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Two Wartburg Residents Named to Westchester County’s “Senior Hall of Fame”

Wartburg Resident James (Jay) McKenzie
Wartburg Resident Sister Maria Barbera

Westchester’s Senior Citizens Hall of Fame announced the 2020 “Hall of Fame” Inductees and among this year’s recipients are two Wartburg residents: Sister Maria Barbera and James (Jay) McKenzie. Both honorees are active volunteers and share in the ministry of availability, particularly dedicated to music and the joy it brings to Wartburg and the world.

To be nominated, seniors must have made significant and enduring contributions to enhance Westchester’s quality of life through their professional work, volunteer achievements or both. Nominations are made by members of the community, and the honorees were selected jointly by a panel of judges and Hall of Fame members.

"I am deeply humbled to accept this honor from the Westchester County Senior Citizens Hall Fame," said Sister Maria Barbera. Sister Maria also shared two of her favorite quotes: "Thus, you will know them by their fruits,” Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, and “Be the change you want to see in the world,” Mahatma Gandhi.

“I humbly accept this recognition. My greatest joy in life is to always put a smile on people’s faces, that makes me very happy. Living here at Wartburg for the past couple of years has been like living with family. Wartburg is a diamond in Mt. Vernon”, said Jay McKenzie.

The Senior Hall of Fame began in 1983, the 300th Anniversary of Westchester County’s founding. Its purpose was to showcase how seniors have contributed to building the County. More than 1,200 seniors have been inducted since. It is jointly sponsored by the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services (DSPS); the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation; Westchester County Livable Communities and the Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging Services.

This Hall of Fame is a special tradition honoring seniors who give their time and energy to improve the quality of life in our community,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said. Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services Commissioner Mae R. Carpenter said that the Seniors Hall of Fame is an important tradition because the senior community has helped Westchester to become known for its quality of life. “Today’s older generation molded a way of life that reflects the caring and generosity of its people,” she said.

According to Dr. David Gentner, Wartburg President & CEO “To be nominated, a person must have made significant contributions to improve life in Westchester, be an outstanding leader or advocate; and have done work that reflects innovative solutions to unmet community needs.”

Formal inductions took place during a virtual event on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. 

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