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Financial Considerations for Remarrying Later in Life Retirement: What You Need to Know if You Continue Working Happening Place: Golden Spot in Canandaigua

55 PLUS Issue 20 March / April 2013

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Mark Cuddy Nearly two decades as the creative brain at Geva Theater

Switching Gears Local boomers reinvent themselves in second careers

Pickleball

A mixture of tennis and ping pong, sport grows in popularity


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55 PLUS - March / April 2013


PLUS

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Real Estate 8 11 GENERATIONS Savvy Senior 10 • Father and son have performed Financial Health 14

together for the past 11 years

16 Long-Term Care 41 NEW HORIZONS

• Baby boomers reinvent themselves in second careers

20 ACTION

• Pickleball, a mixture of ping pong and tennis, is becoming more popular in Rochester area Last page: A Q&A with Coach Michael Rapone of Notre Dame High School.

21 ANSWERS

• NY Connects: A one-stop souce for baby boomers

24 COVER

• Mark Cuddy: the creative brain behind Geva Theater

55 PLUS Issue 20 March / April 2013

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

CONTENTS

Got a story idea? editor@roc55.com

����������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������� Happening Place: Golden Spot in Canandaigua

55 PLUS

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March / April 2013

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Mark Cuddy Nearly two decades as the creative brain at Geva Theater

��������������� Local boomers reinvent themselves in second careers

����������

A mixture of tennis and ping pong, sport grows in popularity

36

38

30 HAPPENING

• Golden Spot in Canandaigua a haven for fun-loving 55-plus set

32 SINGING

• The Rochester Chorus sweet alternative to barbershop quartets

34 DANCING

• Rochester women rediscovering the beauty of ballet

36 RETIREMENT

• Former Judge John Ninfo very active after life in the court

38 SERVICE

• Born to fight fire: Jack DeLisio March / April 2013 - 55 PLUS

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from the

editor

Upgrades to 55 PLUS

T

More color, better paper starting this issue

he print media is going down the drain, correct? Newspapers are shrinking and some are cutting back on the number of issues they produce as is the case of the paper in Syracuse, The Post-Standard, which is now delivered to subscribers only three days a week. Magazines are folding — remember Newsweek? US News & World Report? Not in print anymore. The general feeling is that print media is doomed. So why are we at 55 PLUS making a major upgrade, adding color in every page and printing the magazine on a glossy, expensive paper far superior than the previous format? Aside from our passion about publishing a quality magazine, the answer is, we feel encouraged by readers, advertisers and the results of a recent audit. • Readers: The feedback we have received has been tremendous. Readers like the content, the format and the fact that it’s a free publication. As soon as we distribute an issue, it disappears from the more than 1,000 drop-off locations in a matter of days. We have to keep replenishing most locations in order to keep the magazine available to the public. • Advertisers: Over the last few years we have been able to maintain and increase the number of advertisers. This is a tough job in a soft economy, but advertisers like the fact this is a magazine with a very defined target — active adults in the Rochester-Finger Lakes area (the fastest growing population in the region). Advertisers also like the shelf life of the publication, two months, which means their ads are out there for a long period of time. They also like the fact 55 PLUS is available 24/7 in most Wegmans 6

55 PLUS - March / April 2013

stores in the region. • Auditing: The Circulation Verification Council, a reputable auditing company based in St. Louis, Mo., did an audit of our distribution and a survery of our readers. The results are impressive. Each edition of 55 PLUS is read by more than 60,000 readers, most of them (61 percent) females and most of them reasonably affluent — households with income above $75,000. More than 50 percent of our readers attended and have graduated from college, and tend to keep an issue of 55 PLUS for a month or longer. In a survey with readers, CVC said readers are likely to buy products and services that are advertised in the publication. Another important finding: Nearly 90 percent of our readers fall into the age group between 55 and 74. The exact figures: 39 percent of readers are between 55 and 64 and 36 percent are between 65 and 74. In other words, advertisers who want to reach baby boomers don’t need to waste money on general interest publications that reach too broad of an audience. We reach baby boomers, almost exclusively. We’re encouraged by all this and we believe in adding value to our product. Publishing a magazine that is visually more attractive and with strong content tends to attract more readers and, we hope, advertisers will follow. We’re also helped that the vast majority of boomers remain loyal print media readers and favor that format over online news. We want to give them more reasons to stick with print media, although they always have an option to visit us online at roc55.com

55PLUS Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

Associate Editor Lou Sorendo

Contributing Writers

Deborah J. Sergeant, Ernst Lamothe Jr., Deborah Blackwell, Lynette Loomis, Jay Scott, Jessica Youngman, Debbie Waltzer, Todd Etshman, Jeanne Gehret

Columnists

Jim Terwilliger, Susan Suben Jim Miller, Julia Furano

Advertising

Jennifer Wise, Donna Kimbrell

Office Manager

Laura J. Beckwith

Layout and Design Chris Crocker

Cover Photo

Chuck Wainwright

55 PLUS –A Magazine for Active Adults in the Rochester Area is published six times a year by Local News, Inc., which also publishes In Good Health–Rochester–Genesee Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper.

Health in good

Rochester–Genesee Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Mailing Address PO Box 525 Victor, NY 14564 Subscription: $15 a year © 2013 by 55 PLUS – A Magazine for Active Adults in the Rochester Area. No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. Third class postage paid at Syracuse, NY. Permit Number: 3071

How to Reach Us P.O. Box 525 Victor, NY 14564 Voice: 585-421-8109 Fax: 585-421-8129 Editor@GVhealthnews.com


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March / April 2013 - 55 PLUS

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real estate

Affordable Living For Seniors 55/62

By Julia Furano

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55 PLUS - March / April 2013

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s “ e m p t y n e s t s y n d ro m e ” becoming a thing of the past? According to The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 survey “America’s Families and Living Arrangements,” you might want to hold off from converting your kid’s childhood bedroom into that relaxation room that you have always dreamed of. Now more than ever young adults are moving back home with mom and dad after college. Baby boom generation, meet the “boomerang generation.” They move out, they move back. After a couple of weeks folding their laundry, doing their dishes, and picking up after them, you might be asking yourself, “How can I get them back out again?” There are a couple of options. Plan A: Kick them out and hope they land on their feet. However, with rent looking more like mortgage payments these days, you are probably apprehensive to kick your child out and watch them throw their money away every month. So let’s turn to Plan B: Look like a hero and help set them up in a first-time homebuyer program. The major factor that prevents young adults from buying and investing in their first home is closing costs. But it does not have to be that way anymore. There are now a plethora of programs to help assist first time homebuyers. For example many local lenders can help get your son or daughter set up in a 4-to-1 matched savings program. In other words for every $1 saved, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York will match it with $4 (maximum of $7,500). That’s basically free money to help get your child get out of your house, and into their own. In addition, The city of Rochester’s home purchase assistance program grants up to an additional $3,000 to first-time home

buyers who are income eligible and meet the program requirements. Lastly, a buyer’s agent can negotiate seller concessions, giving the buyer cash back toward closing costs. There are a lot of programs out there; it is just a matter of finding one that works for your son or daughter. Like any first-time home buyer your son or daughter is probably full of questions. Where do I start? What do I want in a house? What factors should I be thinking about? The list of first-time home buyer worries is endless. One of the most important steps in buying a home is to find a real estate professional that understands your son or daughters needs. You wouldn’t hire a math teacher to teach history, nor should you hire a Realtor that does not understand the needs of first-time homebuyers. Buying a home for the first time can be scary and maybe stressful at times too, but it should be a fun and exciting experience for your child as well. A real estate agent good with first-time homebuyers will not only help guide them, but share and encourage their excitement as well. So next time your son your daughter strolls down to the “dining hall” (a.k.a. your kitchen), introduce them to the idea of buying their first home. Encourage your son or daughter to enroll in a first-time home buyer program. Oh, and of course get your contractor on the phone so that you can begin converting your kid’s childhood bedroom into that long awaited relaxation room! Julia Furano is a real estate agent at Magellan, Inc. Real Estate and Relocation. She specializes in working with first-time homebuyers. Contact her via email at Julia@1magellan.com or via phone at 585-329-6066.


my turn By Bruce Frassinelli

Enjoy Your Life After all, we’re still here

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hen the world did not end, as the Mayans allegedly predicted in December, I came back from the mountaintop with my suitcase. If I were to be one of the chosen few when the end came on Dec. 21, I at least wanted to have a fresh change of clothes and some toiletries. Not knowing if I were one of the chosen ones to make the journey to another, happier place, I didn’t know how long this Mayan journey might take. After all, I didn’t want to be disheveled and unshaven when I arrived. Well, as we now know, just as Harold Camping had miscalculated in May 2011, the end-of-the-world predicted by the Mayan calendar also was a bust. Camping is the 90-year-old retired civil engineer who built a multi-million-dollar nonprofit ministry based on his end-of-the-world predictions. Later, Camping said he miscalculated and that the world would end in October 2011. Well, that didn’t happen either. OK, let me pinch myself: Yep, I’m still here. No earthquakes, check. No tornadoes, check. No volcanic eruptions, check. No tsunamis, check. No plagues, check. No super meteors hurtling toward earth from secret hiding place, check. Yes, there was Hurricane Sandy, but, heck, that was nearly four months ago. And, most annoying, no Mayan sightings. Before my trek to the mountain — I wanted to be in a location that was clearly visible if the Mayan god were seeking me out, because I knew he wouldn’t have much time — I set my wristwatch to U.S. Naval Observatory Time. I wasn’t sure what timepiece the Mayan god is using these days. (I secretly hoped it wasn’t an hourglass, because those damn things are so imprecise.)

While I was on the mountaintop, it was dark and cloudless, and the wind was brisk and biting. Off in the distance, I could hear a chorus of voices shouting, “Hela, hela” — Mayan for “we’re here.” I realized others must be seeking visibility, too. They must have seen the winds as signs that the prophetic beginningof-the-end was imminent. I saw a plane, which had taken off moments earlier from the local airport, pass on its ascent to cruising altitude. I briefly wondered whether the Mayan god might have chartered an airliner to pick up the faithful believers. If he had, I didn’t get the message. I silently cursed myself for not having friended him on Facebook or tweeted him to confirm my whereabouts. As the big and little hands of my Mickey Mouse watch hit the 12, I held my breath and strained my ears. Nothing. Friday, Dec. 21 had come to an end, and it was now officially Saturday morning. A couple of minutes went by. “Hela, hela,” came several voices in the distance, not quite as loud this time, probably because there were fewer of them; the others had left. Confused but relieved, I got into my car and drove home. Now, I had to figure out how to get the suitcase back into the house without my wife seeing it. No such luck. “Where were you?” she asked with much annoyance. When I told her, she looked at me incredulously. “Are you serious?” she asked. “I’m going to bed.” Bruce Frassinelli is the former publisher of The (Oswego) Palladium-Times and an adjunct online instructor at SUNY Oswego. You can contact him at bruce@roc55.com

Boomers Zero In on Health at Aged 50 and 65, Study Says

B

aby boomers’ interest in health issues peaks at about age 50, wanes after that, and then peaks again near age 65, according to a new study. The findings may help doctors and other health professionals target boomers with health messages when they’re most receptive to hearing them, according to the Ohio State University researchers. Their study, based on a survey of nearly 500 Americans aged 45 to 65, found that people in their late 40s had the lowest levels of interest in health issues. Interest rose rapidly after that and peaked in the early 50s, then dropped slightly and flattened out during the rest of the 50s and early 60s. Another peak was seen near age 65. The study is the first to identify specific age points when people are most interested in health issues, said study lead author John Dimmick, an emeritus associate professor of communications at the university. The peak interest in health issues when people are in their early 50s is likely due to what they hear from their doctors and the media. “Fifty is the age Americans are told they need to undergo a variety of health screenings,” Dimmick said in a university news release. “For example, people are often told that they should get a colonoscopy, mammogram and — until recently — a PSA test for prostate cancer when they turn 50.” “People start really paying attention to their health when they are encouraged to get all of these various screening tests,” he noted. March / April 2013 - 55 PLUS

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55 PLUS - March / April 2013

55 Plus | 2.25"W x 4.75"H | release 10/05/2012

Financial Considerations for Remarrying Later in Life

etting remarried later in life can actually bring about a host of financial and legal issues that are much different and more complicated than they are for younger couples just starting out. Here are some common problems and some tips: • Estate planning: Getting remarried can have a big effect on your estate plan. Even if your will leaves everything to your kids, in most states spouses are automatically entitled to a share of your estate — usually one-third to one-half. If you don’t want to leave a third or more of your assets to your new partner, get a prenuptial agreement where you both agree not to take anything from the other’s estate. If you do want to leave something to your spouse and ensure your heirs receive their inheritance, a trust may be the best option. • Long-term care: You may be surprised to know that in many states, spouses are responsible for each other’s medical and long-term care bills. This is one of the main reasons many older couples choose to live together instead of marrying. Staying unmarried lets you and your partner qualify individually for public benefits, such as Medicaid (which pays nursing home costs), without draining the other one’s resources. But if you do remarry and can afford it, consider getting a long-term care insurance policy (see longtermcare. gov) to protect your assets. • Real estate: If you’re planning on living in his house or vice versa, you also need to think about what will happen to the house when the owner dies. If, for example, you both decide to live in your home, but you want your kids to inherit the place after you die, putting the house in both names is not an option. You may also not want your heirs to evict him once you die.

One solution is for you to give your surviving husband a life estate, which gives him the right to live in your property during his lifetime. Then once he dies, the house will pass to your heirs. • Social Security: Remarriage can also affect the benefits of many d i v o rc e d o r w i d o w e d s e n i o r s (especially women) who receive Social Security from their former spouses. For instance, getting remarried stops divorced spouse’s benefits. And getting remarried before age 60 (50 if you’re disabled) will cause widows and widowers to lose the right to survivors benefits from their former spouse. Remarrying at 60 or older, however, does not affect survivors benefit. For more information, see ssa. gov/women. • Pension benefits: Widows and widowers of public employees, such as police and firemen, often receive a pension, which they can lose if they remarry. In addition, widows and widowers of military personnel killed in duty may lose their benefits if they remarry before age 57, and survivors of federal civil servants that receive a pension will forfeit it if they remarry before 55. If you’re receiving one of these benefits, check your policy to see what the affect will be. • Alimony: If you are receiving alimony from an ex-spouse, it will almost certainly end if you remarry and might even be cut off if you live together. • College aid: If you have any children in college receiving financial aid, getting married and adding a new spouse’s income to the family could affect what he or she gets. To get help with these issues, consider hiring an estate planner who can draw a plan to protect both you and your partner’s interests. Also see elderlawanswers.com.


55+

generations

Forget the Gap Four decades between father and son haven’t prevented them from playing music together for the past 11 years By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

S

am Nicolosi’s musical collection is a piled-up mix of records and CDs, while his son, Ted, listens to most of his music on an iPod. Sam, 61, enjoys relaxing and watched MeTV featuring classic shows from the 1950s to 1980s, while Ted, 20, prefers streaming instantly to view current movies and television shows through Netflix. There is always going to be a generational gap between fathers and their sons. But the four decades between them haven’t prevented them from playing beautiful, cohesive music together for the past 11 years. Shared Genes has graced area jazz lounges, clubs and restaurants with instrumental music from The Beatles to Acoustic Alchemy. During Sam’s last three years at Xerox as a mechanical engineer, he started teaching his son how to

play the guitar—at age 5. Soon the passion for music wasn’t simply flowing in one direction. Ted would call his father at work and leave mini guitar solos on his voice mail and then hang up. Then when Sam’s job was shipped to Mexico, thus giving him unplanned extra time on his hands, he came up with the idea of them casually playing around Rochester in 2001. It began in small coffee shops when Ted was 9 years old, in fourth grade, while his father was 50 years old. Before you know it, they started playing every weekend and it snowballed to as many as four times a week during their peak years. “At first, peoples’ reactions were funny,” said Sam. “They wondered what a little kid was doing here on stage, but for me, I just saw it as a night hanging out with my son.”

What makes the pair even more amazing is that neither considers proficient in reading music so that requires them to memorize many pieces. They accumulated hundreds of songs on their play lists throughout the years. At 10 years old, Ted taught himself to decipher a book of songs from the group, Acoustic Alchemy. “I was just amazed because 10 years before, I had taught him how to play guitar and now he was showing me how to play songs from my favorite group,” said Sam.

Powerful mixture In a twist of fate, three years later they opened for the group in Rochester. Acoustic Alchemy even let them play some of their songs on stage as the opening act. Sam calls his son the pure artist of the group who has an March / April 2013 - 55 PLUS

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Shared Genes is the name of the father-andson duo that has graced area jazz lounges, clubs and restaurants. The father, Sam Nicolosi, has performed with his son, Ted, since Ted was 9.

ever-growing thirst for musical knowledge. He used to play an instrumental song on CD when his son was 6 months old to help him a nap. When he got older, Ted showed his father how to play that same song on guitar. “Somehow the song just got 12

55 PLUS - March / April 2013

embedded into his head when he was a baby,” said Sam. “It’s never too early to expose a child to music.” Despite playing the same instrument, father and son also differ in the way they play. The elder Nicolosi uses a flat pick style, which involves using a pick held between two or three fingers to strike the strings. Ted is a finger style guitarist, plucking the strings directly with the fingertips. “It’s really interesting to hear us play,” said Ted. “Our contrasting styles are something you don’t hear a lot.” Since honing their craft, Shared Genes has played several live radio

events including WBZA 98.9 The Buzz as part of the Sunday Night Shakedown program to the Brother Wease Show. “Playing live does add some pressure by playing to one or two people in the studio, but having thousands of listeners at the same time,” said Sam. During his early exposure to guitar, Sam oriented Ted to the same things he knew when he was young. They bonded by watching old school television programs like “The Lone Ranger,” “Mr. Ed,” “Mayberry RFD” and “Leave It To Beaver” before turning in for the night. They also listened to Tommy Emmanuel, Glen Campbell, Foreigner and Peter Frampton. Ted averaged playing five hours a day early on, which has been reduced nowadays due to his hectic college schedule.

Major stress buster With all this background, some might wonder why Ted decided against majoring in music at Rochester Institute of Technology.


During Sam Nicolosi’s last three years at Xerox as a mechanical engineer, he started teaching his son how to play the guitar—his son was 5. It’s a simple, sensible reason that showcases his true affection for the art. “Life can be very stressful, especially going to college,” said Ted, a junior. “Playing music has always been my one stress release when things get frustrating and overwhelming. If I was a music major and it became a source of stress in my life, then I could no longer use music as my stress reliever.” The pair both joked separately that they haven’t beaten each other up yet even after more than a decade of playing together so frequently. “There are always going to be some tense moments whenever you spend a long period of time with someone, but I don’t really have any friends that have the kind of bond with their parents or especially their dads as I do, and I just appreciate it,” said Ted. And while their cultural differences remain the same, the pair that often gets told they look like twin sons of a different mother also has a lot in common. They both are science-oriented: Sam in mechanical engineering and Ted in bio-medical. When Ted graduates next year, they will both be alumni of Rochester Institute of Technology. They both played high school sports, Sam pinning opponents on a wrestling mat and Ted using his feet to avoid defenders in soccer. And of course, their undeniable love of music. “I was always told do what you love in life and you will never have to work a real day, which is pretty good advice,” said Ted. “If I hated playing music, I would be miserable and I wouldn’t really get the enjoyment I have for the last 15 years. I plan on playing music until the grave.”

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      

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financial health By Jim Terwilliger

Working Into the Retirement Years Some financial aspects you need to consider

M

o re a n d m o re f o l k s these days are working beyond, sometimes well beyond, what used to be considered the standard retirement age of 65. Recent changes in full retirement age for Social Security are consistent with this trend — age 66 for workers born between 1943 and 1954, ratcheting up to age 67 for those born in 1960 and later. Continuing to work provides multiple benefits relative to having enough money to last through 20-30 years or more of ultimate retirement. Doing so: • provides additional cash flow to the household, delaying the need in many cases to access the retirement nest egg; • allows for additional nest egg accumulation through continued savings and growth of investments; • reduces the number of years that the nest egg must support an ultimate retirement; • may allow one to defer taking Social Security retirement benefits, resulting in an 8 percent increase in monthly benefits for each year of deferral up to age 70. Other, non-financial factors also are at play here. Many times, continuing to work enhances a person’s quality of life, particularly if that person enjoys work and the daily mental/social stimulation that comes from it. In addition to the benefits listed above, let’s explore some of the other options and opportunities available to folks who decide they want (or need) to work through their late 60s and into their 70s or even 80s.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) While minimum distributions 14

55 PLUS - March / April 2013

are required for traditional, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs and previous-employer 401(k)/403(b) plans after reaching age 70-1/2, the same is not true for plans associated with a current employer. If you are still working, participating in a current employer plan, and are not a 5 percent or greater owner of the company, RMDs are not required! Better yet, some employer plans accept rollovers from previousemployer plans and IRAs. A good strategy here is to roll all such accounts over to the current employer plan and avoid all RMDs, if household cash flow allows. This can continue for years until you retire for good, allowing more time to let this consolidation of pre-tax money appreciate. After leaving the workforce permanently, 401(k)/403(b) RMDs must then start. This is true for both Roth and traditional employer plans. The nice feature about a Roth employer plan is that once rolled over into a Roth IRA, RMDs are no longer required. As we all know, the same is not true for a rollover into a traditional IRA.

Retirement Plan Contributions As long as earned income continues and income limits are not exceeded, contributions to traditional IRAs may continue to age 70-1/2, beyond which point contributions are off-limits. Contributions to 401(k)/ 403(b) plans, SEP IRAs, and SIMPE IRAs, however, may continue if still working. You also can continue to make Roth IRA contributions regardless of age, provided there is enough earned income to cover the contribution and modified adjusted gross income does not exceed a given limit. If married and working, you can make Roth IRA contributions for you and your non-working spouse, provided your

earned income is equal to or higher than the total amount contributed.

Health Insurance If you are still working at age 65 and beyond, there are some choices to be made regarding health insurance. Assuming the company employs 20 or more people, there are two choices: • Continue with the employer’s plan. In this case, you should not enroll in Medicare Part B at age 65. If the plan is a standard full plan, enrolling in Medicare Part A is fine, but the employer plan is your primary insurance. If you qualify for Medicare, Part A is free. If the plan is a high-deductible plan, you also do not want to enroll in Medicare Part A. You cannot participate in a highdeductible Health Savings Account (HSA) if enrolled in Part A. • Enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. Supplement with a Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage included or a Medicare Supplement Plan and separate Medicare Part D coverage for drugs. Both types of plans are available through local insurers, such as MVP or Excellus, at a very reasonable additional cost. Choose the plan that works best for you in terms of cost and coverage. Be aware that Medicare Part B, and more recently Part D, premiums are indexed to household income. As we always advise, be sure to partner with a trusted financial planning professional to help chart your course through working-beyondage-65 waters. James Terwilliger, CFP®, is senior vice president, Financial Planning Manager, Wealth Strategies Group, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. He can be reached at 585-419-0670 ext. 50630 or by email at jterwilliger@cnbank.com.


Social Security

Q&A

Q: What’s the easiest way to apply for retirement benefits?

A.

The easiest way to apply for retirement benefits is online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline. It’s easy and secure. You can complete it in as little as 15 minutes. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if we need more information. You also can apply by calling our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Our representatives will make an appointment to take your application over the telephone or at a local Social Security office.

Q: How can I get an estimate of my retirement benefits?

A.

Use our online retirement estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. There, you can enter certain identifying information about yourself, including your name, date of birth, Social Security number, place of birth, and mother’s maiden name. If the personal information you provide matches our records, you can enter your expected retirement age and future wages. The online application will combine your earnings data Social Security has and provide you a quick and reliable online benefit estimate. You can even enter different “what if” scenarios to find out what your benefits will be in different situations. A Spanish-language retirement estimator is available at www.segurosocial. gov/calculador. In addition, you can obtain your online Social Security Statement, which provides estimates of future benefits as well as a record of your earnings to make sure your past earnings are reported correctly. Find the online statement at www. socialsecurity.gov/statement.

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55+

new horizons

Switching Gears

Some baby boomers reinvent themselves in second careers By Lynette M. Loomis

A

s baby boomers contemplate retirement, many consider creating a new identity or reinventing themselves. For some people, retirement is a chance to “re-career” and pursue opportunities they may not have been able to pursue earlier in their lives when mortgage payments and college tuition were at the forefront of their financial planning. We found several 55 Plus readers who moved into new careers and are now able to “work from the heart.”

From utility company to the arts Lydia Boddie-Rice has always been active in the community. She served on a variety of boards including the Rochester Broadway Theater League, Women’s Council, and Rochester Community Baseball, Inc. She has also served as an adviser to Urban League of Rochester and Home Care of Rochester and was elected as a commissioner for the Rochester Board of Education. But raising two girls as a single parent until she remarried demanded her focus on generating a substantial income and fiscal independence. Her 14-year career at Rochester Gas and Electric provided the means to support her family and provided educational opportunities for her daughters. With rampant changes in the 16

55 PLUS - March / April 2013

Lydia Boddie-Rice has been an artist her entire life. After she left Rochester Gas and Electric she jumped to new opportunities. Since last year she is the CEO of Young Audiences of Rochester, a nonprofit arts-in-education organization which recently merged with ArtPeace.


Says Boddie-Rice with a laugh, “I am a lobal leaper. Using both sides of my brain positions me as a unique ambassador for arts integration. I can balance a budget and doodle at the same time.” She found her new role in July 2012 as CEO of Young Audiences of Rochester, a nonprofit arts-ineducation organization which recently merged with ArtPeace. For over 50 years, Young Audiences has been the premier provider of arts learning experiences in the Greater Rochester area. It provides Boddie-Rice with the organizational platform to match her passion, skills, and talents. “Working with artists, educators, parents, and students I am transforming my life and experiencing my own renaissance. It is my true pleasure to influence the infusion of the arts into education

Chris Pulleyn‘s successful transition from an ad agency executive to a marriage and family therapist shows that people can pursue passions at any stage in life. at one point her ad agency grossed $28 million. utility industry, her daughters grown and gone and positioned in successful careers, it was time for her to follow where her heart has always been, the arts. She is an artist whose specialties include mixed media collage, digital scrap booking and calligraphy. She is married to Greg Rice, who designs one-of-a-kind steel sculptures and metal art. Seizing the opportunity to take a “paid leave of absence,” Lydia determined that she wanted to use her expertise to raise awareness and appreciation of all forms of art and in particular, advocate for arts integration.

Dick Bennett taught social studies for 35 years in the Greece Central School District, sharing with his students the nuances of other cultures. He changed gears after his retirement. He is now a photographer. Shown here is Bennett capturing the landscape in Burma on a humanitarian mission.

and create a pathway to learning from cradle to college and careers. Through this new endeavor, I feel that I have arrived,” she said.

From ad agency executive to therapist For more than 20 years, Chris Pulleyn persuaded people. She was the co-founder and later the sole owner of Buck & Pulleyn, a full-service advertising agency in Rochester. The agency made the list of Rochester’s fastest growing businesses three times, and at its peak grossed $28 million. Pulleyn

was the Athena Award recipient in 1989 and was a role model for many aspiring young woman professionals and well respected by her peers. And then she was ready for a change. “I was always interested in what motivates people—after all, that’s the foundation of great advertising,” she said. She started as a copywriter at Leo Burnett at the age of 18, during the “Mad Men” era. But after a total of 40 years in the field, she wanted to apply this interest to helping people rather than companies. March / April 2013 - 55 PLUS

17


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Senior Housing Fair Saturday, April 13th 2013 11:00am-2:00pm Seymour Public Library

131 East Ave. Brockport, NY 14420 Hilton East Assisted Living is hosting their first annual Senior Housing Fair. Don’t let the stress of planning senior housing arrangements for you or a loved one keep you from exploring your options! If you have any questions please contact: Amber Leonard at 585-392-7171 ext. 305 If unable to attend, please contact us and we would be happy to send out any packets of information that may interest you!

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This meant going back to school at a time when most many people eagerly await retirement. “Frankly, the only problem I had in going back to school was taking the GREs (Graduate Record Exams) at 60. It had been a long time since I had thought about quadratic equations, and I had to do some serious studying for the math test,” she said. ‘Otherwise, it was wonderful, even though most of the students were a decade younger than my own children. There was one other older student in the program and we both enjoyed the benefit of our gray hairs the first time we stepped into a therapy room with an older patient.” Pulleyn forged ahead in a new field buoyed by the same drive and energy with which she had pursued new clients and steady business growth for her company. She received a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the Institute for the Family at the University of Rochester Medical Center, which took two years. It took another year to become licensed in New York state. Was it the right career move? “I love working with individuals and couples to help them identify their strengths, clarify for themselves what’s important in life, and begin to approach each day accordingly. Where I am now is exactly where I am meant to be,” she said.

From classroom to a mission Dick Bennett taught social studies for 35 years in the Greece Central School District, sharing with his students the nuances of other cultures. So when he retired in 2009, he decided he would like a more personal view of life through the camera lens. “Though I always had a camera and took pictures, particularly of my sons, I had no formal education in photography,” he said. So as he prepared for retirement, he began to network with other photographers and took adult education classes in photography. He networked with photographer Chris Kogut, who has conducted humanitarian trips to Burma for several years. Bennett


signed up. Burma is going through incredible political and economic change and there is great poverty in the country. The group took 706 pieces of clothing for Burmese children, as well as personal hygiene supplies and toiletry supplies. Kogut collects items throughout the year for the trip. One traveler, a pediatrician, also took medical supplies. Bennett recalls: “Someone suggested at one of the first meals that we have the restaurant give us a ‘doggy bag’ of all the leftover food and give it out to someone we saw on our travels. Initially our guide didn’t understand why we wanted the leftover food packed up and said, ‘We don’t do that here.’ However, once he understood why we wanted to do it, he was in agreement and successfully explained our purpose to the restaurant what we wanted. “One morning, when we knew we would travel to one of the poorest villages, we stopped at a market and bought supplies that included rice, vegetables, wok

pans, balls that could be used for play by the children, and a few rugs for floors. One cannot help but be touched by the appreciation of these beautiful people for the very things we as Americans take for granted,” he added. Kogut developed a special relationship with one of the novices at a monastery after she took a photo of the young man. Each time she sells that image, she sets aside the money from the sale until the

next trip to the monastery so she can deposit it safely in his grateful hand. Through their photography, Bennett and Kogut are able to share the challenges facing Burma with other Americans and raise funds to help move the Burmese people a little farther away from poverty. Lynette Loomis is a certified coach, marketing consultant and freelance writer who has reinvented herself several times during her career.

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55+

action

l l a b e l k c Pi An Active Choice for Seasoned Competitors By Jay Scott

T

here is a court game that is sweeping up players by the thousands across the country with a name borrowed from a dog named Pickle. Pickleball is like tennis, but on a smaller court. It’s a little like ping pong, without the table. And it’s kind of like badminton, but played with a plastic ball. “The workout is great, it’s social, it’s just a fun game,” said Steve Essler, 68, of Fairport. “And, it’s very competitive.” The sport was created about 40 20

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years ago, the legend goes, by two families desperate to play tennis in a town of too many players trying to play on too few courts. So in an inspiration of ingenuity fueled by necessity, they drew up a court on a driveway, and played tennis with paddles, a badminton net and a plastic ball. The name of the sport, it is said, came from a cocker spaniel that ran away with the ball when it bounced off the court. Pickleball is a slick combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong.

Joann Evans (left), 53, of Ontario, Wayne County and her doubles partner Steve Essler, 68, of Fairport, return serve in a heated game of pickleball at the Eastview YMCA in Penfield. Like many local players, Evans and Essler began playing the game that combines tennis, ping pong and badminton all in one sport for the exercise and the competition. It is played with the dimensions of a badminton court. The height of the net is 36 inches from the ground at each pole and 34 inches in the middle. The racquets have solid faces like a paddle and are made of composite materials wood or plastic in a wide range of colors. The balls are made of plastic and look like whiffle balls. The rules of the game are much like tennis, except there is a “no volley zone,” a line seven feet from the net where you can’t hit the ball unless it hits the ground first. The team that scores 11 points, and two more than


the other team first, wins. Pickleball players say the game is simple to learn, but is still very competitive and heart-pumping. And it is a good game for older adults because the ball, paddle and dimensions make for a fast-paced game that does not require a lot of running. “I never played tennis. Never played badminton. And never played ping pong,” said John Brincka, 72, of Fairport. “It’s an easy game to pick up and it’s great for seniors as long as you have eye and hand coordination. The distance that you run is not that much.”

Pickleball Served Up Daily Pickleball is growing in popularity. A decade ago, there were just a few courts and a handful of players in the area. Many people discovered the sport while in Florida while on vacation or nesting at their winter home. The United States Pickleball Association estimates there are more than 100,000 active pickleball players. The leagues and courts are becoming more common at community recreation centers and at local YMCA facilities. The Eastside YMCA, in Penfield, offers court time several days a week and on weekends. Brincka began playing at the Eastside YMCA two

Nancy Swank of Pittsford (front) smashes a shot back across the net for a point during a doubles pickleball match at the Eastview YMCA in Penfield. Swank began playing the sport in the fall after seeing others playing in the Eastview gym and loves the game because of the competition and the workout. years ago. “I saw them playing here and I had heard of it and I just wanted to try it,” he said. “It’s easy to pick up and you work up a sweat.”

Low Cost, Big Fun Unlike golf or tennis, pickleball is an inexpensive sport. Paddles cost

Three or fours days a week pickleball courts are set up at the Eastview YMCA in Penfield for a growing number of players. The popularity of the sport is catching on across the country with new leagues and courts opening at local recreation centers, town parks and YMCA facilities.

between $20 and $100. The balls are less than $20 for a dozen. Online you can also purchase home pickleball sets for between $120 and $300. Learning the rules and jargon of the game is also a breeze with the click of the mouse on the Internet. The USA Pickleball Association has an extensive website complete with rules, a listing of local ambassadors and instructional videos. The site is www.usapa.org. Nancy Swank of Pittsford began playing in June and in six months she has become a respected player on the court. She said she researched the game online and found a number of websites with rules, tips and videos. “Some of the girls were talking about pickleball and I had never heard of it,” she said. “So I came to the YMCA for a spin class and saw people playing and I just went for it. I bought a racquet, went on YouTube and watched a video on tips.” Richard Hencel, 68, of Webster, began playing pickleball about four years ago in Florida. In the summer he plays in an outdoor league in Webster and in the winter at the Eastview YMCA. “I love the game,” he said. “It’s a good exercise, it’s competitive and it really gets you going.” March / April 2013 - 55 PLUS

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NY Connects: A One-stop Source for Care Services Program helps people navigate through long-term care services By Jessica Youngman

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hortly after the elderly Rochester woman became a widow she moved into a new apartment. Soon after, her health began to fail. She told her loved ones she felt like she was living in a fog. “She wasn’t ready for skilled nursing but she needed more supervision and more help,” said her caretaker and friend, Bob Fox. “She had been getting services from a lot of different sources but it wasn’t really coordinated.” Fox knew she needed help.

He turned to E l d e r s o u rc e , a Rochesterb a s e d program that helps seniors and their caregivers navigate the often confusing litany of long-term care options, everything from meal and transportation services to skilled nursing homes. Fox didn’t know that by placing the call he was utilizing a relatively new

Get Connected NY Connects is a free information and assistance service that is available to older adults, individuals with disabilitiesand their families to help make informed decisions about long-term services and support options. Most counties in New York have a local program supported by state and federal funds. To learn more, visit www.nyconnects.ny.gov or call your county‘s NY Connects office. The numbers are: Genesee: 585-343-1611 Orleans: 585-589-3102 Livingston: 888-443-7520 Wayne: 315-946-5624 Monroe: 585-325-2800 Wyoming: 585-786-6119 Ontario: 585-396-4040 22

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state program called NY Connects. Up and running for just over six years, NY Connects is the result of a partnership between the state Office for the Aging and the Department of Health. It’s available in most New York counties and is most often operated through their respective offices for the aging. In Monroe County’s case, however, NY Connects is administered by Eldersource. NY Connects hasn’t so much changed what long-term services are available or what agencies like Eldersource and offices for the aging do to serve the public. Instead, it has streamlined the process for obtaining information about various long term care options, explained Laurie Pferr, deputy director for policy at the New York State Office for the Aging. She said it was formed out of “a desire to take what is a very complex system…and make that more consumer friendly.” “It has assisted in alleviating confusion in trying to access services and understand what’s available and what the options are,” Pferr added.


Ten years ago Fox would likely have had to make at least a half dozen calls to places like the Social Security Administration, the Rochester Housing Authority and the Monroe County Office for the Aging to get the information and support he needed for his loved one. He said his experience with NY Connects “was like one-stop shopping for a senior’s needs.” NY Connects is not just for senior citizens, though they make up the majority of those served in the 59 counties where it exists. It’s for anyone 18 and up with long-term care needs, Pferr explained. Those under 60 who need support are referred to trained NY Connects workers in other agencies, such as the Department of Social Services. Eldersource’s Leanne Rorick said her 28 staffers handle roughly 14,000 inquiries each year. All are under the auspices of NY Connects. Some callers want to know how to get hot meals delivered a few times a week. Some need help navigating their health insurance options. Some need rides to medical appointments.

Some just want to talk. “Every call that comes to us is handled differently depending on the wants, wishes, likes and needs of the person that is talking to us,” said Rorick, the assistant director for operations. Cinde Priano echoed her sentiment. She’s one of two trained NY Connects workers at the Ontario County Office for the Aging. “We have a vast network of resources to connect people to,” said Priano, a caregiver services coordinator. “Some people just want a phone number. Some people don’t know who they get their aid service from so I have to do a little sleuthing. We get a lot of people who call in a crisis, unfortunately.” In those instances Priano tells callers to see a health care professional before making major life decisions. Case in point: Sometimes callers are panicked that their loved one is showing signs of dementia, which can be triggered by an easily treatable urinary tract infection. Christine Peck, assistant director

for clinical services at Eldersource, said plenty of callers are overwhelmed by housing options. After trying to find assisted living or skilled nursing housing on their own, caregivers and receivers are often overwhelmed. “And so then, when the call finally comes in to us, there’s a relief in knowing we can explain what the different levels of care are,” she said. “We we can really help point people in the right direction. “I really feel like we’ve done a great job of reducing a lot of anxiety and stress.” Such is the case for Fox. Working with a caseworker at Eldersource he was able to help better coordinate long-term care services for his elderly friend. The woman is now on a waiting list for an assisted living center she helped choose. “The approach they take is not to put out the fires,” Fox said of Eldersource and the NY Connects program. “They help you through a decision process — they don’t just throw solutions at you. … I found that very refreshing and warm.”

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Stage Presence

Mark Cuddy leaves indelible mark on the world of theater in Rochester By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

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n the middle of his freshmen year at the all-boys Boston Latin High School, Mark Cuddy was summoned to another teacher’s homeroom class. He walked into that room with a little trepidation because the teacher was known around the school as a tyrannical little guy who instilled fear in the hearts of young men. That teacher, who had dabbled in acting himself years before, saw Cuddy read a few proclamations at school assemblies and believed he had a certain unrealized talent for the stage. Here was a school with no arts program that pounded into its students the importance of math, science and the lost language of Latin. And here was an adult recommending he look into the humanities, even putting him in touch with the people who ran the Boston Children’s Theater. The lure of live storytelling, interacting with a diverse background of people and being around girls was too strong for the young teen to resist. “You have a bunch of people forming together as a family to focus on one shared story, something that provides a catharsis. Outside of church, I am not sure where that 24

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happens on a regular basis,” said Cuddy, 58, of Rochester. “Acting was clearly something inside of me that I didn’t know existed. I was hooked.” That began the story of Cuddy’s ascension into the acting world. Since 1995, Geva Theater Center has been under the artistic direction of Cuddy. Officials said he’s led the theater organization through a renaissance of artistic and institutional growth. This has been done with a combination of diverse production repertoire, wide-reaching educational programs and a commitment to new play development. This season, he once again went into directing, putting together his own adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” as well as co-directing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Among his many other Geva credits are “The Music Man,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Fences,” “Five Course Love,” and the world premieres of “Convenience,” “Theophilus North” and “Famous Orpheus,” with choreography by Garth Fagan. “Mark has made an incredible contribution to Geva as its artistic leader for 18 seasons. And for many of those seasons, he was also the sole executive leader,” said Tom Parrish, executive director of Geva

Theater Center. “He has led the theater through incredible artistic and institutional growth, including the growth of the audience, the expansion of the repertory and the building of our second stage.” At first, it took some convincing for young Cuddy to persuade his Irish father that he wasn’t wasting his time. His father was a lawyer and the first family member to attend college. Debuting as Noah’s son in the play adaptation of “Noah’s Ark,” Cuddy felt a jolt of excitement on stage. He later helped build scenery and immersed himself in theater after high school graduation. He worked at two different theaters, one from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and another from 6-11 p.m. While acting, he truly began appreciating the grand ability for someone to write words onto a page that immediately stirred an emotion. “Many famous authors have tried and failed when they tried writing a play because it takes a different kind of talent,” said Cuddy. “Being a playwright is a particular craft that not everyone possesses.”

The selection process Cuddy is in the middle of selecting Geva’s next range of plays, musicals and other theatrical performances.


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Mark Cuddy at the Geva Theater, 75 Woodbury Blvd. in Rochester. The process starts in October with a big, slow progression that gains steam after a small group of people read through manuscripts as the impending deadline approaches. In the corner of his office lies a brown-papered board with the names and dates of previous productions along with the upcoming season. It’s juxtaposed by a nearby whiteboard listing more than 20 plays and musicals being considered for next season. Some of the unlucky plays are crossed out in orange marker, failing to make the cut, while selected plays 26

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that will be featured on the grand stage are highlighted with a red box placed around their names. Selecting the right play that will connect with an audience can be very hit or miss. People tend to have an instant reaction and response when it comes to theater compared to other artistic mediums. “Just like you are not going to like every painting you see or every book you read, you are not going to like every show you attend. And for some reason, there are people that if they don’t like a play, it might take them

a long time before they are willing to give theater another chance,” said Cuddy. “But it’s not like if you hated a particular novel, painting, movie or song, you would stop going to art museums, reading books, going to the movie theater or listening to music. That’s what makes the theater so challenging.” At the end of the day, he enjoys stories showcasing how people react to situations and the world around them with dialogue or music that leaps off the page. He looks for intriguing storylines that are unpredictable and


55+ sometimes hard to pull off. The risk is worth the reward. “We look for a diversity of productions and try to take some risk, some which audiences have thanked us for and others that didn’t work as well as we hoped,” said Cuddy. “Either way, we never survey people asking them what kinds of plays we should have here. A chef at a restaurant doesn’t ask patrons what should be on the menu. You just trust that he or she knows what they are doing. At the end of the day, we want to give the audience a full, appetizing meal to digest.”

Honing his craft When it came to his latest directorial production, “A Christmas Carol,” he wanted to take a deeper, physiological journey into the mind of Ebenezer Scrooge. Engaged to a young woman and madly in love, Scrooge found himself in an all too-familiar, even present day situation. He allowed his work life to poison his romantic life. Scrooge delved into his career and soon replaced his relationship with the false, golden idol of being financially successful at work. When you know his early background, it creates a bigger payoff in the end when he realizes the wrong path he took. “I wanted to show what turned a nice young man into the person who shut himself off from the world,” said Cuddy. “He was a man with a broken heart and we all do different things when that happens. For him, the experience turned him cold.” Before coming to Geva, Cuddy spent 1979-1995 honing his craft on the West Coast. He served as artistic director of Sacramento Theatre Company, producing director of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and on the directing staff of the Denver Center Theatre Company. He learned how to manage large groups of people and put on theatrical performances. “There is something about a live production that brings excitement because you don’t know what is going to happen. You don’t know how the story is going to be told, and even if

you have read the book or seen the play someplace before, you don’t know what changes will occur and what you might discover the second time,” said Cuddy. “Then there’s the social aspect of getting away from our computers and actually interacting with others, and seeing people who maybe you only see when you run into them at the theater.” In his West Coast office, he relished a sign from his father that read, “If you are being run out of town, get in front of the crowd and make believe it’s a parade.” The off beat humor also was a sign that his father supported him and believed his son had the talent to pull off whatever he wanted. Others would soon find out what his father already knew; that his son did well in the things he adored. “Mark combines his love for theatre and his understanding of our community with his artistic talent and

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strategic thinking to provide for the future of Geva,” said Sergio Esteban, a Geva Theater Center board of trustee member.

A new East Coast adventure After being on the West Coast for decades, Cuddy and his family were looking for a new endeavor. Having a wife who not only understands your artistic sensibility but engulfs it herself helped create a very creative family. He has been married for 25 years to Christina Selian, who teaches crafts to children in their Highland Park home and sometimes designs costumes for Geva productions. Their older son, Maximilian, 24, taught English in South Africa and is part of the Teach for America program in Philadelphia. And their youngest son Augustus, 18, is a senior at the Rochester School of the Arts where

Geva brings theatrical art to Rochester Founded in 1972, Geva Theatre Center is a nonprofit, professional theatre company dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre productions, programs and services. A s R o c h e s t e r ’s l e a d i n g professional theatre, Geva averages about 170,000 patrons annually, including more than 16,000 students. The 552-seat Elaine P. Wilson Mainstage is home to a wide variety of performances, from musicals to American and world classics. The 180-seat Ron & Donna Fielding Nextstage is home to theater organizations’ own series of contemporary drama, comedy and musical theatre; Geva Comedy Improv; Geva’s New Play Reading Series and the Hornet’s Nest, an innovative play-reading

series facilitating community-wide discussion on controversial topics. Geva moved into its present home in the historic Naval Armory Building 1985. This season, Geva will reach a landmark total of 500 fully produced plays since its foundation in 1972. To date, the organization has produced 339 Mainstage productions, 48 Nextstage productions and 110 Improv productions. Also, Geva has presented about 312 play readings since its inception. A total of 4,800 actors, directors, musical directors, designers and stage managers have worked at the theatre. Geva has contributed over $200 million in economic activity to the community and will sell its 4 millionth ticket in the spring.

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Cuddy with Tom White, a craftsperson in the costume shop at Geva. They are discussing some of the design concepts for an upcoming show that Cuddy is co-directing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. he enjoys creative writing and acts in school plays. Max was a passionate child, while Augustus was more shy and elusive so it’s surprising that the latter will probably major in theater in college. 28

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Cuddy valued the importance of a balanced education later in life and he wanted to instill in his children the desire to learn for learning sake. He is encircled by books lying on shelves built over his head in his office.

“Christina and I wanted our children to have a well-rounded education. We put so much pressure on kids today,” he said. The unpredictable, creative gene in Cuddy’ body also brought him to becoming the artistic director in Geva 18 years ago. Cuddy and his wife, who was then pregnant with their second son, were ready to leave the West Coast. Without a job in hand, they got into their Jeep Cherokee, packed up young Max, and took a tour of America. They stopped at the Grand Canyon, saw mountains and the Midwest, all while applying for jobs throughout the United States. He got a call from Geva, made it through the semi-finals and finals, which was a face-to-face interview in Rochester. “Being a Boston man and raised to hate everything about New York City, I am still surprised I found my way to eventually live in this state,” said Cuddy. “At first, I didn’t know how much I would like Rochester, but the more you live here the more you appreciate the friendly community, the beautiful landscape and the higher quality of life you experience.” He also enjoyed living in a smaller city where you get to know the people who patronize the plays, instead of being an artistic director in a theater in Manhattan where tourists see more Broadway plays than the locals. For a man who enjoys the high, unpredictable drama of a live performance, he believes the foundation of success is balance and stability. That’s the reason he has the same daily routine. When he wakes up, he does various rounds of stretches. Because he doesn’t have a deep desire to work out, he maintains his thin frame by eating the same healthy breakfast, snack and lunch every day. He credits a clear, precise lifestyle for helping him deal with being artistic director, which is anything but routine. “I believe if I start my day right then I can do anything and handle anything throughout the day,” said Cuddy.


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t o p S t o H

Golden Spot in Canandaigua a haven for fun-loving 55-plus set By Jessica Youngman

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he prizes have been laid out: two Teddy bears, large-print suspense novels, a pair of see-through piggy banks and what amounts to a few weeks’ worth of grocery staples—everything from canned stew to a bag of rice. The players take turns checking out the bounty before the big game begins. Game boards are handed out. The announcer takes her place. Competitors give each other the once-over. It’s 12:25 p.m. on a recent Friday and the bingo game is about to begin at the Golden Spot Senior Center in Canandaigua. “I just come to cause trouble,” announces contestant Pat Cooper. Effa Reed, who is two seats away, can attest to that. “She usually throws my cards on the floor,” she says. 30

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“That’s why I’m sittin’ over here!” Laughter erupts. While there’s plenty of ribbing, these twice weekly bingo games are all in good fun. In fact, as player Laura Rouse points out, hardly any of the 40 or so who turn out go home emptyhanded since, after the first win, “you forfeit your prize.” Bingo is just one of the dozen or so activities that keep the Golden Spot bustling most every weekday, all year long. There are ceramics classes, knitting sessions, and even occasional field trips. Housed in the Salvation Army building on Saltonstall Street, it has been serving senior citizens for as long as anyone can remember. “I call it my second home,” said Laura Philley of Shortsville, who proudly claims to be the most senior of the regulars at “88-and-a-half.” Not everyone is so happy to share

Laura Rouse of Crystal Beach has been a member of the Salvation Army since she was 8. She joined after meeting the organization’s “soldiers” on an “open air street corner” in her childhood home of Carthage. She’s shown seated between Flo Busby, right, the selfproclaimed trouble maker, and Effa Reed.

their age. Marlene Pierce, the bingo announcer, declares, matter-of-fact, “We have all spring chickens.” But, three tables over, Flo Busby hollers, “We’re antiques!” And, just how long has she been coming to the center? “Forever!” she said. More laughter. Philley can’t remember when she first started attending. Nor can Calla Shanks, 85, of Victor. It was sometime, she said, “after my husband passed.” That was in 1991.

Hot spot for seniors The Golden Spot is a place for seniors to practice a hobby and get a hot, nutritious lunch courtesy of the Ontario County Office for the Aging. But above all it’s a place for camaraderie and laughs—a warm spot on a cold winter day.


About the Golden Spot The Golden Spot Senior Center is located at the Salvation Army, 110 Saltonstall St., Canandaigua. Activities are planned for folks 60 and older every weekday and lunch is provided by Ontario County Office for the Aging’s nutrition program. A donation of $2.50 is suggested for hot meals, though no one will be turned away for inability to pay. Activities are offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. Offerings include bingo and card games, ceramics, and blood-pressure checks. For more information, call 585-394-6968. Just ask Pierce. She and Liz Ridgway oversee the day-to-day operations of the center. “I love everything about it,” said Pierce. “I don’t even include this as a job. I wouldn’t care if I didn’t even get paid.” “I like good humor,” she added. “I laugh a lot.” Most folks at the center know each other on a first-name basis. But newcomers are always welcomed, even a 30-something writer with a funny-looking camera and too many questions.

On this particular Friday afternoon the lunch crowd was all women. Well, except for Kodak retiree Paul Duerr. He didn’t seem to mind the ratio so much, though he’s no bachelor—his wife of almost 54 years was proudly seated next to him. The Duerrs are an exception. Most who come to the center are widowed and live alone. One regular attendee always arrives at least five minutes before the front door is unlocked, at 8:30 a.m. She opens the blinds, makes the coffee, and, if it’s a bingo day, sets up the prize table. The prizes are donated from the Salvation Army’s food pantry and by the participants themselves. Sometimes the woman even brings a duster to spiff up the place. She’s a favorite of staffer Vera Lambert. “We have so many seniors that need this place,” said Lambert, a receptionist and volunteer who has held almost every position in the building. “A lot of us have depression, including myself.” Lambert lost her husband suddenly years ago. Since then, she said, the senior center has been a “Godsend.” She began to talk about the tough times, only to be interrupted by a woman’s boisterous laughter. It came

Marlene Pierce is more than just the bingo caller at the Golden Spot Senior Center. She’s a staffer for the Salvation Army who helps oversee the center’s daily operations. from the bingo room on the other side of the building. The game had just gotten under way. Lambert couldn’t help but smile. It was Pierce’s laugh—she’d know it anywhere, having heard it so often. “I tell her she’s going to live forever,” said Lambert. “Laughter is good for your heart.”

The conversation is always lively at the Golden Spot Senior Center in Canandaigua. Topics during lunch on a recent Friday included everything from travel to supermarket sales. Seated from left are Calla Shanks, Paul Duerr, Jean Childs and Laura Philley. March / April 2013 - 55 PLUS

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Cut Above the Rest The Rochester Chorus is a sweet alternative to barbershop quartet By Deborah Blackwell

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he traditional barbershop quartet is typically made up of four men with mustaches and straw hats. It is comprised of a lead, a tenor, a baritone and a bass who usually carries the harmonizing tune. But the Rochester Chorus of Sweet Adelines International delightfully defy tradition with wonderful sounds of an all-woman chorus, and is one of the longest-standing singing groups in the Rochester area. “The Rochester Chorus began in the 1950s as an a cappella chorus that sings in four-part harmony, and is part of Sweet Adelines International, one of the largest women’s nonprofit singing organizations in the world,” says Sue Melvin of Greece, director of 32

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the Rochester chorus. Made up of women from Monroe, Livingston, and Ontario counties, whose ages range from 27 to 80, the Rochester chorus rehearses each Thursday evening at the Brighton R e f o r m e d C h u rc h F e l l o w s h i p Lodge Building, 805 Blossom Road, Rochester. They then share their perfect harmony throughout the region performing, competing, and even providing singing telegrams for special occasions. “We perform songs of all different eras from the ’30s to the present,” says Melvin. “It runs the gamut from A to Z. Regardless of your musical tastes or age group, there is something for everybody.”

Sue Melvin, director of the Rochester Chorus, leads the group in song as they warm up for their holiday concert this past November at The Legacy at Clover Blossom, a senior living community in Brighton. Rochester chorus members bring a variety of backgrounds, professions, and abilities to the group. With a diverse range of talent, personality, skills and knowledge, the entertainment capacity is unlimited. Melvin said she enjoys directing the Rochester chorus and is not a stranger to the barbershop quartet. A second-generation barbershop singer since the age of 8, Melvin grew up surrounded by a cappella style. Her father, Jim Read of Rochester, was a member of the Chorus of the Genesee, from the Barbershop Harmony Society, the men’s counterpart of Sweet Adelines International. He is now retired, but the group remains active in Rochester. Melvin, a former banker, is now a full-time musician.


In addition to the Rochester Chorus of Sweet Adelines, she is also part of Rochester Rhapsody of Harmony, Inc., and participates in a competitive a cappella quartet called Fusion. “It’s all a lot of fun, it’s joyful,” says Melvin. Melvin says a cappella is not the easiest thing to sing, but with practice and the help of her music team, including leaders in the group, most women are successful. The Rochester chorus holds auditions but there is no requirement to read music, only a propensity toward singing and some prior singing experience, she says. The goal is for members to be able to sing their parts with three others in a cappella style.

A ‘positive plus’ “Joining this chorus has been such a positive plus in my life. There are many musical and administrative learning opportunities, and Rochester chorus continually challenges me as a singer to move to a higher level of vocal quality,” says Irma Sieg of Irondequoit. “Also, the camaraderie among the members, as well as the support for one another on both musical and personal levels, cannot be compared with any other organization I have belonged to.” That is part of the local group’s goal and as an international organization. Sweet Adelines’ choruses offer the rewards that come not just from a positive and challenging vocal education through practice, performance and competition, but also from the sisterhood that forms between members. The international organization includes nearly 23,000 members across five continents who make up a worldwide community of friends. “I love being a part of the Sweet Adelines. The weekly fellowship with like-minded women is wonderful, but the tangible benefits are even better,” says Maggie Wegman of Greece. “The musical education, training and practice every week to improve vocal production, proper breathing and performance skills is priceless. I always leave rehearsal feeling energized and elated, no matter what kind of day I’ve had.” The Rochester chorus performs regularly at festivals, charitable and

sporting events, senior living facilities, and other venues throughout the community. It competes annually in a three-day regional competition with other Sweet Adeline organizations f r o m N e w Yo r k a n d O n t a r i o province in Canada. Winners go on to compete at the annual international competition. Sweet Adelines also does singing telegrams—when a group quartet surprises recipients with a personal greeting—as part of its fundraising efforts. Other funding comes through performances and dues paid by members. Melvin says the dues are minimal and the rewards are great, including the vocal education offered as part of the group. Many of the singers have been members in Rochester for decades. “We have had members who have been a Sweet Adeline for 30 or more years, and we have others who joined only a few months ago,” says Melvin. “The commitment is what the individual wants to do. We have weekly rehearsals and do on average one performance each month.”

A melodic experience The Rochester chorus welcomes women who enjoy singing, love performing, and want the experience of singing with a worldwide community offering training and educational opportunities. Interested women can call Melvin to arrange visiting the group during weekly practice and discuss auditioning. Potential members do not have to sing alone, but will audition with others in the group.

In January, Sweet Adelines held a Global Open House event along with other groups both nationally and internationally. There was a brief demonstration, refreshments, and the opportunity to learn about the group and ask questions. “The neat thing about this event is that so many other Sweet Adelines’ choruses around the world are all doing it at the same time,” says Melvin. “It’s an interactive program, a combination guest night and workshop.” Melvin said she hopes women who came and enjoyed the open house would consider joining this unique entertainment group. Sweet Adelines’ large network helps contribute performance ideas, and members can participate in workshops and training programs available in production, choreography, directing, music arrangement, and more. And of course, there is fellowship and fun. “I love the family of friends that I have in Rochester chorus,” says Wordene Day of Greece. “I also like the outlet that singing gives me to forget any troubles I may have when I open my mouth in song.” For more information on the group and singing telegrams, or to visit a rehearsal, email rocharmony@yahoo. com or call 585-831-6975. Reservations are needed for Valentine’s Day singing telegrams. To ensure availability, call early. For more information, visit www. saregion16.com/rochesterchorus/ or www.sweetadelineintl.org March / April 2013 - 55 PLUS

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dancing

Passing the Barre Rochester women rediscovering the beauty of ballet By Debbie Waltzer

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ore and more women a re d i s c o v e r i n g t h e truth behind the lyrics from “A Chorus Line”: “Everything was beautiful at the ballet …” Increasingly, women of all ages in Rochester are signing up for ballet classes at local studios, either as newcomers to the art form or as returnees who miss the elegant activity from their childhood. Studying ballet as an adult is healthy for the body, soul and heart, says Angela Johnson, proprietor of Angela Johnson Dance Company. Johnson, 26, opened New Beginnings Dance Studio in 2010. Her training includes stints with Pamela Wilkins-White School of 34

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Ballet, Western New York Youth Ballet and Draper Center for Dance Education. “ Wo m e n j u s t w a n t t o f e e l beautiful,” says Johnson, who offers an adult ballet class at her East Main Street studio from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday. “My adult students don’t necessarily want to become professional dancers. Rather, they want to be healthy and feel better at the end of the day.” And that’s exactly the transformation that occurs, she notes, as students enter the studio, hear the soothing sounds of classical music and begin stretching. “Ballet is so different from jazz or Zumba,” she says. “We relax at the barre and focus on breathing and strengthening

Group of women gathers at the adult ballet class organized by M.C. Classical Productions. The practice takes place in a dance studio Perinton Recreational Center. balance. In that sense, ballet is more similar to a yoga experience, in that it forces you to slow down.”

Stress reliever Fellow dance teacher Margaret Carlston agrees. Carlston, 41, runs M.C. Classical Productions, a company that she has led since 2002. She rents dance studio space from Perinton Recreation Center. A Rochester native, she trained with the Fort Worth Ballet and the San Francisco School of Ballet, and formerly served as director of the Fisher/Botsford School of Dance. “Taking a ballet class is so relaxing,” says Carlston, who teaches a weekly class for adults from 8-9 p.m. Tuesdays. “Just listening to the classical music is a wonderful stress reliever.”


Currently, six women take her class, and their backgrounds vary considerably. Some are young adults, trying to stay in shape. Others are new mothers looking for an alternative activity outside the home. In addition, some middle-aged women have added ballet to their regimen of jazz, Pilates and yoga classes. With such a variety of backgrounds and experiences, Carlston first attempts to learn about each student’s goals for the class. She intersperses ballet newcomers with more experienced dancers and tries to meet each of their needs. “Most important, I try to work with people at their own pace,” she says, noting that one class member is pregnant with twins. Ballet is incredibly beneficial for the body because it leads to flexibility for the head, neck and back. Moreover, moves that involve jumping and spinning help to strengthen various muscles. In addition, class members—who wear whatever clothing makes them feel comfortable, along with ballet slippers—gain skills of gracefulness, improved posture and a stronger sense of self. “Ballet challenges both your body and your mind,” Carlston says.

Finding a lost art Karen Capizzi-Gooding, 56, is one of Carlston’s enthusiastic adult students. As a child growing up in Oswego, Capizzi-Gooding studied ballet from age 3 through 13. But as she entered high school, she decided to forego ballet “because it wasn’t considered cool,” she says. Still, as a chemical engineering student at Clarkson University, she found

a dance class at the nearby SUNY Potsdam campus and took the class “just for fun.” The married Penfield resident then worked as a chemical engineer for companies such as Xerox Corporation and Schlegel Corporation. When her two daughters were young, each of them took up ballet with Carlston, and Capizzi-Gooding volunteered behind the scenes as a chaperone for off-site dance performances and as a ticket seller. Last year, her role changed and Capizzi-Gooding found herself onstage during M.C. Classical Productions’ performances, first as the Fairy Godmother in “Cinderella,” then as Tweedle Dee in “Alice in Wonderland.” Those experiences whetted her appetite to study ballet once again, and now she is a happy member of Carlston’s Tuesday night class. “It’s so much fun,” she says. “We have wonderful camaraderie among all of us, and the class gives me a real lift. Physically, I had previously been having some problems with my knees and ankles, but all of the stretching we’re doing in class has really relieved my pain.” Capizzi-Gooding says it is never too late to start ballet as a newcomer, or to return to the barre after a multiyear absence. “You don’t need any prior experience,” she says. “Just join in and you’ll have a good time.” Johnson agrees. “Life moves so quickly,” she says. “Doing ballet gives us a chance to slow down and wordlessly express the artistic beauty of the human body.”

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retirement

Judge Ninfo’s Interesting Retirement Life Retired judge John Ninfo, a former Marine, explores diverse interests in golden years

By Todd Etshman

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hen Western District of New York Bankruptcy Judge John Ninfo retired in December 2011, the law and judiciary was the only thing he intended to retire from. Sure, his work as a judge and lawyer were a big part of his life and made him well known. It just didn’t begin to describe the multitude of interests that make up his life and today, he’s glad to be moving on. “I don’t have any desire to practice law now. I didn’t sign up to do it for life,” the 66-year-old Brighton resident said. “I was ready to go; it was time to go. The case mix had totally changed.” 36

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Instead of presiding over famous name corporate bankruptcies as he did early on as a judge, there were more cases involving individuals who had lost control of their finances. Fiscal irresponsibility isn’t something a man who believes in personal responsibility wanted to see more of on a daily basis. As a Jesuit-educated Marine Corps veteran and Sicilian family member, Ninfo learned mental and physical discipline at an early age. To help young people learn fiscal responsibility and manage credit, he created the Credit Abuse Resistance Education Program in 2002. The much-lauded program

Ninfo clearly enjoys himself in the volunteer work he does at the Wild Wings bird sanctuary in Mendon Ponds Park. He took falconry lessons from the British School of Falconry and shares his knowledge about falcons, owls, eagles, hawks and other birds of prey in his presentation to visitors to the facility and in schools, camps and libraries around town. continues today and Ninfo makes regular appearances at schools and colleges to talk to students about good credit practices. “We feel like we have a safety net, that money doesn’t matter because we can go into debt. But money does matter. Don’t spend it without thinking about it,” he said. Vacations, cell phones, and cable television are undisciplined purchases too many feel they must have. “If even just one kid does something different with their life because of something they heard


when I was there, then it’s working,” he said after a recent talk to students in BOCES 2. Those who recognize him at area stores say they’re not surprised when he pays in cash. It’s crucial for students to set up their lives on solid financial ground before going off to college, said BOCES 2 teacher Todd Pschierer. “Judge Ninfo has been presenting to our students for 11 years now and his CARE program is essential to helping our students start college in excellent financial condition,” Pschierer said. Ninfo’s reputation for being a tough judge and for creating CARE have been well chronicled in newspapers across the country and on ABC’s “Nightline.”

Perspective on life Today, Ninfo still wants to be known; he just wants it to be for other things. “I don’t introduce myself as Judge Ninfo,” he said, although he forgives those that do. “So many people say if I didn’t do this [job], what would I do [in retirement]? That’s too sad. You’ve had a whole life to build up your interests. Life is about who you are and what interests you develop. Know yourself, know what your passion is about and follow that passion. You’ll have more fun in your life and become more believable,” Ninfo said. He’s contemplating conducting seminars for people wondering what to do in retirement. “The success I’ve had is because I’ve done so many things in life. You can’t spend your life putting square pegs in a round hole,” he said. Ninfo clearly enjoys himself in the volunteer work he does at the Wild Wings bird sanctuary in Mendon Ponds Park. He took falconry lessons from the British School of Falconry and shares his knowledge about falcons, owls, eagles, hawks and other birds of prey in his presentation to visitors to the facility and in schools, camps and libraries around town. “Falconry is the oldest sport. It was originally used for hunting before the gun put an end to it,” he explained. He has a soft spot for an ornery barn owl named Melinda. He also loves eagles both as birds and as a

To help young people learn fiscal responsibility and manage credit, former Judge John Ninfo created the Credit Abuse Resistance Education Program (CARE) in 2002. He is now devoting more time to the program symbol of the Marine Corps and our country. He is surrounded by live eagles at the sanctuary and countless artistic eagles are perched throughout his residence. “I’ve been a patriot since before patriotism was popular,” he says. At the sanctuary, Ninfo and other volunteers learn about feeding, handling, and injuries the birds have sustained and develop a “mutual respect” before they can present them to the public, executive director Terry Kozakiewicz explained. “John offers a wonderful guided tour and traveling program that consists of great facts and his witty humor as well,” said Kozakiewicz. In addition to raptor knowledge, volunteers like Ninfo have to be approachable for inquisitive children. “You have to entertain people in order to educate them today,” Ninfo explained. He keeps a notebook of raptor fun facts to share with the public that includes things a knowledgeable public has shared with him. Ninfo said he never set out to become a teacher but between the CARE program, Wild Wings and as a trail guide at the Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, he has become one.

Diverse interests Ironically, he developed an interest in Native American history and culture by visiting museums during breaks at bankruptcy conferences in New York and Washington, DC. Ganondagan was the site of the largest Seneca village and the eastern capital of the Seneca nation in the mid-

to-late 17th century. “There is no denying the influence of the Seneca confederacy on our history since it is where our forefathers got the idea of democracy,” Ninfo explained. “I love being out there and telling stories of what happened there in the 17th century.” He also loves being the house manager for Rochester Lyric Opera and performances of the Rochester Association of the Performing Arts. His wife, Judith Ranaletta, serves as artistic director of the RAPA. “I think of all of those educating and house managing activities for the nonprofits as public service,” he explained. “Once I decided to leave private practice to be a public servant, I thought of myself as a public servant for life and I still do.” “One of the things I admire about him is I’ve never met someone with more balance in his life,” Ranaletta said. “He always has time built into every day for the things that are important to him. Our friends say he’s a living example of how you should live your life. He has a fabulous outlook on life.” He still gets up at 5 a.m. just as he did in the Marine Corps to make the best of everyday. He’s proud of his Marine experience and keeps a Marine flag in his bathroom. It’s one of the few places his wife allows him to decorate, he said. Depending on the season, he’ll either be out bicycle riding wearing his “Tattoo You” Rolling Stones jersey or out kayaking listening to an iPod full of Rolling Stones’ music or crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Rescuing plants he finds along the way is another of his favorite pastimes. The Ninfo home grounds are full of plants he’s replanted and nursed back to health after people changed their landscaping or discarded plants in distress. Now people call him to see if he can take plants they don’t want or that need resurrecting. “I don’t give lip service to living life to its fullest, I do it,” he said. “But you’re not talented, successful or smart if you don’t do something for somebody else. It doesn’t have to be my way but you have to give back in ways you’ve been given the ability to do.” March / April 2013 - 55 PLUS

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service

Born to Fight Fires Jack DeLisio lives on the edge so others can be safe By Jeanne Gehret

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irefighter Jack DeLisio wants to be the person you’d most like to have at your side on the worst day of your life. This volunteer firefighter has logged dozens of hours a month heading into trouble. Why? He finds satisfaction in bringing order to outof-control, emergency situations. Being a companion to people in emergencies requires not only physical strength, but also a cool head and plenty of training. “Pulling your weight” is not just an expression around the fire station: a firefighter’s gear, including air packs and clothing, weighs about 60 pounds, and a hose loaded with water can weigh hundreds of pounds. Emergency workers must be able to think in a crisis, follow directions, and learn. “You have to make decisions all the time and you just hope that you’re making the right ones,” says DeLisio. Making good decisions happens more frequently with good training, and DeLisio has had plenty of that in his 40 years in emergency work, most of it while employed fulltime in the corporate world. His training began when he was still in college and joined the fire department in Clyde. Since his first year when he 38

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completed his 120-hour Level One state certification, he has taken dozens of continuing education courses through the department he serves and goes to other departments for other learning opportunities. “When you join the fire service, besides learning about gear and equipment and how to put out fires, you also learn the importance of taking care of each other and being able to count on one another,” he says. Over the years, DeLisio’s service has encompassed many different kinds of emergency and medical work. While in Clyde, he served as assistant chief as well as village and town fire marshal. He also worked as an emergency medical technician during the pivotal years when ambulance teams began to offer not only basic first aid but also advanced life support. After a career move to Oklahoma, he worked for five years as a volunteer reserve deputy in the sheriff ’s department. Though that stint involved manhunts, drug busts, and getting shot at, he might still be there if his job hadn’t taken him to Shelton, Conn. There he got lots of hands-on experience with fires because the city was home to many old mill buildings,

which were always catching fire because they’d been repurposed in ways that compromised their structural integrity.

Structured approach Besides having people with the right demeanor and training, good outcomes from emergencies result from adherence to a tried-and-true organizational model. Most volunteer fire departments have two leaders who head up distinctly different areas of responsibility. The president oversees the business side of the fire service, often functioning like a corporation. The chief, who leads the operations side, takes charge of the volunteers and their training, and heads up their activities during an emergency. “We follow the same structure no matter what the situation, whether it’s a fire, a flood, or having the president come to town,” DeLisio explains. Under the chief are four or more individuals responsible for a specific aspect of a fire or other emergency. “The operations chief is in charge of suppressing the fire and rescue. Others are responsible for logistics and planning. The finance person is in charge of procuring supplies that we might need—for example, in a


flood we’d need sand to build a dike,” DeLisio said. From Connecticut, DeLisio moved back to Upstate New York in 1994, this time taking up residence in Egypt, just over the border from Wayne County. Through the years since he first joined the fire department, DeLisio balanced his firefighting responsibilities with a busy career at Mobil Chemical Company. His degree in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester led to work that was awarded four patents for polypropylene film designs before he landed management posts in engineering, manufacturing, technology and financial planning. From 1997 to 2000, Mobil sent him and his family to Luxemburg where he managed 800 personnel and four sites for the Mobil Films Division in Europe. Looking back on his 26 years at Mobil, DeLisio acknowledges that he had a great career. But upon returning from Luxemburg, he realized, “I was tired of moving every five years and had had just about as much corporate life as I could handle.” He decided to retire in 2000. But after working seven days and 70 hours a week for so long, he couldn’t sit still. “Having worked as an EMT since the mid-’70s, I knew I liked medicine, so I decided to become a physician’s assistant,” he said. In 2005, he graduated from a fouryear program at Rochester Institute of Technology and since then has worked for ViaHealth in surgical intensive care, general surgery, and urology.

Born responder Just as he was about to embark on his new career, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit, and DeLisio postponed his employment start date for a month to respond to those disasters. “Right after Katrina, we passed out brochures about how to recover losses from FEMA,” he recalls. “We started at desks in a convention center where relocated victims congregated and then branched out to hotels and surrounding towns seeking people who’d been displaced by the disaster. Then when Hurricane Rita hit Texas, we did damage estimates in Houston and in Beaumont helped to search March / April 2013 - 55 PLUS

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houses for survivors. We moved a lot of pet dogs around, too. “Some firefighters are more action-oriented and these tasks didn’t sit well with them,” he continues. “But we signed up to help and that’s what they needed.” The year he graduated from RIT he also began a three-year stint as fire chief, during which time he was glad to report, “We always brought everybody home” after a fire. “People say volunteerism is dying, but in Egypt we have almost doubled our active trained firefighters here since the mid-’90s. You count on having people joining because you lose troops all the time. Right now we have an excellent group of younger people who are strong, ready to drag hoses, and do whatever it takes. “The young ones will sit with those who’ve been in for 20 years and talk—it’s just part of camaraderie.” He has done stints as vice president and president, with one of his favorite accomplishments laying the groundwork for building a firetraining center this year. Throughout the twin strands of his professional and volunteer responsibilities, DeLisio has tried to adhere to an oft-repeated maxim of the fire department: family first, then employment then firefighting. This has created a workable relationship with Sharon, his wife of 19 years, and four children, even though she’s the first to admit they haven’t had a normal family situation. “You have to be a team or it will destroy your marriage,” says Sharon. “I can’t tell you how many Christmas dinners, children’s birthdays, and anniversaries have ended abruptly because of a fire or car accident. Last year I even ended up taking a girlfriend to my anniversary dinner with me because Jack was on a call.” Unlike many fire department spouses, Sharon knows firsthand the challenges of this demanding work because, before she hurt her back on her job, she too volunteered on Egypt’s team hauling hoses and staffing trucks. She served as president before Jack did. “It would bother me if he were out carousing with the boys,” she continues, “but we both place a high value on giving back to the community where we live.” 40

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Support in West Webster Although they were not involved in the Christmas Eve emergency in West Webster, the Egypt fire department offered support afterwards. A couple days after those fires, 15 firefighters from Egypt stood in falling snow at the intersection of routes 250 and 31 for two hours collecting money for the families of their fallen comrades. Thanks to the outpouring of community support, they raised more than $10,000 and sent it all to the families. Compared to the 1970s, when he began, DeLisio says there are far fewer fires today and a greater number of other emergencies. “One-quarter of everything we do now is car crashes,” says Delisio. “We also get calls for auto alarms, smoke detectors, natural gas problems, and carbon monoxide detectors.” Egypt’s’ firefighters have also been trained for water rescues (including cold water rescues, which require special suits), crash extrication, hazardous materials, and many other emergency situations. As part of the Third Battalion rope rescue team, once or twice a year they get a call for a rope rescue such as someone stuck in the Genesee River gorge or on the sand hill in Linear Park. Many of these calls end well, but some don’t. “One of the most intense days of my life was when we helped with an elevator that collapsed with a lift truck and two operators inside it,” says DeLisio. Fortunately, the operators survived. DeLisio has also successfully resuscitated several full cardiac arrest victims. At the other end of the spectrum, however, the very first car accident he attended took the lives of three of the seven children involved. Many firefighters drive directly from their homes to the emergency, while others don their equipment at the fire station and jump on the truck. Neat rows of racks hold individuals’ gear, including hat, gloves, coat, pants and boots weighing 20 pounds and 30 pounds of air packs.


long-term care By Susan Suben

A Caregiver’s Dilemma

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Many housing options with varying levels of care are available

here often comes a point in every caregiver’s life when a decision has to be made about whether or not to place the person being cared for in a senior facility. The emotions evoked by this dilemma include sadness, guilt, resentment and self-blame. However, if the caregiver’s health and lifestyle are being compromised and the care recipient’s safety and quality of life are being compromised, then placement may be a worthy choice. I’ve done it twice. My father is in an adult home and my mother is in an assisted living facility. It was the most difficult thing I ever had to do but believe it or not, we are all happier. There are many types of housing options in New York state that have different licensures and provide varying levels of care. Some include assisted living facilities (ALF), adult care facilities (adult home), continuing care residential communities (CCRCs), and skilled nursing facilities (SNF). There is no uniform definition for an assisted living facility. Each state licensing agency uses its own definition but all ALFs must be licensed and regulated by the state in which they are located. An AFL — or assisted living facility — provides care a step above an independent living community and a step below a nursing home. The majority requires private pay or accepts reimbursement from a long-term care insurance policy. The average cost of care in the region is approximately $3,600 per month. Typically, most residents will have their own studio or one bedroom apartment with a private bathroom and small kitchenette. Some ALFs house a few residents while others are apartment-like buildings. Sometimes motels have been converted into AFLs where residents share a room. Many ALFs have memory care

units designed to meet the needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. AFLs provide 24/7 on-site monitoring, three meals per day, case management, personal care/home care services including help with grooming, dressing, and bathing, housekeeping/laundry, recreational activities, medication management and supervision. Nurses or home aides are generally on staff throughout the day. The goal of an ALF is to provide a setting that promotes independence and maintains quality of life. The resident has the ability to socialize in numerous activities, dine with other residents, and receive health and wellness care. This might be a very welcome change for someone who is being cared for at home with limited access to friends and the community. In a recent article, “8 Assisted Living Search Mistakes to Avoid,” written by Jeff Anderson for “A Place for Mom” publication, the author lists the eight common mistakes families make when searching for assisted living. They include: not being realistic about current or future needs, judging a book by its cover, choosing a community that matches the family’s needs as opposed to the care recipient’s needs, overplaying the importance of proximity, making a decision too quickly, choosing a community appropriate for the care recipient of yesteryear instead of the care recipient of today, not reading the fine print and going it alone. These pitfalls are good to be aware of when investigating any type of facility. An adult care facility (adult home) is another housing option. It is licensed and regulated by the NYS Department of Health. Private and semi-private rooms are available. Care includes meals, housekeeping and laundry, assistance with activities

of daily living, social activities, medication management and 24-hour supervision. Most accept only private pay while others will consider negotiating a rate for those receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or VA Aid and Attendance. A continuing care residential community (CCRC) allows an individual to age in place. It includes independent living apartments with supportive services such as social activities, meals and personal care. If an individual requires a higher level of care, they can be moved to the assisted living or nursing home wing of the community. CCRCs are licensed by the NYS Department of Health and NYS Department of Insurance. Medical and financial reviews are necessary. A substantial entrance fee, sometimes as much as $250,000, is required to pre-pay for anticipated long-term care needs. Some CCRCs require a resident to have a long-term care insurance policy. Finally, a nursing home provides an individual with skilled care whether it be for a functional or cognitive limitation. Private payment, Medicare, Medicaid or long-term care insurance is accepted. Placing a loved one in a facility is one of the most difficult things a caregiver will ever have to do. Try to plan in advance for this eventuality but, more importantly, understand that you are not doing anything wrong if placement means that both you and the person you are caring for will have a better life. Susan Suben, MS, CSA, is president of Long Term Care Associates, Inc. and a consultant for Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at 800-422-2655 or by email at susansuben@31greenbush.com. March / April 2013 - 55 PLUS

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By Ernst Lamothe, Jr.

Coach Michael Rapone At 59 Coach Michael Rapone became only the ninth coach in New York state history to achieve 600 wins, making Notre Dame High School Section V’s all-time leader in wins during the open-tournament era. We spoke with him recently. Q. How did you feel once you notched that 600th victory? A. It was a gratifying as well as humbling experience. For me, it’s a culmination of working with a lot of great young players and a lot of longevity. I hope that I impacted their lives in a little way as they matured into young men. Before the game in the locker room, I wrote on the chalkboard, “This is your season, this is about you, it’s not about me.” And that’s the way I really feel. This is their season and my 600th win just happened to come within it. Q. Is there anything else that made that day special? A. I was honored by the number of former players and former parents that made the effort to attend the game. It means a lot to me to have so many people there to witness a great moment in my life. It reminds me of how lucky and how fortunate I am to be at a school like Notre Dame. There are people whose kids played here 1015 years ago, who came to the game. I never wanted a big deal made about me. This is the players’ season. They only get a couple of seasons and I’ve had 33. Hopefully all the attention will turn to them now. Q. What were some of the reasons you wanted to become a head coach? A. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people and I have always enjoyed working with a group to achieve a common goal. I enjoy the relationships coaching affords you. Q. What aspects of basketball do you like? 42

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A. I just love the athleticism, strategy, energy and atmosphere of basketball games. Winning is fun and it certainly makes coaching a lot easier, but just being out here every day with the guys is a good time. Q. What are some of your favorite moments over the last three decades of coaching? A. The highlight of my coaching career was probably the 2001 state championship because not only was my son a member of the team, but every player on that squad was either the son of a personal friend or a former classmate and in most cases both. Q. How has the game of coaching high school basketball changed since you first started? A. While some of the basic elements of the game have changed such as the addition of the shot clock and three point shot, the biggest change in coaching is all the “nonbasketball issues” a coach has to deal with. Cell phones and social media have impacted the ability of athletes to focus and concentrate, while creating unnecessary distractions. It has created situations that we have to deal with that were not present before its explosion. Q. What advice do you have for young basketball players? A. Practice, practice, practice. Basketball is one of the games that you can greatly improve your skill level by yourself without a lot of materials. All you need is a ball, basket and the desire to improve. Also play as much as you can. Pickup basketball offers a great opportunity to develop your

skill level. Q. Do you remember anything about your first victory? A. Just that it was against Attica and was a long time ago. Q. What is your coaching style? A. I try to build my team around the talents, abilities and shortcomings each particular team has. I try to coach my players up in practice and then let them go out and play the game. I try to make it as fun and positive as possible while being patient as well as consistent in my dealings with my players. Q. Who are one some of your favorite players and coaches of all time? A. Being a Celtic fan, my favorite NBA coaches are Red Auerbach and Doc Rivers. Players are Bill Russell, the ultimate team player, and Larry Bird, the epitome of maximizing one’s talents. Favorite college coaches are Mike Brey [Notre Dame] and Coach K [Duke Unversity]. Q. Are you looking to retire soon? A. I think I’m still going to be around for a while. I still enjoy coaching. I still get excited about the games, and I still feel like I relate to my players.


������������������������������ �������������������������� That’s why she’s one of the most important people on earth. How do you care for the most important people on earth? By giving them your absolute best. At St. Ann’s, we have built a brand new skilled nursing center in Webster that gives people more choices than ever before. From setting your own schedule, to enjoying small, friendly neighborhoods, to dining in cozy country kitchens—we make life what each resident wants it to be. We have also created the area’s first freestanding transitional care center—the only rehab center in Rochester that is not located in a nursing home. So people can recover from major medical events surrounded by people just like themselves. It is a remarkable new way to care for people. Inspired by the people who deserve nothing less than the best. Learn more about the changes at St. Ann’s Community by visiting us at StAnnsCommunity.com.

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55 Plus  

The Magazine for Active Adults in the Genesee Valley

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