Freeholders Honor 'Positive Aging' Role Models
During Older Americans Month in May, Somerset County Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione, joined by Laurie Roome of the Office on Aging & Disability Services, presented certificates to the following individuals as part of the 2014 “Profiles of Positive Aging” recognition program:
Roslyn Zuccarelli Gerken of Franklin – Nominated by Jill Wodnick and Gwenn Noel. Rosyln has provided volunteer services to improve the safety and health of others in the community. She has acted as an ambassador at Middlebush Reformed Church for Body & Soul, a three-year initiative from the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, where she has shared information and led classes on nutrition, cooking, exercise, stress reduction, health and safety. Roslyn is a member of NJ BirthNetwork, an alliance focusing on the well-being of mothers, babies and families. She has volunteered with CINJ’s kids program to prevent smoking and substance abuse. She also helped paint the Group Home in Somerset last year.
Roslyn is a certified Laughter Yoga instructor of free-flow laughter that reduces stress and boosts happiness.
She is a recently certified teacher of Ageless Grace and has led such exercises informally and impromptu on bus rides in Florida, poolside in Naples, and even in the food court at Menlo Park Mall.
As 27-year cancer survivor, Roslyn volunteers for various studies for the Cancer Experience Registry and also for national DNA studies. She embraces an active lifestyle and has ridden every year for 20 years in the Tour de Franklin, an annual April fundraiser for the Franklin Township Food Bank, and has raised funds for annual September Walk for the Steeplechase Cancer Center/Somerset Medical Center.
Mildred Murphy of Hillsborough – Nominated by Police Chief Paul Kaminsky and Gabriella Perruso. Millie is an active volunteer with the Hillsborough Police Department, the Hillsborough Community Emergency Response Team and the Hillsborough First Aid Squad. She has helped with crowd control at the Somerville St. Patrick’s Day parade and assisted with sheltering displaced families during Superstorm Sandy. She uses her skills as a World War II veteran nurse and has acted as an emergency medical technician. She also has helped with the records bureau and administrative tasks within the Police Department. Millie plays the trumpet in the Blawenburg Band, Raritan Valley Symphonic Band and the Somerset Orchestra.
Harriet Nilsen of Montgomery – Nominated by Karen DeKok and Pastor Gary Kitchen. Harriet is a volunteer with Healthy Bones for both Montgomery Township and Bunker Hill Lutheran Church. She is a great encourager who inspires her Healthy Bones participants to work hard and to do their best to stay healthy both in and out of class.
Harriet has been the choir director at Bunker Hill Lutheran Church for over 35 years. She is an active member of many ministries in the church, including the Senior Citizens group, working in the kitchen for church dinners and as part of the women’s ministry.
Gregory Snook of Branchburg - As Chief of the Somerset County Hazardous Materials Response Team, Greg is actively engaged with the planning, response, recovery and mitigation phase of emergencies. He dedicates his expertise 365 days a year, 24/7. He has served the team for over 18 years as a volunteer emergency responder and is recognized as a “Life Member.” He has worked with limited budget, manpower, equipment and support while always ensuring the safety of the members of the community. He has a unique “gift of gab” that has given him the ability to interface with representatives from the federal, state and local agencies and to assist with the coordination of resources and incident stabilization.
Alice Steinbacher of Bernardsville – Nominated by Thea Giardina, Lynn Crane and Sherrie Calish. Ten years ago, Alice joined what was then known as the Bernardsville Senior Group. At that time she had already begun volunteering her time publishing a quarterly newsletter called “Chapter 2.” This self-made publication focused on inspiring and informing seniors. She solicited from businesses for the cost of publishing the paper so that it could be distributed at no cost to seniors in the Somerset Hills area. She has worked tirelessly to bring to the attention of 4,000-plus “Chapter 2” readers topics ranging from drug and alcohol abuse faced by seniors to intergenerational activities, educational workshops and health programs necessary to enhance their lives and promote their well-being.
Alice is active in politics and contacts federal state and local representatives on important issues for seniors. Alice has also been an active volunteer for Somerset Hills Municipal Alliance and Youth Services Commission for the past six years. She has been actively involved for many years in advocating for local senior citizens and their rights. She has also been a key contributor and member of the Somerset County Office on Aging & Disability Services Advisory Council.