoming 39th wedding anniversary on Dec. 2.

“Betty and Tony are truly wonderful people,” noted Leigh Nicholas, director of recreation. “It was a privilege to share Lisa’s wedding with them and we look forward to enjoying many more joyous occasions with them in the future.”

Source: http://www.uticaod.com/news/20171124/wedding-bells-ring-at-grand-rehabilitation-and-nursing

The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Queens Honors Veterans At Special Event


Veteran residents at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Queens hosted a magnificent “Veterans Helping Veterans” event Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the facility, located at 157-15 19th Ave in Whitestone, NY.

The event commenced at 2:00p.m. with a patriotic flag-raising ceremony to pay tribute to American veterans who served their country honorably during war and peace time. A veteran certificate ceremony was presented by State Assemblyman Ed Braunstein. We were honored to have the Assemblyman grace us with his presence.

It was truly a poignant sight to witness former members of the army, navy, marines, air force and coast guard assembling care packages containing sought-after items such as lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, chapstick, and antibacterial hand wipes for soldiers currently in the field.

Veterans at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Queens extended the invitation to veterans from Brandywine Assisted Living, to join them in drafting personalized handwritten letters of encouragement to include in the packages that will be distributed to military members in the field via Military Reserve Centers.

“This event meant a lot to our residents,” said Chloe Hodgson, Director of Recreation at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Queens. “They were excited to have the opportunity to give back to the men and women who are currently serving our country so courageously.

“Studies show that one of the most effective forms of assistance for former military members is vets helping vets,” she added. “That’s because being in the military creates a sense of camaraderie between service members that continues for decades after the military service is complete. Veterans are extremely motivated to help fellow services members because of the special bond they share."

Source: http://www.wellness.com/blog/13287921/the-grand-rehabilitation-and-nursing-at-queens-honors-veterans-at-special-event/judah-gutwein-l-n-h-a

Plenty of Thanks to Go Around


Glenmont Job Corps Center students volunteered for Catholic Charities at The Sister Maureen Joyce Food Pantry in Albany. For three days 24 students filled bags which enabled 300 families to receive a Thanksgiving dinner.

Representatives from The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Guilderland partnered with the Guilderland Food Pantry providing 25 turkeys and two roasting chickens and delivering them to local families

Chefs from three popular Hudson Falls restaurants are joining with the School District to help make sure students in the district have access to a healthy meal, even when they're home.

Local chefs donated their time to help cook a Thanksgiving feast Monday night at the Hudson Falls High School. Proceeds help fund school district's backpack program. From left, Chelsey and Claude Barrett from Bonnie and Clydes Gourmet on the Run, Caitlin Drysdale, school nutrition services director for Hudson Falls, Jesse Sutherland of Ginny Rae's, A.J. Richards from Forged.

Source: http://m.timesunion.com/local/article/Plenty-of-thanks-to-go-around-12378793.php

Veterans Helping Veterans At The Grand Rehabilitation And Nursing


Understanding the importance of Veterans Day, veteran residents at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Queens gave back to their fellow brothers and sisters in arms by hosting a unique “Veterans Helping Veterans” event Wednesday, November 15 at the facility, which is located at 157-15 19th Ave in Whitestone, NY.

The event began with a certificate ceremony honoring former members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. Words of appreciation were shared by State Assembly Member Ed Braunstein for each veteran’s service to their country. Veterans, as well as wives of veterans, had the opportunity to share their own personal stories, memories and experiences. Following that, care packages were assembled containing needed items such as lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, chapstick, and antibacterial hand wipes for soldiers currently in the field.

Veterans at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Queens extended the invitation to veterans from Brandywine Assisted Living to join in drafting personalized handwritten letters of encouragement to include in the packages that will be distributed to military members in the field via Military Reserve Centers.

“This event means a lot to our residents,” said Chloe Hodgson, Director of Recreation at The Grand Rehabilitation. “They are excited to have an opportunity to give back to the men and women who are currently serving our country so courageously.

“Studies show that one of the most effective forms of assistance for former military members is vets helping vets,” she added. “That’s because being in the military creates a sense of camaraderie between service members that continues for decades after the military service is complete. Veterans are extremely motivated to help fellow services members because of the special bond they share.”

Based in Whitestone, The Grand Healthcare System offers customized rehabilitation and nursing services to patients who require either short- or long-term care. Its state-of-the-art facilities, which are located at five sites across New York, feature certified instructors who provide exceptional clinical care to help residents achieve their wellness goals. All sites offer carefully curated entertaining and dining options, and tranquil grounds for optimal recuperation. For more information, visit thegrandhealthcare.com.

Source: http://www.qgazette.com/news/2017-11-22/Features/Veterans_Helping_Veterans_At_The_Grand_Rehabilitat.html

Whitestone senior center celebrates Veterans Day


To celebrate Veterans Day, a Whitestone nursing home hosted a “Veterans Helping Veterans” event Wednesday, sending care packages and letters of encouragement to active service members.

Veterans and widows of veterans gathered in The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Queens, located at 157-15 19th Ave. to celebrate and honor servicemen and women.

Former members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard helped assemble care packages with essential self-care items, such as lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and antibacterial hand wipes for soldiers currently in the field.

There was also a table set up where senior vets could write words of encouragement and wisdom to active service members.

Chloe Hodgson, director of recreation at The Grand, said the event was very exciting for residents of the home and that they looked forward to giving back to the men and women who currently serve.

“Studies show that one of the most effective forms of assistance for former military members is vets helping vets,” she said. “That’s because being in the military creates a sense of camaraderie between service members that continues for decades after the military service is complete. Veterans are extremely motivated to help fellow services members because of the special bond they share.”

State Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) stopped by and presented veterans with certificates and thanked them for finding a way to cheer up service members.

“We just recently celebrated Veterans Day and I know that personally I feel so lucky because if it wasn’t for the veterans and the veterans families as well who sacrifice their peace of mind in order to serve, we wouldn’t have all the benefits that we enjoy in the United States.”

One of the vets at the event was 80-year-old Douglas McGetrick, who grew up in Jackson Heights. He said he thought the event was a great way to keep veterans connected and he looks forward to Veterans Day every year after his positive experience in the Army.

“It’s such an important day to think about all the men and women who serve and also those who lost their lives serving their country,” he said. “It’s very moving to have an event like this. Hopefully, younger service members have the same feeling of pride that we had back then. Serving saved my life. I could of gone any way. I was glad that I did it because it gave my life direction and it was a meaningful experience.”

Source: https://www.timesledger.com/stories/2017/46/whitestoneveterans_2017_11_17_q.html

Your Best Shots


Dennis Speilman, senior vice commander at Colonie VFW Post 8692, salutes Arthur Baker, who served with the Marines from 1956-1963, at the "Veterans Helping Veterans" event on Nov. 11 at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing in Guilderland. Later that morning, 20 facility residents who are veterans assembled care packages for military members in the field.

Source: http://m.timesunion.com/local/article/Your-Best-Shots-12367104.php

Veterans Help Veterans In Poughkeepsie


Residents of the Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at River Valley in Poughkeepsie gave back to veterans at a special event on Monday.

The facility hosted "Veterans Helping Veterans" which featured paid tribute to those who served. The event featured a flag-raising ceremony led by US Army Sargeant George Ness and former service members were presented with certificates from Sen. Sue Serino.

Care packages containing items such as lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, chapstick, and antibacterial hand wipes were assembled for soldiers currently in the field.

Veterans at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at River Valley also drafted personalized handwritten letters of encouragement. These letters were included in the packages to be distributed to military members via Military Reserve Centers.

“This event means a lot to our residents,” said Deborah Bucci, Director of Recreation at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at River Valley. “They are excited to have an opportunity to give back to the men and women who are currently serving our country so courageously."

Source: http://southwestdutchess.dailyvoice.com/news/veterans-help-veterans-in-poughkeepsie/727072/

'It's important to remember those who served and those who died for this country'


Thomas Richmond, a resident at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing in Guilderland, was greeted by members of Colonie-based VFW Post 8692 in his room on Saturday morning.

The VFW members were at the nursing home on Veterans Day to honor those who served in the military.

Richmond grew up in Schenectady and served six years as a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps in Vietnam.

"I decided to join when I was 18 years old before I was drafted," he said. "I wanted to be a Marine, because it was a tradition in my family to serve."

Richmond said he followed in the footsteps of two of his uncles.

"Boot camp taught me a lot about discipline, but it was a horrifying time in Vietnam," he said. "I lost a lot of friends there."

Richmond said being honored on Veterans Day meant a lot to him.

"It feels great," he said. "It's important to remember those who served and those who died for this country."

Commander Dennis Spielman said VFW Post 8692 began visiting nursing homes nearly five years ago to recognize veterans for their service.

"Everybody's got a story," he said. "Sometimes they cry, sometimes they laugh."

Spielman said post members visit approximately six nursing homes a year for Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

"Everywhere we go, we always request to have lunch with the residents, so we can sit and talk with them," he said. "They'll share their stories with other veterans and will open up to us."

Activities Director Chelsea Hanna organized the Veterans Day celebrations at the nursing home, which also included care packages for the Veterans Miracle Center in Albany.

"We wanted to do something extra special for our residents for Veterans Day," she said. "I'm glad we were able to have the VFW here."

Hanna said it's important to show the residents appreciation.

"It's wonderful to be able to give back and do something special to make their day a little brighter," she said. "We owe a lot to the men and women who served our country."

Spielman said every year the number of nursing home visits increases for VFW Post 8692.

"Once they're gone, their story is gone," he said. "We give them a chance to tell their story."

Source: https://dailygazette.com/article/2017/11/11/some-seniors-wonder-if-medicare-is-tangled-in-obamacare-battle

Area Events Paying Homage to Our Veterans


Thank you to the many men and woman that have served The United States of America in the Armed Forces. For 98 years, Americans have remembered those who served our country in uniform on November 11th, and all of us here at WGNA , salute you. Here is a list of some area Veterans Day events taking place in the Capital Region on Saturday.

• Observance 9 a.m. at the USS Slater, only World War II destroyer afloat in America, docked south of the Dunn Memorial Bridge, Albany. The ship will be open for guided tours until 4 p.m. Admission: $9, $7 children. 518-431-1943 or http://www.ussslater.org.

• Celebration 10:30 a.m. at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Guilderland, 428 Route 146,
Altamont. Flag-raising ceremony led by Colonie VFW Post 8692, assembly of military care packages and performance of patriotic songs. 518-861-5141, Ext. 136.

• Parade 11 a.m., starts at corner of Central Avenue and Ontario Street, Albany, and proceeds down Central Avenue to Washington Avenue. The reviewing stand is on the steps of the Education Building. Co-grand marshals for the parade are Jack Clancy and Jimmy Brown, co-founders of the Tri-County Council of Vietnam Era Veterans. http://www.albanyny.org.

Source: http://wgna.com/area-events-paying-homage-to-our-veterans/

“Veterans Helping Veterans" Event Slated for 11/11 at the Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Guilderland


With Veterans Day celebrations just around the corner, more than 20 veteran residents recuperating at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Guilderland plan to give back to their fellow brothers and sisters in arms by hosting a “Veterans Helping Veterans” event Saturday, Nov. 11 at the facility, which is located at 428 NY-146 in Altamont.

The day will begin at 10:30 a.m. when Dennis Speilman, sr. vice commander, Colonie VFW Post 8692, oversees a patriotic flag-raising ceremony paying tribute to American veterans who served their country honorably during war or peace time. From 10:45-11:15 a.m., Speilman will then visit the rooms of veterans who are unable to get out of bed for the ceremony and present them with certificates.

Beginning at 11:15 a.m., residents who served with the army, navy, marines and air force will assemble care packages containing sought-after items such as lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, chap stick, and antibacterial hand wipes to be given to soldiers in the field by Colonie VFW Post 8692. They will also write personal letters of encouragement to include in their packages.

“This event means a lot to our residents,” said Chelsea Hanna, director of recreation at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Guilderland, noting that lunch will be served at noon. “They are excited to have an opportunity to give back to the men and women who are currently serving our country so courageously.

“Studies show that one of the most effective forms of assistance for former military members is vets helping vets,” she added. “That’s because being in the military creates a sense of camaraderie between service members that continues for decades after the military service is complete. Veterans are extremely motivated to help fellow services members because of the special bond they share.”

Local singer Carla Page will round off the day’s festivities when she performs a selection of upbeat, patriotic numbers from 2:15-3:15 p.m.

For more information, call Hanna at (518) 861-5141 ext. 136 or email CHanna@thegrandhealthcare.com.

Gladys Musser of Chittenango celebrates 105th birthday


The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Chittenango recently celebrated the 105th birthday of Gladys Musser.

Musser, who was born in Smyrna in 1912, has been at The Grand since December 2009. Her birthday celebration on Nov. 3 included a memorial pinning ceremony by the Village of Chittenango, cake, flowers, live entertainment and a facility-wide word search -- Musser’s favorite activity.

Family who attended included sister Arlene, 92, brother Harry, 91, children Catherine Moore and Gene Ford, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Deputy Mayor Mickie Kpp and Village Trustee Wayne Horning were also in attendance.

Musser spent the first 10 years of marriage as a farmer’s wife. She then began supporting her family as a service worker in the local Oneida hotel. Musser later served as a nurse in Dallas, Texas, at the Christian Children’s Orphanage for eight years. At age 66, she moved closer to family in the town of Chittenango.

She credits her long life to remaining active and staying sharp. Musser enjoys attending live entertainment, doing puzzles, and of course eating chocolate. She also loves the company of staff members and peers on and off the unit, family visits, arts and crafts, food socials, and enjoying a nice glass of tea.

Source: http://www.oneidadispatch.com/lifestyle/20171106/gladys-musser-of-chittenango-celebrates-105th-birthday