Schenectady County Legislature Honors 2017 Older New Yorkers of the Year

Older New York of the Year

The Schenectady County Legislature was proud to honor Mr. Al Magid and Ms. Marva Isaacs as the “2017 Schenectady County Older New Yorker of the Year” and Ms. Antoinette Cilberti as the “2017 Lifetime Achievement Award” winners during their May 9, 2017 regular meeting.  Mr. Magid was also recognized at the New York State Office for the Aging 2017 Older New Yorkers’ Day Celebration with the 2017 Governor’s Recognition for Exemplary Service.

“Schenectady County is extremely fortunate to have so many talented people who are devoted to helping others and their community,” said Karen Johnson, Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Services for the Aging & Disabled.  “We are happy to once again have this opportunity to recognize our older residents who have generously given of their time and energy to projects that have enhanced the lives of others.”

This year is the 52nd anniversary of the Older Americans Act, an Act that supports older people to have secure and equal opportunities to enjoy a healthy life.  The Older Americans Act encourages senior citizens to find meaningful activities that support civic, cultural, educational, training and recreational opportunities.

Each May Schenectady County celebrates “Older Americans Month” by recognizing the accomplishments of our older residents who either through professional accomplishments or volunteer efforts offered their time and experience to worthwhile projects or causes. 

All nominees were recognized and include Joan Almas, Nancy Batten, Ann Boyens, Edward and Kathleen Davis, Barbara DeOrazio, Claudette Herzog, Elizabeth Paul, Shirley and Edward Perazzo, Margaret Rizzo, Dina Rubina, Carolyn Terrell, and Janice Walz.

2017 Schenectady County Older New Yorker of the Year Award Winners

Mr. Alvin Magid, Schenectady County’s 2017 Older New Yorker of the Year
Alvin “Al” Magid founded and developed the program Reading is Fun at 75 years of age, and in just four years he has positively affected the lives of hundreds of children in Schenectady.  Al has grown the organization to include three trainers and approximately 110-115 volunteers who range in age from 14-92, each working one-on-one with an individual student ages four through nine.  Reading is Fun currently works with the Schenectady City School District in eleven elementary schools and includes partner organizations including the Schenectady City School District Education Fund, the Schenectady Boys and Girls Club, First United Methodist Church, the Schenectady Police Department and the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department, which both provide volunteers to work in uniform.

Ms. Marva Isaacs, Schenectady County’s 2017 Older New Yorker of the Year
Marva Isaacs is an active volunteer who seeks to improve her neighborhood by motivating residents to participate more fully in the life of the community and where she is known for organizing block parties where food is shared and friendships are made.   Marva is President of the Hamilton Hill Neighborhood Association, serves on the Board of the Hamilton Hill Arts Center celebrating African Culture, and is a Church Volunteer where she is the Choir Master and Hospitality Hostess.  Marva has a close relationship with the Office of the Sheriff, working to make her neighborhood safer from guns and seeks support on a wide range of other community issues.  Marva is rarely found at home, is visible at many community events where her success in networking brings new resources to her neighborhood and where she can frequently be seen with her iPad taking photos.

Ms. Antoinette Cilberti, 2017 Schenectady County Lifetime Achievement
Antoinette Cilberti has lived in Schenectady County since April 12, 1925, graduating from Mt. Pleasant High School with honors and was a member of the National Honor Society.  Antoinette’s first volunteer job was at Washington Irving Jr. High School in the 7th through 9th   grades in the Library Club where she would put books back on the shelves and also attended the desk.  During her seventy-five years of volunteer service, Antoinette shared her experience and dedication with the Masonic Organization and Shriners (60 years), Order of the Eastern Star (60 years), the East Glenville Fire Company Auxiliary (55 years), and as model at the Carl Co. and other dress shops to encourage the purchase of war bonds.  Other organizations that have benefitted from her lifetime of service include the Scotia-Glenville Senior Center, where she is a member of the Grayaires and also calls Bingo, Schenectady Inner City Ministry, Proctors, where she is an usher, and the Glenville and Burnt Hills/Ballston Lake Schools.  Antoinette also brings meals and Bibles to Veterans.



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