Living Legacy: How Do You Want to Be Remembered? An Interview with Carri Rubenstein
Our Business, Our Family, Our Legacy Interview Vincent Graziano, Jr. Written by Annie Horn
The Living Table By Sarah Jane Sandy
Downsizing As We Age: An Essential Guide By Tim Judge
Bah Humbug! Holidays and Grief: An Awful Combination By Terri Agliardo
Honoring Those Who Served By Jen Graziano
Your Legacy: A Holiday Gift Guide By Sadie Cox, Elizabeth Crafford, and Annie Horn
Aging Could Spark an Allergy By Felicia Stoler
Impact and Investing in Our Community Greenwich United Way
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jen Graziano Elizabeth Crafford Sarah Jane Sandy Annie Horn Felicia Stoler Terri Agliardo Tim Judge Sadie Cox
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THE FAMILY AND THE FACILITY THAT WESTCHESTER HAS TRUSTED FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS WHEN IT COMES TIME TO FACE LIFE’S MOST DIFFICULT MOMENTS.
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From the Editor
a question for you, “How do you want to be remembered”? When you encounter someone for the first time, what impression do you hope to leave? Even deeper, when your time here in this life ends, what do you want to be remembered for? What is the legacy you want to leave? These questions involve honest self-reflection. While none of us wish to imagine the time when we are no longer here, perhaps it’s beneficial to occasionally ponder the footprints we will leave behind. Will you be remembered for always enjoying a great laugh or causing others to do so? Will you be remembered for the children and grandchildren that become your living legacy? Will you be remembered for your hard work and success? Or will you be remembered for being kind, being a friend, being someone who made a difference? Everything we do in life, every decision we make shapes the person we are and thus the person we’re remembered being. In an interview some years back on being a 4th generation funeral director, I was asked if I could sum up my life on my epitaph what would I want it to say? I remember my answer vividly as I’d use it if asked again today; “She did it all and she did it well”. Although some days are not as “well” as others, and many days “all” seems impossible, I’d like to be remembered for giving my best. And, if the person who matters most in my life, my daughter, can look back one day and feel that I did…mission accomplished.
“We all have a story to be told...”
We all have a story to be told and stories that will be told about us long after we are gone. Each day that we are living we are writing that story...make it a good one! Wishing all the best always, Jen
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LIVING LEGACY How Do You Want to Be Remembered? An Interview with Carri Rubenstien Written by Jen Graziano
ears ago, I came across an organization that struck me by its name, “Thru My Eyes.” At the time, we were handling a funeral that requested memorial donations be sent to Thru My Eyes and thus, I became acquainted with their mission. The organization was born out of a sad circumstance. A young mother on the brink of an untimely passing, desperately sought a way to leave a priceless gift to her young daughter. She wished for her daughter to have a video that she could watch and hear bouts of wisdom imparted from her mother. The value of the gift would grow far greater as the years went on. This young mother summoned the courage to record her life story as well as the wishes she held for her daughter, with the help of a dedicated and loving friend. I connected with that friend, an amazing woman, named Carri Rubinstein – the founder of Thru My Eyes. What better gift to leave behind to your loved ones than that of your voice? Often when we lose someone we find ourselves replaying old voice messages or calling their phone to hear their voicemail message. We long to hear their voice when we can no longer see them.
Thru My Eyes is a non-profit organization that allows the story of one’s life to be told. Whether one is sick or just looking for a way to make a special keepsake for their family, Thru my Eyes can help. The process is emotionally challenging, but the results are overwhelming. The video will begin telling a person’s story; where they were born, their upbringing, their roots. The video also incorporates photos, which tell a story in their own right. Finally, the video allows a person to leave behind messages of hope, encouragement and love to the ones they are leaving behind. Their words, their voice, their love is left behind as a most treasured keepsake. Again, a gift that is truly priceless. Carrie Rubinstein has recently expanded the scope of “Thru my Eyes” so that videos can be made by anyone and for anyone, not only those facing terminal illness. She has expanded her mission as she recognizes that all of us have stories to tell and more importantly, people who want to hear them. We recently caught up with Carri to learn more about the organization, its future, and how she is helping people leave legacies their way.
COMING OF AGE: Can you tell us a little bit about where the idea of Thru My Eyes came from? CARRI: I was mentoring a young woman, Dede, at our gym who was going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. As I had finished my treatment over 15 years ago, I took her under my wing and answered any questions that she had. One day, I came into the locker room to see her crying. She told that me that her doctors had said that there were no more treatments available and that it was time to talk to her 8 year old. It was Dede who looked at me and said “all I want to do is make a video for my daughter, and there isn’t an organization that will help me”. I had heard of an organization through a friend and I contacted them. We took up a collection at the gym to pay the $3,000 fee and Dede got to make her video. I started thinking that I was raising all of this money to help find a cure for breast cancer, and yet, there was a whole segment of the population that I wasn’t helping. A therapist, Dr. Michelle Maidenberg, who was helping Dede handle the eventual separation from her daughter came to me and asked about partnering with me to start an organization like this. This is how Thru My Eyes began. That evening, I discussed it with my husband. As the head Litigator at the law firm that is now Arnold Palmer, my husband and his team were instrumental in getting us started – they handled the entire process of making us an official non-profit, obtaining of 501 c 3 status, and did it all pro bono. Our gym, Equinox of Scarsdale, allowed us to hold our first fundraiser there, and we made enough money to launch Thru My Eyes. Then the missing pieces of the puzzle were volunteers and videographers. I was very fortunate to find Robert Allen, our videographer and the heart of this organization.
COMING OF AGE: Can you tell us a little bit about the process of w making a video? Do you donate the services and videos or does a family pay for them? CARRI: When we first started, Robert and I would do presentations for social workers at various hospitals. My feeling was that if my doctor told patients about this organization, then they would lose hope and perhaps feel like death was inevitable. However, if a social worker brought up the topic, then a patient would think that they were helping prepare the whole family for the potential outcomes of illness.
Originally, we were planning on staying within a 50-mile radius of Scarsdale, but as press on our work expanded, people from all over the country started applying for our service. We were raising the funds necessary to help people leave a legacy for their families and soon our work became nationwide. Our services are free for anyone who qualifies – a person with a life-threatening illness and children under the age of 21. We waive the age requirement for first responders as we feel that they put their lives on the line every day for us. When I was ill at the age of 37, I was very fortunate to have excellent health coverage. Now however, things are very different. It was for that reason that I was determined not to charge any families, they had enough to worry about. The only paid member of our team is Robert Allen, our award-winning videographer. Sometimes, clients will donate, but more often than not, that does not happen. Once we are approached by a client in need, we send a short pre-intake form out to make sure that the client qualifies. Once this is done, and they are approved, we send out a full intake form. This allows us to personalize the video, we go over topics that the parent wants to talk about and leave others. Once we receive the form, our volunteer, Sel Shimmerlick calls, she speaks with the client, and answers all of their questions. She finds out what time of day works best for the client, and with work with that schedule. Currently, we have 65 mental health professional volunteers all over the country, so we are able to accommodate everyone. COMING OF AGE: How many videos have you made? CARRI: We have made over 300 videos. Each time we make one, we always hear the same thing: “I wanted to do this, but didn’t know how to start” or “I was worried that all I would do was cry.” We also hear “Thank you so much for helping me, I am so glad that I was able to do this for my children!” There has never been a parent who was sorry about doing this. COMING OF AGE: Could you tell us a little about the people involved in Thru My Eyes? CARRI: The inner circle of Thru My Eyes is made up of myself; our videographer, Robert Allen & our communications director, Sel Shimmerlik ; a Clinical Social Worker, Lori Weinriech who helps recruit mental health professionals for us as well as being one of our volunteer mental health professionals;
and our Vice President, Deborah Ziering - my right hand person. Our board is made up of myself, Debby, Ann Mcginnis, Paula Reckess, Evelyn Shvetz, Dr. Michelle Maidenberg, Lindsey Sichel and Aaron Rubinstein. It is these individuals who make Thru My Eyes possible and I feel blessed to be working with them. COMING OF AGE: You talk about creating a video being a little bit like taking out an insurance policy, could you explain this? CARRI: No one knows what the future will bring. The truth is that we should all be creating our videos for future generations to come. My argument is that we all take out insurance policies. Why not take one out against your disease? A diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean death. New medications are coming out all of the time. We tell people to make their video, and 4-5 years later, we are happy to come back and update their video for free! COMING OF AGE: Thru My Eyes is geared towards those parents facing life threatening illnesses, but you have expanded to offering your services to those looking to leave a legacy, including grandparents, family members, parents who are aging, et cetera. Can you tell us how this process is a little bit different?
The money is simply shrinking in the not-for-profit world. We are not a large enough organization to be able to go after grants. For seven years, I have kept us afloat through fundraisers, end of the year donations, getting auction items that we could raffle off through social media. Last year, a set of John Oliver tickets brought in $10,000! We are a perfect company to donate to because 100% of the donation goes to our mission. No one gets paid except for our videographer. We could get by on $85,000 a year. This would allow us to create more videos for families in need, pay for brochures, video equipment, technology, and stationary. Since we believe that everyone should make a video, we are hoping that the for profit side of Thru My Eyes could offset some our expenses. I have often been asked why I am so passionate about this. For the parents, we let them say all that they want to say to their children, their thoughts, and hopes for them in the future. However, for children, we give them the gift of a lifetime, we give them their parents. They get to hear their voices, see their faces, and listen to stories, and messages meant for them. They get to see how loved they were. Coming of Age: What would the process be for someone looking to hire Thru My Eyes for a legacy video? CARRI: A video costs $1,800. In order to get started, a person just needs to send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 914-725-1836.
CARRI: In order to help fund the not for profit side, we have begun helping people create their LIVING LEGACIES. Two generations from now families will hear stories about loved ones that they have never met. Imagine hearing those stories from the person who lived them? Or a grandparent may be very active when their grandchild is born, however, 20 years later, they will be different people. Having a grandparent make a video for grandchildren is so important. We have a sliding scale of fees depending on what the individual wants. We offer incorporating pictures, music and even other videos. Individuals just need to send an email to email@example.com to get the process started. COMING OF AGE: Thru My Eyes has faced an uphill battle raising funds, could you tell us a little more about that? CARRI: Carri Rubenstein
A Personal Story “When I was diagnosed with stage 4 Breast Cancer at 46 years old it was if someone pulled the rug from under me. I thought I did everything right; I didn’t smoke, drink or do drugs, and no history of breast cancer in my family. I was a mom of a 12-year-old boy and happily married to my high school sweetheart.
As you try and wrap your head around this curve ball that life has thrown you, a million thoughts run through your mind. So many things I still wanted to tell my son, so many things I still needed to teach him and be there for. I wanted my husband to know how much I wanted to grow old with him. I needed my family to know how much I loved them.
watching me tell them all the things I didn’t have a chance to say, if my time to leave had come. That video became a security blanket to me as I continued the fight of my life. I knew that my son would be able to see me and hear my voice, not just read my words on paper. And if I should pass away, then if he wanted to remember my voice he could play the video again.
When a good friend told me about “Thru My Eyes”, I pictured my son and husband sitting down and
After speaking to Carri and hearing how Thru My Eyes may have to discontinue their services because of lack of funding, I wanted to do what I could. I know how what an important piece that video is as I try to beat this. A little piece of me knows that if I should suddenly get very ill at least my family will know how much they truly mean to me and that my fight is not just for me but for them as well. My cancer will never be gone, but, with my video then a little bit of me will never be gone either.”
– Jennifer Trypaluk
Learn more at www.thrumyeyes.org
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Living Table By Sarah Jane Sandy Fall is a time when we begin to prepare for the holidays, and it’s also a time when we crave comfort food—maybe it’s something sweet like apple pie or cookies, or savory, like stews and soups. Often the comfort food we prepare is made from family recipes handed down from our parents and grandparents. Sharing a family recipe with your loved ones not only honors your ancestors, but is a gift that gives your descendents a sense of belonging, history and connection. However, it’s also important to make sure we are eating food that is as close to the way our grandmothers and great-grandmothers would have eaten it. Meaning whole, real, local and organic. Visit local farms and farmers’ markets to purchase ingredients whenever possible, and make sure you use organic ingredients when you purchase from the grocery store. Some less nutritious ingredients (like margarine, processed cheeses, or processed cans of creamed soup) can be substituted with more wholesome choices (like organic butter or ghee, organic grass-fed dairy or nut cheeses, and creamed soups made from scratch). Experimenting with nourishing foods can lead to an even more delicious result.
The following is one of my family’s favorite recipes that we make often. The original recipe called for white flour, which I’ve replaced with blanched almond flour to make it gluten and grain free. I always make sure to purchase organic, non-GMO ground cornmeal and organic, grass-fed butter:
Gluten Free Cornbread • •
• • • • • • • • •
5 tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter 1 cup medium or course organic, non-GMO ground cornmeal (make sure to get a high quality one, not the fine powdery kind) 1 cup blanched almond flour ¾ teaspoon sea salt 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ cup maple syrup 2 organic eggs, room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup organic, grass-fed buttermilk OR nondairy buttermilk, room temperature *see note 1 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put ghee or butter in a 9-10-inch cast-iron skillet and place on middle rack in oven until melted. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, almond meal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. In batches, alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk until well combined. Stir in pecans. When ghee or butter has melted in skillet, carefully remove from oven. Making sure skillet is evenly coated, pour
excess oil into batter. Mix until evenly incorporated. Pour batter into skillet and place skillet on middle oven rack. Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cornbread to cool in skillet for at least 10 minutes, then invert and cool the rest of the way on a wire rack. Enjoy! *To make non-dairy buttermilk, add 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of non-dairy milk of choice. Stir well and wait 10 minutes until incorporating into recipe.
Sarah Jane Sandy is a Functional Nutritionist and Women’s Health Expert. She works with clients remotely all over the world through 1:1 consultations, and highly innovative online programs. Sarah runs a busy private nutrition practice and is passionate about using food as therapy; to heal, to transform, to change, and to nourish. She emphasizes the importance of eating whole, real, pastured, wild caught, traditional, nutrient-dense, properly prepared foods, and believes these are the keys to unlocking one’s most vibrant self. In her clinical experience, she has witnessed the dramatic benefits of implementing simple dietary and lifestyle changes time and time again: stable blood sugar, weight loss, reduced inflammation, fertility enhancement, improved blood lipids, balanced energy levels, improved sleep patterns, reduced allergies, more efficient workouts, and much more. Please contact Sarah for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Our Business, Our Family, Our Legacy An Interview with Vincent Graziano, Jr. Written by Annie Horn As we enter the holiday season and as one more year comes to a close, we wanted to center this issue of Coming of Age on the ideas of tradition, family, and legacy. At the core of the Coxe & Graziano business are services based on tradition and respect; a family that follows their faith and honors their word; and a group of individuals that understand the importance of the integrity in leaving a legacy. In this issue, we took a few moments to speak to Vincent Graziano, Jr. As the youngest and newest family member to enter the business, we asked him to reflect on his role in the family business, the legacy he wants to leave behind, and how tradition plays a role in Coxe & Graziano services.
COMING OF AGE: Vincent, before entering the family business, you worked for the United States Government. Could you tell us a little bit about your work and what led you to return to the family business?
COMING OF AGE: For families coming to Coxe & Graziano who have a loved one who has served in the military, are their special services you provide to see that their service is recognized?
VINCENT: I worked for the United States Secret Service in Washington, D.C. and take great pride in my work for the U.S. Government. In 2013, my family made plans to expand our business and opened a funeral home in Greenwich, CT. At that time, I had a chaotic work schedule, very little time for my wife and children, and needed to re-evaluate my future. I knew how important our family business was, that my sister had joined my father in the work, and that if I didn’t make the change at that time, I wasn’t going to. After a lot of consideration, my wife and I decided to move home. I knew that working in the family business would first, give me the opportunity to have a greater stake in my future, and second, give me the opportunity to have my children grow up around their grandparents, aunt, and cousin. While I do miss aspects of my work for the Government, I have a tremendous amount of pride in what I do now and am very happy to be close to my family again.
VINCENT: Yes, we take a very active role in helping families bring personalized recognition to their loved one in all sorts of ways. For Veterans, we work with the family to obtain military honors. We work with them to see that the discharge papers are in order, we contact the local branch of the VA, and we go through the process of helping them obtain a foot stone or emblem for the grave stone.
COMING OF AGE: We’ve touched on honor, duty, and integrity, but your day-to-day work at your family business is modernizing your facilities to keep up with the ever-changing needs of today. Could you tell us a little bit about what it is that you do?
COMING OF AGE: You have dedicated years serving our country, could you tell us what service means to you and how you bring that sentiment to your work?
VINCENT: I try to teach my children to do the important things in life with honor and integrity. Working for the U.S. Government gave me the opportunity serve our country with both. My service continues in the work that I do with the families that come to Coxe & Graziano. In both businesses, I am (my family is) always on call. We are called on daily to help families with the some of the hardest moments of their life and we take great care to do this. In addition to honoring every person that comes through our door, we want the families to feel that their loved ones were well cared for
Vincent Graziano, Jr.
The best compliment we receive is when people tell me that they found peace, comfort, and love the last time they saw their loved one. It is that feeling of comfort that I would like people to remember and the feeling that we honored their family’s legacy. VINCENT: As anyone in a multi-generational family business knows, modernizing day-to-day activities can be a challenge. When I joined the business, we were expanding from two properties to three, with one being in a different town. While our methods were working, they weren’t efficient and we needed systems that were more effective. My focus today is really on the operational aspect of our business. Making sure that all of the families that come to us have the proper amount of attention; making sure that all staff can access the information needed in a timely and orderly way; and making sure that each facility continues to provide the level of service that our clients are accustomed too. COMING OF AGE: You have young children and death can be such a taboo topic, how do you discuss your work with them?
VINCENT: Well…to be honest, I try not to! My children are young and death is a complex and sophisticated topic. With that said, I have had a couple of opportunities to discuss
death with them – recently when a neighbor passed and when our family dog died earlier this year. I worked to talk to them on their level about the human experience and the cyclical nature of life. I believe that it is important to explain death to children in a way that doesn’t scare them and in a way where they understand that it is a normal part of life. COMING OF AGE: Finally, given your role and background, how would you like your “stamp” left on the Coxe & Graziano business? VINCENT: We’ve talked today about honor, integrity, and care. These are so important to my work. My family and I believe that every person has an intrinsic value and the purpose of a wake or any ritual around death is to honor that value. We treat every person with the respect, honesty, and care that the serious circumstances deserve.
Downsizing As We Age: An Essential Guide By Tim Judge
ownsizing can be an emotional challenge for many seniors, but others actually look forward to tapering down their belongings and enjoying more free time by moving to a smaller place that requires less upkeep. Some seniors are very open to the idea of downsizing and may bring up the idea themselves. However, it may be necessary for family or friends to sit down with their loved one and discuss their options when the time arrives. Approach the topic of downsizing and moving gently and compassionately. Use caution to ensure that the senior doesn’t feel like they’re involved in an intervention or being ‘ganged up on’ by friends and family. Make sure they know that it is authentic care and concern for their wellbeing that is being prioritized. After the decision has been made to proceed with the process, this guide to downsizing for seniors will help families and their aging loved ones through the process with minimal stress.
Step #1: Choosing a new place to call home For a number of reasons, the most important thing to address first when downsizing is to determine where the senior’s next home will be. Considerations must be addressed , such as whether or not the senior has memory issues, mobility concerns, their level of care-giving needs, budget constraints, the location of their loved ones and the preference of the senior. Deciding where they will move allows them to figure out just how much downsizing will be necessary. Furthermore, it may help the senior begin to feel more comfortable about the move and be far less reluctant and remorseful about the situation. The most typical options for downsizing seniors include: • Renting or buying a smaller home or condominium • Taking residence with a family member or trusted friend • Moving into assisted living • Entering into a retirement community • Nursing home facilities
It is important to keep in mind that compromises by all parties involved in the transition stages are likely to be necessary along the way to help streamline the process, and patience and honest communication will be vital to success. Also, be aware that many types of senior care facilities can customize arrangements for their services, but they may come at an additional cost.
multi-faceted process, as it is not uncommon for seniors and their families to have to tackle the piles again in effort to further reduce the keep pile. Remember, it’s a long and challenging process that will take perseverance and patience by all involved in the downsizing process.
Step #2: Make a plan & start implementing it ASAP
Once things are marked for the move when it’s possible the home should be cleared out and vacant. You will want to have an inspection done by a licensed inspector. After all, this is often a contingency of the new buyers before going into contract. This will give you a neutral party to point out the potential road blocks to a sale. You will have time to address these issues and decide whether to fix the problem or negotiate. Knowing and addressing these items will save you the frustration of last minute surprises. Consult with your local real estate professional to find out if it’s in your best interest to do any major repairs. Sometimes its best to let the new owners take on a project so they can make it their own. The happy memories you have made should stay with as just that. You don’t want your home to turn into a burden or something that is holding you back from enjoying your golden years!
As soon as it has been agreed that the downsize and move will be happening, it’s best to implement the process even before the home (if one is involved) is put on the market for sale. Lists are a downsizing senior’s friend and copies should be made for those planning to assist with the transition in any way so that everyone stays on the same page. Be sure to include the necessary steps that will help streamline the downsizing process, so the more details included on the planning list, the better things are likely to go.
Step # 3: Begin the de-cluttering & the downsizing process The core of the downsizing plan should address the primary rooms within the home like the living room, bedroom, dining area and kitchen and as these tend to have the bulkiest objects and also contain the most ‘stuff.’ Unfortunately, these rooms often tend to feature items that are both used regularly and also pieces that hold high sentimental value. It’s essential when deciding what to take on the move to know the measurements of the new living space. This can help determine how much and which items go onto the ‘take with’ list, especially concerning furnishings and unnecessary items that there may not be ample room for. Tackle each space armed with boxes or containers to separate items between five piles-- those to: keep, pass along to family, donate, sell and throw away. Once these are these tackled, plan to take to task other areas like bathrooms, garages, attics, basements and sheds etc. When seniors or their families are trying to determine which ‘pile’ and item should go into, ask the following questions until an answer guides your hand: Is it necessary? Does the senior really want it? Are their multiples of this item? Is this utilized regularly? • Is their sentimental value to the item? • Is it of significant financial value? • Will this fit into the smaller space? • Would a family member or friend appreciate the item or use it? Be forewarned, this may be a
Step #4: Repairs & Improvements
Tim Judge is a licensed real estate professional and has been assisting buyers and sellers in Westchester county since 1990. Born and raised in New Rochelle NY, Tim has called Greenwich home for the past 15 years. Tim and his wife Kimberly have five children and a Lucky dog! You can call click or email Tim@203-987-3404.com (yes that’s real ;-))
BAH HUMBUG Holidays + Grief: What an Awful Combination By Terri Agliardo When Jen Graziano asked me to write this article, at first, I was surprised, and then I felt sad. Surprised because I have never written an article before and sad because this holiday season will force me ato think about celebrating the holidays for the first time without my dad. Thus, the reason for the title of this article. It is my intention that the information contained in this piece will help you orchestrate your way through the holiday season, even if you are on the journey of grief. So, as you read this, please keep in mind that I fully understand the journey of grief, not only as a professionally trained bereavement counselor, but as a person walking this path as well. My dad died suddenly at the age of 91 on April 19, 2018. I miss him every day, especially in the evenings when we would have our nightly â€œdad and daughterâ€? talks.
You may be struck by the title of this article: Bah Humbug!!! The idea of the holidays coming to us and dealing with grief at the same time turns into what I believe is an awful combination. The Fall/ Winter holidays occur once a year, in a cluster when life is supposed to be wonderful, easy to celebrate and to enjoy. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and New Year’s Day are days which are cause for celebration but can be the most difficult time in peoples lives if they have experienced the loss of a loved one and/or any life changing experience, such as divorce, unemployment, financial loss, diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, or relocation. Each of the above-mentioned life events bring with it a grief response which is typical, but when coupled with the holidays, it becomes an challenging combination. The holiday season may cause the griever to step back in time to memories of happier moments and our loss feels even more overwhelming. The first step in getting through the holidays is to acknowledge to yourself that your life is forever changed. The holidays will be different this year and that is okay. Remember too, that sometimes the anticipation of the holiday may be worse than the actual day itself. To help you prepare and move through the holidays, I have written a few coping strategies that help the many people I work with during times of grief, and strategies that I hope will help both you and me.
Acknowledge the Loss
Sometimes in trying to cope people decide to push the experience of loss to the side as a means of getting through it. Eaach griever should admit that the loss is real and that because of the loss the holidays will be different.
Be Kind to Yourself
You can only do what you can do, no more and no less. Do not place unrealistic expectations on yourself. So, if it is your tradition to write out holiday cards, and this year you cannot – that’s okay. If you decorated your home in the past with a tree and lights outside, and you don’t want to – no one is saying to you that you must. By being true to your feelings, you are freeing yourself from what may be expected by others, but remember grief gives you a pass. No reason to do what others are doing, you need to do what you need to do for yourself. Treat yourself to something special, something that you may have always wanted but would never allow yourself to buy. Think of it as a gift to yourself, remind yourself that you are entitled to something that will make you smile through your tears.
Take Extra Special Care of Yourself
Make sure that you are healthy, see your doctor for a physical. This way you know that you will physically be in shape for the holidays. If you are a believer in having been created body, mind, heart and soul, you know that if one aspect of self is out of sync the other aspects will follow. Be careful not to overindulge in food or alcohol. Your body may not be up to handling it. Although it is very tempting to want to use alcohol or any chemical substance for that matter as a means of coping, the research has shown that grief and chemical altering substances do not mix. Raising a glass or two in memory of your love one is fine but to proceed beyond that is a mistake. Remember you are in the driver’s seat. You in control of how you will deal with the holiday. You may have had several family traditions and this year you are not really interested in participating in any of it. Be careful not to “cancel” the holiday although very tempting. You may feel that you would just love to remain in bed from the day before Thanksgiving to the day after New Year’s Day. Although very appealing, it is not very realistic. Removing oneself from the holiday entirely may be escaping not coping. You may be thinking “Wait, Terri just contradicted herself!” Yes, I did say you are in the driver’s seat, but it is not my intention for you to interpret that as drive to escape.
Have an open and honest conversation with family and friends about the holidays. Express your feelings and tell them what you would like to have happen this year. You may want to honor your loved one by beginning with a toast or making your loved one’s favorite meal. Examine previous family traditions and decide what you would like to keep for this year and those that you would like to put on the back burner for another year. Keep in mind that the other members of your family may not want to spend the holidays the way you want to. The important thing is that you need to do what you can and no more.
Create a new tradition
Sometimes holding onto the traditions of the past is just too painful, so if is the case, create something new. Talk to your family and friends about creating a new tradition. Some examples of new traditions include: - Volunteer at a soup kitchen or nursing home or a children’s hospital - Donate to a homeless shelter - Donate to a charity in the name of your loved one - Adopt a family in need - Create a memory box – put photos of your loved one, cards and drawings may be done by the children - Make a quilt with the clothing of your loved one and give it to family members so that they could have something of your loved one. Use sweatshirts, T-Shirts, shorts, pajamas, any article of clothing will do. If you do not know how to quilt, take a quilting class. Sometimes local fabric and sewing businesses will assist you with this project. You may desire to put a picture of your loved one in the center.
Do not be Afraid to Ask for Help
Throughout our lives we may encounter situations that require us to ask for help. Coping with grief and dealing with the holidays is one of those times. If you are faced with buying gifts, but have no desire to shop in a store, go online and have it sent wrapped to the person’s home. Ask a friend to help you with the purchasing of gifts. If there are children in your life, they may not understand why there aren’t any presents until the tree, so you may need to shop for them.
Join a bereavement group. Some people benefit tremendously by being with others who share your experience of the loss of a loved one. Coxe and Graziano provide an after-care bereavement program. I happen to be the facilitator of the group. Please feel free to come, all are welcomed. The bereavement group meets on Saturdays from 12:00 – 2:00pm at cost no to you. The dates for upcoming group meetings are posted on the Coxe and Graziano website. The most important thing to remember is that there is no easy way to make it through the holidays. There is no wrong way or right way, the only way is what is right for you. It is my hope that there is something within this article that will be applicable to you and your grief experience. Take care of yourself and go easy.
Terri Agliardo, Bereavement Counselor and Group Facilitator Terri is a graduate of the College of New Rochelle where she received her BA in 1977. In 1982 , Terri received her Master’s Degree from Fordham University in Religious Education. She later returned to the College of New Rochelle for her second Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling as well as a Professional Certificate in Thanatology. During the school year Terri teaches Religious Studies at The Ursuline School as she has had for the past 33 years. Recently Terri was asked to be the Religious Studies Department Chairperson. Aside from her work in Religious Studies, she is employed by Coxe & Graziano since 2004. She has expanded her work in bereavement to include crisis intervention when an emergency arises within the Westchester Community. Most recently, Terri is working towards becoming a certified pet loss bereavement counselor. She is currently enrolled in the Association for Pet Loss Bereavement Certification program. Terri looks forward to continuing her work in bereavement with those who find a loss just too difficult to go it alone.
Quality time has a whole new meaning. Dad’s condition became more complicated and we couldn’t manage it at home. Friends said the skilled nursing care their parents received at The Osborn Pavilion made a huge difference in all their lives. Now Dad has a lovely private room, and we can both enjoy our time together — just like we did before. Your quality time needn’t go away. It just moves to a new address. To learn more, please call 1-877-844-6681, or visit TheOsbornPavilion.org.
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Skilled Nursing • Rehabilitation • Memory Care
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The Osborn Pavilion is Medicare-certified and accepts third-party insurance plans and private pay. It is not a Medicaid provider. The Osborn is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization accredited by CARF-CCAC.
HONORING THOSE WHO SERVED By Jen Graziano
here are few moments in death…and life…more poignant than the playing of “Taps”. When I stand at a graveside, a funeral director positioned midway between a grieving family and the uniformed men and women who have traveled to pay homage, it is a moment where I’m forced to pause. It is a surreal experience; as if the world is still and only those moving are the ones gathered around a grave. The playing of “Taps” invokes tears and emotions as if on cue. But what is it about this ritual that moves us so instantly? What is it about military honors that can force a tear from almost any eye? I ask myself often. In my humble opinion, the moment the bugle is sounded is a validation that the person we lost is being laid to rest. This marks the end. But not the end of just any life, the life of a person who intimately knew the definition of ‘sacrifice”. What that sacrifice meant to a country is immeasurable, but what it meant to his family is far greater. The ability to put one’s country before themselves requires a selflessness that we don’t often see in modern times. Those who answered calls of duty did not just sacrifice for the years of enlistment, rather, it was an ongoing commitment to family, friends and community. The soldiers we say good bye to today, represent a generation of men, women too, that lived their life by putting others ahead of themselves. They didn’t return from battlefields and bunkers to self-indulge or recapture lost years. Instead, they married the women who long awaited their return, created families, went to work each day in their respective fields, provided food and shelter, and did so proudly and willingly. Serving country was an honor, as was serving their family. Standing around the graves of these soldiers, as the sound of “Taps” echo, are the fruits of their labor.
Often, a widow, children and grandchildren with tearful eyes and heavy hearts. They hear the sound of “Taps” and are immediately reminded of their patriarch and his sacrifices, not just through the war but throughout his life. And what is the defining mark of these great men? They did it all without complaint. The eulogies I hear often echo similar sentiments. “He gave to his family” “He was a provider” “In later years, he lived for his grandchildren” “He always made sure we had enough”. We live in a world today where highly if not overpaid athletes can bend their knee rather than stand for a flag. We live in a society where baseless and unfounded gripes turn into protests. Everyone seems to be a rebel of some sort, yet have no clue of what they are fighting for. Everyone seems out for themselves, “quick fixes” and instant gratification. As far as we have progressed as a society, there is a sadness in the values we left behind. So, for the moment when “Taps” is being played, I and many others take comfort in honoring a life of sacrifice, a life rooted in principle and a commitment to do the right thing. As I sat and listened to the priest’s Homily yesterday (thank you Msgr. Petrillo) everyone’s life comes with hardship(s) and everyone’s life requires a degree of sacrifice. That message seemed to have resonated more clearly with earlier generations. To the men & women who have served our country…thank you. To the men & women who sacrifice for their families and make sure each generation does better…thank you. The sound of that bugle will continue to move me every time as it never becomes routine. But it is yet another moment where I’m grateful for my profession, the ability to stand on the line separating life and death, and the lessons that are found there.
Leaving Your Legacy
A Gift Guide By Elizabeth Crafford, Sadie Cox and Annie Horn
Generational Imagery: Capture Your Family Generational Photo: This holiday season, give your family the gift of what makes your story unique. Jillian McAlley can help you create the most memorable photos, work with you annually and on special events to make lasting memories for your family and generations to come. Jillian McAlley, Larchmont, NY www.jillianmcalley.com
Give the gift of a legacy video. Whether you make one of yourself or you purchase as a gift for child, niece, nephew, or grandchild – you are giving someone an incredible gift to cherish forever – the face, the voice, and the messages of someone they love. Read our article on Thru My Eyes and contact them today to get started. A video costs just $1,800.
Vineyard Vines, 145 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT www.vineyardvines.com
Thru My Eyes www.thrumyeyes.org
Hair & Makeup Services for Men & Women Head to Salon O. Get you and your family looking their best this holiday season by booking your next hair and beauty service. A calming sanctuary, Salon O offers a full range of hair and beauty services, from hair coloring to manicures. Salon O provides clients with a unique and memorable experience by incorporating current trends and exceptional customer service. Salon O, 239 Mill Street, Greenwich, CT www.salono.net
Looking for your family’s matching holiday pajama sets or your festive holiday wear? Look no further than Vineyard Vines! Vineyard Vines offers high-quality, tailored, cheerful, graphic clothes across men’s, women’s and children’s sizes. Be ready for every adventure this season, with a classic and timeless look!
Through the Generations: Pieces That Matter Estate pieces and Fine Jewelry: Timeless from Betteridge This holiday, give the gift that will last a lifetime, from Betteridge jewelers. Family-owned and operated since 1897, Betteridge is committed to creating and curating new and estate jewelry and watches deigned to be as extraordinary a hundred years from now as they are today. Built on tradition and trust, Betteridge stands behind their careful work, offering quality jewelry, and behind their clients, fostering and nurturing strong relationships. Betteridge, 239 Greenwich Ave., Greenwich, CT www.betteridge.com
Jewelry Box & Related Gifts: Generational Gift Experts: Michaelangelo of Greenwich Family owned since 1979, Michaelangelo of Greenwich has been providing quality, service and dependability to its clients giving it “the most recognized name in engraved gifts.” Carefully curated gifts handled by master engravers are dedicated to producing your custom message, logo, signature, or monogram on any product. Ranging from beautiful silver plated bead boxes with velvet interiors to leather accessories for men, Michelangelo of Greenwich is your destination for the perfect, personalized holiday gift. Worried about timing before the holiday? Michelangelo’s specializes in rush service. Michaelangelo of Greenwich, 410 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT http://mikegifts.com
Customized Pieces from Eduardo Accostupa Let your dream holiday gift become a reality! Eduardo Accostupa allows you to bring your unique custom design to life through state of the art 3D software. Whether it’s new or a re-imagined existing piece, Eduardo is here to make your vision a reality through a personalized piece of jewelry. Stop by Eduardo’s to explore his unique collections including the Circle of Life collection, meant to honor the enduring continuum of human life and the unbreakable bonds of love between generations. Eduardo Accostupa, 457 Tarrytown Road, White Plains, NY
Legacy Through The Senses: The Craft of Wine Wine: Passing Tradition Down Work with your local wine store, favorite vineyards in Napa, or join a wine club to learn about all of the amazing ways you can create and leave your legacy with wine. From monthly wine shipments to purchasing special vintages on important family holidays, families of all ages (above 21) can benefit from a tradition in wine. Our favorite vineyard to bring in the hip millennials is Scribe Winery in Sonoma – give their wine club to a young family member and wait for the wine lover to appear! Our favorite local source is Terry from Horseneck Liquors – she’ll help start or add to any cellar! Scribe Winery: Sonama, CA scribewinery.com Horseneck Liquors 25 E. Puntam Ave., Greenwich, CT
Engravable Wine Buckets, Corkscrews, Stoppers, & Decanters Michaelangelo of Greenwich is still our favorite for these types of gifts. Choose from: • A variety of beverage and ice buckets that are elegant and sophisticated • Stainless steel multifunction corkscrew and stoppers •Beautiful decanter sets and glasses Engraving a special date, quote, or number adds just the right personal touch. Michaelangelo of Greenwich, 410 Greenwich Ave., Greenwich, CT www.mikegifts.com
Frames for Photographs, Collectables & Paintings Family owned since 1979, Whether it’s to preserve, showcase, and style your collectibles, photographs, painting, and awards, or a sentimental gift to show someone you love them head to J.Pocker. With extensive molding and frame selections, J.Pocker is one of the most trust worthy places to entrust your valuable collections. J.Pocker, 174 West Putnam Ave., Greenwich, CT www.jpocker.com
Fine Art Specializing in investment quality works of art by world-renowned artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, Ackerman’s Fine Arts is expert in a broad spectrum of genres providing clients the highest level of transparency, integrity, and personal service in the art world. Combining knowledge and experience with that of a vast network of scholars and art professionals around the world, Ackerman’s Fine Arts provides expert advice to private, corporate and institutional clients and assists with authentication, valuation, restoration, framing and hanging, and negotiating private sales and purchases. Ackerman’s Fine Art is committed to integrity and discretion at all times by maintaining objectivity and never receiving referral fees or commission. Ackerman’s Fine Art 2900 Westchester Ave., Purchase, NY ackermansfineart.com
Art for Kids and Families Home for the holidays? Get out of the house for a family-fun indoor activity at MADE: my art + design experience Art Studio! The studio offers pottery, canvas painting, mosaics, wet clay and private pottery wheel lessons as well as special workshops for adults and after school/summer programs for kids. MADE: my art + design experience is guaranteed fun for all ages and has all the tools necessary for you to create something unique and special! Made Art Studio 118 West Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, NY www.madeartstudio.com
Memorial Benches & Trees In the season of giving, consider making a charitable gift to the community this holiday with the donation or adoption of a memorial bench or tree. Westchester Parks Foundation offers a unique opportunity for you to honor, celebrate, or memorialize a special person or event through the gift of a tree or bench in their honor. By making a donation to the Westchester Parks Foundation, you are not only supporting the fund, but also taking an active role in preserving and protecting Westchesterâ€™s forests, parks, trails, caring for public gardens and providing horticultural programming throughout the county parks. Donors have the choice of multiple varieties of trees or bench materials to best personalize your gift. Costs include your gift of a tree or bench as well as installation, care, and a bronze plaque designed by the donors. Westchester Parks Foundation: www.thewpf.org/ support/memorial-benches-and-trees/
Commemorative Tree Program Give the gift of honor and memory for you and others to enjoy this holiday season by planting a tree. In partnership with the Town of Greenwich Superintendent of Parks and Trees/Tree Warden, the Commemorative Tree Program is designed to encourage the planting of trees on municipal lands in the town of Greenwich. Trees may be planted to commemorate service or accomplishments, in honor of or in memory of an individual or for a notable event. Following the planting of the tree, the Greenwich Tree Conservancy will provide the donors with a certificate officially recognizing the tree. Prices include the purchase, planting and administrative costs associated with the tree planting as well as a tax-deductible donation to the Greenwich Tree Conservancy. Specimen trees will more depending on selected variety. All trees will be given a two-year guarantee; in the event that the commemorative tree should fail to survive, a replacement tree will be provided at or near the original planting site.
Gifts That Heal: Essential Awakenings Essential Awakenings™ Smell and Memory Kits have been conscientiously designed for families, caregivers, and Assisted Living Communities to engage seniors in conversation, storytelling and recall of memories through the sense of smell. As Beth Liebowitz, program director of the Green of Greenwich has said, “For people with memory impairment, sensory input is a welcome thing.” Essential Awakenings™ is the first of its kind in the USA, and was specifically designed to enrich the lives of seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. “Ruth has enhanced the lives of our residents with her smelling sessions. The scents have helped them to remember special times in their lives and to discuss it in a group. It is a truly therapeutic and relaxing hour. I am grateful for Ru 20% discount on all purchases of the Essential Awakenings™ Smell and Memory Kits from now until the remaining of the year by using the code #COMINGOFAGE at the check out. Shipping is FREE. Scent Guru www.thescentgurugroup.com
Preserve the Voices, Faces, and Imagery of Your Family Photo/Video/Audio Preservation Preserve your precious and cherished photographs, home videos, audio memories, and more by transferring all occasions onto shareable DVD slideshows or photo books. This is a wonderful way to preserve family history to pass down to future generations without bulky photo albums and cassette tapes. Under the care of trained, professionals, your memories are safe with Classic Memories and are never send to third party vendors. In addition, Classic Memories offers friendly, live, customer service 24/7. Whether your memories are for personal use, to showcase your business, or to give as a gift, Classic Memories will do the work for you! Classic Memories: www.classicmemories.com
Giving the Gift of Health: Youth Preserving & Skin Safety The gift of knowledge when it comes to your skin can be one of the best gifts you can give. Teach a grandchild or niece/nephew about their skin by treating them to a visit with a dermatologist. Rejuvinate your own look or give a laser treatment as a gift to a loved one to help them feel more vibrant and youthful. If you donâ€™t know where to head, our favorite local Derm is Kim Nichols. Kim Nichols, MD, FAAD is a Harvard-trained, board-certified, celebrity dermatologist that treats for both medical and cosmetic skincare concerns. She has been recognized world-wide for her artistic expertise in administering injectables that yield natural-looking results for clients to look and feel their best. Kim Nichols, MD, 50 Old Field Point Road, Greenwich, CT www.kimnicholsmd.com
Giving the Gift of Health & Wellness: Personal Trainer Join fitness expert & trainer, Dwayne July at his private, welcoming Greenwich Studio, for his special 55 & over fitness classes. “I can’t” quickly becomes “ I can” with Dwayne’s coaching and motivation. These classes, specifically designed for this age group, allow for increased health and wellness along with mobility and strengthened muscles. Your whole body will feel energized and you will take on a new lease on life by beginning the year with a solid fitness regimen. Fit by July, 222 Railroad Ave Greenwich, CT 06830 • 203-869-1166 www.fitbyjuly.com
Giving the Gift of Travel: Crosssroads 2 Travel Traveling with your family is an incredible experience, and a gift to parents and children alike. A family vacation offers the opportunity for you to relax and enjoy some time together, all while you’re experiencing new things. One of the things that makes traveling as a family so special is that your kids will have their parents all to themselves. Work, school, and all of our other obligations can get in the way and make it difficult for families to spend quality time together. A vacation allows families to come together and enjoy each other’s company without the normal distractions and conflicts that would usually get in the way. Often times, many of people’s fondest memories are of time spent with family or experiencing something completely new and totally foreign. When you travel as a family, you can combine those moments, introducing yourself and your kids to all of the cultures, cuisine and experiences the world has to offer. There are so many different options for families of all ages to enjoy. Cruises are a great choice for multi- generational travel. There is so much to do on and off of the ship, ensuring that there is something for everyone and there is never a dull moment. If you’re looking for something more active, you may want to consider a tour of America’s beautiful national parks, or exploring some of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful cities. If you’re looking to slow things down, you can relax at a beautiful and luxurious beach resort. Parents can have some relaxing time on the beach, while kids can frolick in the waves or swim in one of the resort’s pools. With so many places out there, it may be difficult to decide where to go next. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you find the perfect itinerary to suit you and your family. Give the gift of travel this holiday season. It’s something incredibly special and unforgettable. Crossroads Travel, Larchmont, NY 914-997-2660 www.cr2travel.com
Making Your Mark Financial Tools & Techniques for Securing Your Legacy By Raymond Krause
ou’ve worked hard to build a comfortable life for yourself and your family, and you want to create a meaningful legacy that lives on for generations. An effective estate plan can help you support the people and organizations you care about most, long after you are gone. As you map out a path to achieving your legacy goals, you may benefit from the effective use of trusts, gifting strategies and other wealth planning tools and techniques.
Exploring Trusts as Part of Your Estate Plan – Trusts can be used for many reasons, the most common of which is minimizing estate taxes. There are a variety of trust structures, and the type of trust you choose to incorporate into your estate plan will depend on your goals, circumstances and assets. If you are married, there are four main types of trusts to be aware of: Property under General Power of Appointment: This type of trust pays income to the surviving spouse, who can redirect trust assets at his or her subsequent death. • Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP): Under this trust structure, net income is paid to the surviving spouse, but assets must be distrib-
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uted according to the stated wishes of the first spouse to die. • Qualified Disclaimer Trust: This type of trust may allow the appreciation of assets held in the trust between the first spouse’s death and the death of the surviving spouse to pass estate tax-free to the heirs, instead of being included in the surviving spouse’s estate. Credit Shelter Trust: Also known as a “B trust” or “Exemption Trust,” this trust structure provides income to the surviving spouse during his or her lifetime, then passes assets on to the children upon the surviving spouse’s death. Other types of trusts that may be considered as part of an estate plan include: • Revocable Living Trust: Typically used to avoid probate, this flexible structure allows the owner of the trust to make or amend terms or provisions, change beneficiaries, determine the investment of trust assets or terminate the trust at any time. • Charitable Remainder Trusts: Under this structure, the trust owner may receive lifetime income from assets in trust, which pass to a qualified charity at death. This type of trust may have significant tax benefits, particularly when funded by highly appreciated assets. • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust: This type of trust is used to hold life insurance policies, providing the trust owner with greater control over how
proceeds are used by beneficiaries. Special Needs Trust: Established for the benefit of someone who will need some level of lifelong care, this is often used to shelter assets so that the beneficiary remains eligible for public assistance.
Taking Advantage of Federal Gift and Estate Tax Exemptions – Under current law, each person has a federal estate and gift tax limit of $11.18 million. This exemption doubles for married couples. For 2018, the annual gift inclusion has increased to $15,000 for individuals and $30,000 for couples. As part of your estate plan, these exemptions can help minimize the amount of your estate that is subject to the 40% federal estate tax. However, tax laws are complex and subject to change. Working with a trusted team of advisors—including an accountant, estate planning attorney and Financial Advisor— can help you identify and implement lifetime wealth transfer strategies that help you preserve your hard-earned wealth and enable you to create the legacy you envision.
Raymond Krause is an experienced Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley in Purchase, NY. Raymond can help you define and strive to meet your goals by delivering a vast array of resources to you in the way that is most appropriate for how you invest and what you want to achieve. Working together, Ray will help you to preserve and grow your wealth. You will have access to some of the world’s most seasoned and respected investment professionals, a premier trading and execution platform and a full spectrum of investment choices.
Disclosures – Article by Morgan Stanley and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor. Raymond A. Kraus is a Financial Advisor in Purchase, NY at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). He can be reached by email at Raymond.Kraus@morganstanley.com or by telephone at (914) 225-7153. His website ishttps://fa.morganstanley. com/raymond.kraus/index.htm This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. The information and data in the article has been obtained from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. It does not provide individually tailored investment advice and has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. The strategies and/or investments discussed in this article may not be suitable for all investors. Morgan Stanley recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters. Raymond A. Kraus may only transact business, follow-up with individualized responses, or render personalized investment advice for compensation, in states where he is registered or excluded or exempted from registration, https://fa.morganstanley.com/raymond.kraus/index.htm © 2018 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. CRC 2165657 07/2018
Aging Could Spark An Allergy or Intolerance Here’s What To Do By Felicia Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, America’s Health & Wellness Expert™
t seems as though every time you are at a social gathering with food, someone volunteers information about what they avoid eating: a food or category of foods because of diet, illnesses, allergies and intolerances. Food not only provides us with the fuel our bodies need, but for centuries, it has been the way we socialize and “break bread!”
Interestingly enough, some people do develop food allergies and intolerances as they age. The most common foods that people are allergic to are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soybeans. When a person has a food allergy their body has a multi-organ systemic affect.
Food intolerances are digestive issues due to malabsorption. Some of the reasons for malabsorption are enzyme deficiency, IBS, celiac, sensitivity to food additives and stress. When it comes to enzyme deficiency, there are two big ones: lactase and diamine oxidase. Lactase is the enzyme necessary to aid in the absorption of lactose or the carbohydrate molecule found in dairy. Over time, some individuals simply do not produce enough of the enzyme. However, lactase enzyme has been available for quite some time, making the consumption of dairy products for some people, a pleasure! Diamine oxidase (DAO) is the enzyme that is necessary for degrading or neutralizing histamine. Histamine occurs naturally in many foods that are good for you; especially fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut. It is also found in wine, beer, kefir, cheese, smoked meats, vinegar, chocolate, bananas, avocado, tomatoes, eggplant, tuna and shellfish. Some people who react to wine have confused histamine intolerance with being
sensitive to sulfites. However, while sulfites can stimulate histamine release, there is no conclusive evidence that sulfites are directly responsible for wine-related reactions. It is more likely that those who react to wine are in fact reacting to histamine. Symptoms of histamine intolerance include: • • • • • • • • • • •
Flushing, hives Headaches/migraines Difficulty falling asleep, easily arousal Fatigue Hypertension Vertigo or dizziness Arrhythmia, or accelerated heart rate Difficulty regulating body temperature Anxiety Nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps Nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes/nose
Diamine oxidase works to break down histamine into inactive metabolites. Some people, genetically, don’t make enough DAO. Others produce less as they age, so the intolerance doesn’t show up until adulthood. Also, there are many medications that inhibit the body’s ability to produce DAO or block the activity of DAO in the gut. Since there is no test for diamine oxidase deficiency, or to determine histamine levels while eating, I recommend people go online and learn more at www.DAOdeficiency.org. For someone who suspects they have a histamine intolerance, taking the supplemental diamine oxidase enzyme called Umbrellux DAO, with foods or beverages that cause the reaction, can confirm the suspicion. If it works right away, then they know they have the deficiency. It’s that simple. You should never give up the foods you love if you don’t have to! Food intolerances are on the rise, with nearly 20 percent of Americans self-identifying at least one. Supplemental enzymes like lactase and diamine oxidase can help those with two of the most prevalent intolerances enjoy the foods they love.
Felicia Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, FAND, know as America’s Health & Wellness Expert™ is a registered dietitian nutritionist, exercise physiologist and expert consultant in disease prevention, wellness and healthful living. She earned her Master of Science degree in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University and her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition from Rutgers School of Health Professions. She completed her residencies at Rutgers University Athletics and ABC News Medical Unit. Stoler has served as a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University where she teaches exercise physiology, nutrition and communications courses. Stoler has extensive media experience and hosted the second season of TLC’s groundbreaking series, “Honey, We’re Killing the Kids!” which targeted unhealthy lifestyles of families, across the country, in an effort to motivate them to make positive changes. She is the author of, “Living Skinny in Fat Genes™: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great” (Pegasus, 2010), featured as a “must have” book in USA Weekend. Stoler authored the American College of Sports Medicine’s “Current Comment on Childhood Obesity.”
THE OSBORN 101 Theall Road, Rye, NY 10580
The Osborn is a not-for-profit retirement community offering a continuum of care on a park-like 56-acre campus in Rye, New York. Short-term and outpatient rehabilitation and long-term care are available in The Osborn Pavilion Skilled Nursing facility with all private rooms. The Osborn also provides excellent care for people with a diagnosis of dementia in a secure, homelike setting in the H.O.P.E. Center for Memory Care. Assisted Living offers private apartments with care management and personal care services. Spacious Independent Living apartments and garden homes are also available with a 100% refundable entrance fee. The Osborn is accredited by CARF, the nation’s only organization attesting to a continuing care retirement community’s resident-centered focus, effective governance and financial stability.
The Osborn’s stunning 56 acre campus is matched by the quality of care and exceptional staff.
The Pavilion Lounge is a warm, welcoming place to enjoy visits with family and friends.
Residents socialize and dine in the Pavilion Dining Room with a prime view of the perennial garden.
THE H.O.P.E. CENTER FOR MEMORY CARE AT THE OSBORN The H.O.P.E. Center for Memory Care emphasizes the capabilities of those affected by dementia and provides opportunities for socializing, personal expression, enjoyment of the outdoors in a secure Wander Garden, and the flexibility that is so valuable for people with dementia. The H.O.P.E. Center received an award for Senior Living Memory Care Design from Senior Housing News, honoring the beauty and suitability of this homelike residence. The Osborn is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization accredited by CARF. It is the policy of The Osborn to provide services to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, handicap/disability, blindness, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or sponsor.
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Larry Lefever Photography
Impact & Investing in Our
Community Celebrating over 80 years of providing a safety net for the Greenwich Community: Greenwich United Way
ccording to the 2016 Greenwich United Way Needs Assessment Greenwich demographics in terms of age show that 17,351 Greenwich residents or 28.4 percent are younger than twenty, while 16.5 percent or 10,068 are sixty-five years or older. Those aged 20 to 34 number 6,819 and are 11.1 percent of the population; 35 to 54 year olds at 19,217 or 31.4 percent; and 55 to 64 year olds at 7,716 or 12.6 percent. Of the total population more than 3,100 or five percent of individuals live in poverty and about 7,500 or 12 percent of individuals qualify as ALICE (asset limited, income constrained, employed). ALICE residents are only one paycheck away from finanicial disaster – earning just above the federal poverty level and are not eligible for most services. Many older adults in Greenwich choose to remain in the community as they age past 65. It is estimated that as of 2015, more than 11,000, or 17.9 percent, of Greenwich residents are 65 or older and the percentage is expected to increase to 19.9 percent by 2020. Of the 23,706 household units in Greenwich, 6,413 or 27.8 percent contain at least one adult sixty-five years or older. About a quarter of the households ages 65 and older have a household income of $200,000 or greater, while a third of older adult households have an income of less than $50,000. While older adults believe that Greenwich offers a broad array of high-quality services for them, there are still major gaps. The availability of suitable housing for residents who want to age in place is the most pressing issue. In addition, other critical needs include the availability and affordability of medical, home care, and adult day care services and transportation services during off-hours and to out-of-town locations. In the three Needs Assessments completed since 2006, older adults have expressed their concern that there will not be enough affordable and suitable housing for them to continue to live in town. The number of congregate and supervised care and skilled nursing
care beds has remained fairly static at 657 for the past 12 years. During 2016, Hill House will be adding 24 units of congregate living to its existing 37 units. Many older adults believe Greenwich needs a continuing care community. Also, older adults would like to see an increase in the supply of both more affordable low to moderate income assisted living facilities and modest, accessible single-level housing. In 2015, several major changes to the Town’s planning and zoning regulations were adopted that would both require and incentives developers to provide more affordable housing units. A true continuum of health care with coordination among community services is needed. Older adults are concerned about the affordability and availability of medical services. An increasing number of doctors will not accept Medicare or Medicaid, and concierge practices are becoming more popular. There is also a shortage of geriatricians and geri-psychiatrists. Given the aging of the population and the trend toward shorter hospital stays, there is an increasing need for home-based medical and non-medical care. Care at home is less expensive than that provided in institutional settings and 90 percent of older adults would prefer to live in their homes for as long as pos-
sible. However, agencies providing these services face a number of challenges: lower Medicare and other reimbursement rates; a shortage of aides and nurses; and changes in health care employment laws, leading to higher costs and, in some cases, the trend to staff cases with multiple aides to avoid additional costs. Research indicates that hands-on adult day care can extend an individual’s ability to remain at home for two years. Greenwich provides a broad range of transportation options for older adults and other transportation-challenged residents. However, they desire transportation services in the evenings and on weekends and to out of town locations. Most transportation options offer curb-to-curb service; however, as the population ages, older adults may require more assistance accessing their destinations with door-to-door or door-throughdoor service Health, education and self-sufficiency issues along with priority areas in responce to the Needs Assessment are discussed in detail at monthly Greenwich United Way Community Planning Council meetings. The Community Planning Council was established by Greenwich United Way to encourage the most effective and efficient health and human service delivery system for Greenwich. Comprised of community leaders, nonprofit service professionals, Greenwich United Way board members, and community volunteers, the work of the Planning Council, particularly through its periodic Needs Assessments, has led to the development of some of the Town’s most valued programs and institutions. Highlights from the meetings are available through the Greenwich United Way’s website (greenwichunitedway.org/our-approach/community-planning-council/). Last September, the Council met to talk about Older Adults: Greenwich as an Age- and Dementia- Friendly Community. During the presentation it was noted that in December 2016, Greenwich began a 5-year process to win designation as an Ageand Dementia Friendly Community by the World Health Organization and the AARP. Greenwich is the first town in the state of Connecticut to apply. There are 184 communities nationwide with this recognition.
The goal of this Age and Dementia Friendly Community designation is to improve the livability and quality of the Town across the following eight domains for all age groups: outdoor spaces and buildings; transportation; housing; social participation; respect and social inclusion; civic participation and employment; communication and information; and community and health services. One possible action plan that was mentioned at the meeting would be to increase the crossing time for red lights, which would benefit not only older adults but also young families and disabled residents. As Greenwich United Way works to meet the critical needs in the community by granting funds to programs that support the most vulnerable residents in the Greenwich community the organization has also help to launch agencies that are now partners like River House Adult Day Center. Today, River House is an accredited medical model adult day care center, open 6-days a week, providing medical support, personal care, emotional support and therapeutic recreation improving the quality of life for aging adults and those who care for them. River House is the only medical model adult day center in Greenwich. According to Connecticut’s Legislative Commission on Aging (CLCA) Connecticut is an aging state, and undergoing “a permanent and historic transformation in its demographics.” Life expectancy for Connecticut residents is 80 years of age-the third highest in the nation. Aging adults at River House benefit from the expertise of a professional staff. A person-centered care-plan is created for each day care participant and is approved by their doctors and families. River House offers customized programs designed to meet the needs of individuals with advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s. The Greenwich United Way Board of Directors approved a second grant this year for River House Adult Day Center, totaling $18,000. The grant is an extension through the Greenwich United Way Community Investment Process and was awarded on June 28. The Extension Grant will be used to support the Door-to-Door Transportation program which will offset the costs associated with transportation for Greenwich-based clients. The distribution of funds
for this program reflects the recommendations of the volunteers who participated in the 2017-2018 Community Investment Process and the Greenwich United Way Grants Committee. Other Community Investment Grants that will support programs which meet the needs of older adults in the Greenwich community include: Supermarketing for Seniors at Jewish Family Services, a free, non-discriminatory, grocery shopping and case monitoring program for homebound Greenwich seniors to ensure that clients do not “fall through the cracks”; and an Opioid Counselor at “Senior Center” for Older Adult Care through Liberation Programs. Anyone interested in making a donation to the Greenwich United Way Annual Campaign or becoming a Community Investment Process volunteer can email Senior Director of Fund Development & Operations, Jeremy Nappi (email@example.com). Visit Greenwich United Way online for additional contact information or to learn more about the critical health, education, and self-sufficiency needs in the Greenwich community and for a directory of partner agencies.
About Greenwich United Way The Greenwich United Way (GUW) shares a name with approximately 1,200 other similar organizations across the nation, although the Greenwich, Connecticut division is a privately incorporated, locally governed, nonprofit agency. As a volunteer-driven organization, the Greenwich United Way exists to help identify and address the health, educational and self-sufficiency needs specific to its local community and to create and affect meaningful, lasting solutions. Through various fundraising efforts and on-going research, the organization is able to directly grant the funds necessary to accomplish this goal. The Greenwich United Way also invests in and conducts collaborative efforts to address broad-based community needs with partnering nonprofit agencies. Visit Greenwich United Way online to learn more (greenwichunitedway.org). Instagram @ GreenwichUnitedWay Twitter @GreenwichUW #WeAreGreenwich
“We believe you deserve to feel beautiful, confident, and ready to live your best life today and everyday.” Dr. Kim Nichols is a board-certified dermatologist. She is also a lead physician trainer for Allergan; the makers of Botox-Cosmetic® Dr. Nichols has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show and Megyn Kelly-Today! Dr. Nichols launched the first ever Non-Surgical Greenwich Mommy Makeover. Schedule a consultation today!
KIM NICHOLS, MD, FAAD Board-Certified Dermatologist www.KimNicholsMD.com 203.862.4000
Graduated from Harvard University
1997 Received Doctor of Medicine degree from NYU School of Medicine
Named Chief Resident for the Division of Dermatology at King/ Drew-Harbor/UCLA Medical Centers in Los Angeles
Associate Dermatologist at Skin Specialty Dermatology, Upper East Side, NYC
Founded NicholsMD of Greenwich, a boutique dermatology in Greenwich, CT
Named “Expert Injector” by New Beauty Magazine
Awarded as one of the top cosmetic dermatology offices in the natiaon by SkinCeuticals.
Named the Official Dermatologist of The Greenwich International Film Festival
The NicholsMD Difference: Boutique Care for Beautiful Skin. 50 OLD FIELD POINT ROAD, THIRD FLOOR, GREENWICH CT 06830
Tips to Look Your Best This Winter – for All Skin Types By Kim Nichols
Wearing sunscreen, practicing proper nutrition, and being blessed with good genes are some of the top ways to ensure you look your best at any age. But let’s face it: winter can be tough on your skin. We’ve gathered the best winter tips to keep you looking your best.
General Winter Skin Tips: Moisturize: Our skin produces less and less moisture as we age. And when our complexion is dry and dehydrated, lines and wrinkles become more obvious. And when you apply makeup, it can even look worse. You don’t want makeup settling in those lines, so you want to use a good moisturizer to plump them up before applying makeup. Dr. Nichols favorites? FACE: Skinceuticals’ Triple Lipid Restore or Metacell Renewal BODY: Over-the-counter, Eucerin Intensive Repair Dry Skin Lotion LIPS: Over-the-counter, Aquaphor
Slather on the Sunscreen No, sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun -- combined with snow glare -- can still damage your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they’re exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside a long time.
Give Your Hands a Hand The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands. That means it’s harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather. This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Wear
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gloves when you go outside; if you need to wear wool to keep your hands warm, slip on a thin cotton glove first, to avoid any irritation the wool might cause. Use Aquaphor ointment on dry cracked hands at night and sleep with it on.
Foods for Skin Hydration 1. Water! Hydrate for Your Skin Health. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Drinking water helps your skin stay young looking. Water is good for your skin, and overall health. Stayed hydrated during this drying, winter season! Drink at 2. Fish like salmon – Omega 3 Fatty acids which help the skin to retain moisture and protect skin barrier 3. Nuts – Vitamin E and Omega 3s protect against oxidative damage 4. Avocado – rich in antioxidants and Vitamin E 5. Olive Oil – monounsaturated fats, Vit E, Omega 3s help retain moisture and protect skin from UV rays 6. Oysters – rich in zinc which is anti-inflammatory and helps to build collagen and strengthen the skin.
Looking for a custom regimen? Visit Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Kim Nichols. Dr. Nichols is a Harvard-trained, celebrity dermatologist and founder of the Greenwich dermatology Boutique: NicholsMD of Greenwich.
Keeping It In The Bloodline By Sal Di Costanzo
typical estate plan will leave your assets to your spouse, if any, and then to your children. Leaving assets to children gives rise to many considerations. For instance, if the child is a minor, you do not want assets passing to that minor child outright. Even if the child is over the age of eighteen, there is a widely accepted sentiment that most children should not take total possession and control of an inheritance until they are somewhat more mature in age. Often, an estate plan will not leave assets to children outright but rather through a trust until the child reaches a certain age. These trusts are usually referred to as underage beneficiary trusts.
A typical underage beneficiary trust provides that the childâ€™s inheritance will be maintained in trust until certain ages. Usually, the trustee of the trust is authorized to distribute the assets of the trust to the beneficiary in staggered amounts, for instance, one-half upon the child attaining twenty-five years of age and the balance at thirty. You can tailor these distributions to your liking. During the term of the trust, the trustee can distribute the assets of the trust to or for the benefit of the child for any reason, in the discretion of the trustee. Often a close family member will serve as trustee of the trust. While the underage beneficiary trust described above is very common, it does not address other concerns that are becoming more and more prevalent in todayâ€™s society such as divorce, debt and lawsuits. Since the assets of the trust must be distributed to the beneficia-
ry upon attaining certain ages, the assets will become exposed to the beneficiary’s creditors regardless of the child’s maturity once the assets are distributed. Thus, there is a risk that that your estate may be lost to your child’s divorcing spouse or other creditors. If these are matters that concern you, the solution may be to leave your assets to your children in a trust that does not terminate upon reaching certain ages. This is commonly referred to as beneficiary controlled trust. A beneficiary controlled trust allows you to “control from the grave”. In a beneficiary controlled trust, the beneficiary can also be the trustee of the trust. The trustee/beneficiary can have the power to distribute the assets of the trust to himself/herself for his/her health, maintenance, education or support. This is referred to as an ascertainable standard and as you can see, is very broad. There can be a co-trustee who is independent with the power to access the trust for your child’s benefit above and beyond your child’s health, maintenance, education and support. Your child can even have the power to remove and replace the co-trustee. Upon the child’s death, the trust can continue for your grandchildren under similar terms and conditions. These types of trusts are often referred to as Dynasty Trusts. By maintaining the assets in trust under the beneficiary controlled trust scenario, you are providing your child with a certain degree of access and control over their inheritance while also sheltering the assets from your child’s creditors. In a typical marriage, a child will receive an inheritance and co-mingle those assets with their marital assets. Once that happens, the assets are subject to division in a divorce proceeding. If the assets are held in a beneficiary controlled trust, this is avoided. Moreover, the assets of the beneficiary controlled trust cannot be reached by other creditor types. While there are many reasons why a client may prefer to leave assets to a child outright or in trust that terminates upon the child reaching a certain age, consideration should be given to the asset protection benefits of a beneficiary controlled trust to contemplate unforeseen issues.
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Salvatore M. Di Costanzo is a partner with the firm of Maker, Fragale & Di Costanzo, LLP located in Rye, New York, and Yorktown Heights, New York. Mr. Di Costanzo is an attorney and accountant whose main area of practice is elder law and special needs planning. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a frequent author and lecturer on current elder law and special needs topics. Since 2013, Mr. Di Costanzo has been selected each year by the rating service, Super Lawyers as a New York Metro leading elder law attorney. He can be reached at (914) 925-1010 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his practice specific website at www.plantodayfortomorrow.com.
Elder Law, Estate Planning & Special Needs Attorney Practice areas primarily focused on: Medicaid Planning Special Needs Planning Planning for Home Care Planning for Nursing Care Wills,Â Trusts Medicaid Applications Guardianships and Estates Asset-Protection Planning
350 Theodore Fremd Avenue Rye, NY 10580 Tel: 914-925-1010 Fax: 914-925-1011
2074 Crompond Road Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 Tel: 914-245-2440 Fax: 914-245-7403
Selected since 2013 as a New York Metro Area Super Lawyer -Past Chair of the Westchester County Bar Elder Law Committee -Member, New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section Executive Committee -Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
www.plantodayfortomorrow.com email@example.com 47
FOR OVER 20 YEARS, ONE FUNERAL HOME HAS STOOD ALONE. ONE FUNERAL HOME HAS EXISTED SOLELY FOR THE JEWISH COMMUNITY. NO CONGLOMERATE AFFILIATIONS, NO SHARED FACILITIES, JUST A COMMITMENT TO SERVE IN A WAY NO OTHER FUNERAL HOME CAN. OUR FIRM REPRESENTS A TEAM OF KNOWLEDGEABLE PROFESSIONALS WHO PROVIDE PERSONAL SERVICE AT LOWER COSTS.
ZION MEMORIAL CHAPEL 785 E. Boston Post Road 914-698-5968 XXX[JPODIBQFMDPN
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Vinc en t Gra zi a no The Rossini brothers, Tommy, Jake, and Looney, are a product of the old neighborhood. Born in Manhattan’s Little Italy in a cold-water tenement and surrounded by mob influence, each sought to escape in his own way. But sometimes life and Ponzi schemes throw you a curveball, and you find yourself back where you began. Thirty years after breaking away from Mulberry Street, Tommy Rossini, fresh back from Arizona after being wiped out by Bernie Madoff, finds himself sharing his old room with Jake, newly returned from Miami and yet another failed business venture. Living with their aging mother and her caregiver while dodging the landlord and the local mob boss wasn’t exactly in the plan. And brother Looney, a nine-to-five worker happy with his dinner-at-six and bed-at-ten life in Staten Island, isn’t looking for any more family turmoil either! Still, all three, and matriarch Maddie, find themselves back together, in the center of a plot involving the death of the local monsignor, a hospital embezzlement scheme, a bloodthirsty Mafia don, and a parrot who might just know the way out of it all.
PRAISE FOR FAMILY JEWELS
With humor, love, intrigue, and a whole lot of brotherly repartee, this tale of sibling rivalry and sibling bond shows that home is where the heart is--and other body parts, too!
“Vincent Graziano’s return to Little Italy in The Family Jewels is another love letter to that wonderful neighborhood, laced with equal parts comedy, suspense, and family” ~Kevin Egan, author of Midnight, named “Best Book of 2013” - by Kirkus Reviews
Available on Amazon 51
WHEN PEOPLE WISH FOR THE COMFORT OF A DEDICATED, KNOWLEDGEABLE AND TRUSTED FAMILY, THEY THINK OF ONE NAME
When people wish for the comfort of Greenwichâ€™s most spacious, modern and beautifully designed facility with immeasurable comforts provided, they go to one place
Hamilton Ave For it is there where you can turn in lifeâ€™s most difficult moments and expect a level of service beyond compare. It is there where your trust can be safely placed.
$09&(3";*"/0'6/&3"-)0.& The Family, The Facility, The Commitment to You For locations and more information, visit WWW.COXEANDGRAZIANO.COM )BNJMUPO"WFOVFtt(SFFOXJDI $5tJOGP!DPYFBOEHSB[JBOPDPN
Conversations that matter. Time to Talk with Jen Graziano WEDNESDAYS 9:30AM ET
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