Katie York did amazing things for Montclair’s seniors (Letter)
We want to take this opportunity to recognize Katie York, the director of Senior Services/Lifelong Montclair for Montclair Township. Katie is moving on to other opportunities; she leaves behind a thriving program for the senior population in the region.
Katie envisioned and then spearheaded the creation of a remarkable series of classes and opportunities for the senior population, ranging across a spectrum of interests: art, exercise, cooking, history, games and even field trips and parties. Among these offerings are those from the Montclair Institute of Lifelong Learning, funded by Partners for Health in Montclair. Since we have personally attended many of these events, we can attest the enrollment and interest only increase semester after semester.
Katie and Michelle DeWitt have fostered a community, where friends are made and ideas shared. The Edgemont Park House for Senior Programs and Activities was a place where you could simply stop in and have a cup of tea or coffee while chatting or check out the books available to take and read, or leave a few to offer for others to enjoy.
When the pandemic shut down the Edgemont House, Katie and Michelle almost immediately filled the void with a series of Zoom classes. These classes are attended by more individuals than ever could show up in person, and are consistently excellent. We are able to meet and talk as a group, in spite of COVID-19. This is a major benefit, particularly for those who live on their own.
We each could go on and on about how much we — and by extension those who also participated — appreciate the services provided by Katie and Michelle. We are assuming that the township will continue to support this endeavor with vigor and enthusiasm. Montclair's senior program is known throughout the region (and perhaps further) and attracts attendees from far afield.
Lifelong Montclair is full of energy and good humor, traits that are passed on to the participants. As Katie moves on and leaves her creation, and the transition to a new director occurs, we hope momentum will not be lost — and perhaps (dare it be said?) the long-promised senior center will come into being.
Katie has launched a sense of community and solidarity in the senior community, which is a great benefit to Montclair. We are happy to have known her. We ALL wish her well in her new opportunity. We will miss her and remember her!
Joanne Kornoelje, Sharron Allen, Marie-Claire Hepp, Patti Donohoe, Andrea Bruno, Patricia Bradley, Beth Pugh, Marilyn Kozak
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