HOF SmallNovember 29, 2018 -- Westchester County Executive George Latimer honored the achievements of 71 senior citizens from throughout the County at the 36th Annual Senior Citizens Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown. This year’s program, one of the largest to date, names Joann Prinzivalli of White Plains and Rosemarie Stasio of Mt. Kisco with top honors.

Prinzivalli has been very active in her efforts on behalf of LGBT rights and advocacy. Stasio has a stellar record of volunteer efforts on behalf of seniors and the underserved in Northern Westchester. New this year is a recognition called the Golden Apple Achievement Award. This award will be presented to George F. Gumina of Pleasantville, in honor of a lifetime of substantial philanthropic and personal contributions to all ages in the community.

Latimer said: “It is my honor to commend this active group of Westchester County residents, and induct them into our Senior Citizens Hall of Fame for their dedication and commitment to our communities. This longstanding tradition is a simple way for us to say thank you, and recognize top honorees like Joann Prinzivalli and Rosemarie Stasio for their time, energy and promise to enhancing the quality of life of those around them.” 

71 Westchester County residents ages 60 and older will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday during the luncheon and awards presentation. The Class of 2018 includes 27 nominees over the age of 80, and 4 over the age of 90. One of the honorees is 102 years old, and two of the honorees are a married couple.

Among this year’s award recipients, six seniors will receive Special Recognition: Donald Amoruso of Pleasantville, Catherine Ferri of White Plains, Arthur Howard of Tuckahoe, Anil Joshi of White Plains, Malcolm Lazarus of Scarsdale and Suzanne K. Smith of Hastings-on-Hudson.

Tickets must be purchased in advance and are $65 each. For ticket sales and more information, contact Rose Cappa at or (914) 747-0519.

The Senior Citizens Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services (DSPS); the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation; Westchester County Livable Communities and the Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging Services. Gold Sponsors for the event are The Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers, The Lazarus Family, Cabrini of Westchester and Jansen Hospice. Bronze Sponsors include VNS Westchester and St. John’s Riverside Hospital.

These sponsors join our Annual Partner Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor, United Hebrew; Annual Sponsors: Aging in America; MVP Healthcare; Silver Sneakers by Tivity Health and The Ambassador Scarsdale; Annual Partners: Concept Care; Empire Blue Cross, Blue Shield; Glen Island Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation; JMC; The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Justice and Wartburg.

DSPS Commissioner Mae Carpenter said the achievements of the Hall of Fame honorees show the importance of people giving back to their communities and to each other. 

Carpenter said: “The honorees show that age is never a deterrent to being a vital member of our society. In fact, it’s an advantage because of the life experiences they bring with them. Their generous contributions have helped to make Westchester County one of the most senior-friendly places in the world.”

The Senior Hall of Fame began in 1983, the 300th Anniversary of Westchester County’s founding. Its purpose was to showcase how seniors have contributed to building the County. More than 1,100 seniors have been inducted since. 

To be nominated, seniors must have made significant and enduring contributions to enhance Westchester’s quality of life through their professional work, volunteer achievements or both. Nominations are made by members of the community, and the honorees are selected by a panel of judges and Hall of Fame members. The names of past honorees are engraved on plaques that are permanently displayed at the DSPS office in Mount Vernon.

Westchester Senior Citizens Hall of Fame – Class of 2018

Top Honors:  Joann Prinzivalli, White Plains

A vocal advocate for the LGBT community, Prinzivalli first started her volunteer work with The LOFT in 2000 and has been a volunteer since, including serving as a member of the organization’s board. Prinzivalli served as a facilitator and co-founder of The LOFT's Transgender Peer Support Group, a facilitator for The LOFT's Women's Group, and also has helped The LOFT provide LGBT and Trans 101 trainings in the greater community. She also helped organize The LOFT’s first Transgender Day of Remembrance Ceremony in 2003, an annual event to honor lives lost to anti-transgender violence. In addition to her work with The LOFT, Ms. Prinzivalli also provides pro bono legal assistance for the transgender community, including processing legal name changes and other issues. She has also been a member of Westchester County’s LGBT Advisory Board since its inception in 2002.

Top Honors:  Rosemarie Stasio, Mt. Kisco

Stasio has been an active volunteer at the Senior Center at Fox Center, FISH (Friends in Service Helping), and My Second Home. At the Fox Center she served on the board for over 20 years, most of those years serving as Board President and Vice President. Stasio did everything from sending out birthday cards to all the seniors, to working the annual tag sale, to handling all other activities that came with serving as President and Vice-President. For 25 years, Stasio was also on the Board of FISH. There her days would start at 6 a.m., receiving phone calls from seniors needing rides, coordinating with the volunteer drivers and providing them with the details of their assignments. Stasio also volunteered one day a week for five years at My Second Home, where she spent time comforting Alzheimer’s patients, as well as being a companion for many other individuals with a variety of medical and mental challenges. 

Golden Apple Achievement Award: George F. Gumina, Pleasantville

Gumina has worked as the Philanthropic Coordinator for the Town of Greenburg for 21 years, where he identifies, attracts, coordinates and manages resources that strengthen and enhance the Greenburg community. In that capacity, he secures grants and donations to support numerous community-based social, educational, environmental, cultural and recreational programs administered by the Town, including those for “at-risk” youth, after school enrichment, summer internships and adult and senior programs. Since 1997, Gumina has served as the founder and Chair of Friends of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to help maintain the Preserve beyond the State’s limitations. Since 2008, Gumina has also been a leading contributor and supporter of the initiatives of El Centro Hispano, Inc., whose mission to assist, support and strengthen Hispanic families. Gumina is also a former Board Member of the Westchester Community Foundation and New York State Youth at Risk.

Special Recognition:  Donald Amoruso, Pleasantville

Amoruso has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Cabrini of Westchester since December 1995, serving as Chairman for nine years, through December 2011. He remains a Trustee, serving on the Finance, Executive and Strategic Planning committees. He was a founding Trustee of Cabrini Apartments, a 71-Unit HUD development for low income elders in NYC, completed in 2005. Beginning in 2005, Amoruso served on the Board of LeadingAge NY (representing not-for-profit, mission-driven and public continuing care providers) for two terms, and in 2012 he received the LeadingAge NY Trustee of the Year Award. He has also served in leadership positions in several other organizations including the Board of Directors of the Association of the U.S. Army, the Board of Directors of the U.S. Marine Corps University Foundation, a member of Manhattan College's Engineering Advisory Council and Chairman of Polytechnic University Long Island Advisory Board. He also served as an elected trustee of Pocantico Hills Central School Board of Education for ten years, including the position of Board President.

Special Recognition:  Catherine Ferri, White Plains

Ferri is an active member of the White Plains Community Center Senior Program. She currently is the first Vice Chair for the Advisory Board Committee and has been advocating for seniors for the past three years. As an advocate for White Plains seniors, she has helped in the development and promotion of innovative programs for seniors with limited income and mobility. She also has helped to support fundraising activities through the Committee’s Boutique Shop, overseeing its financial management. In addition to her Community Center volunteer activities, she also formed the Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry. She is currently the Board Vice President of the Pet Food Pantry and oversees the daily operations of the organization, whose clients are often seniors.

Special Recognition:  Arthur Howard, Tuckahoe

Howard, who recently turned 102, spent over 30 plus years in education. After serving in the army during WWII, Howard, under the GI Bill, earned a Doctorate degree at the Southern California College of Optometry, setting up is practice in Los Angeles. However, his real love was teaching, and he began teaching biology at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles by day and seeing optometry patients in the evenings. In 1958, Howard moved back New York with his family, where he taught science at Scarsdale Junior High School from 1958 to 1960 and Highlands Junior High School from 1960 to 1968, also serving during that time as Nature Director at Knollwood Day Camp in Elmsford. Howard then taught biology at White Plains High School from 1968 until his retirement in 1983. Committed to volunteerism in his retirement, Howard served as the Program Director of the Old Guard of White Plains retired men’s group, where he brought in many new and highly qualified members and provided a multitude of speakers on a variety of topics. He was voted “Man of the Year” by the group in 2011, and named “Member Emeritus,” a rare honor. He was a founding member and board member of the New Orchestra of Westchester, now the Westchester Philharmonic, a board member and Scholarship Chairman of the Jewish War Veterans for Post 191 in White Plains. He has also been an active member of Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, Visas for Life Foundations and Friday Retired Men’s Club of Scarsdale. Howard was District Leader in the Democratic Party in Westchester and was awarded the Chairman Award for his long term of service. A lover of magic since childhood, Mr. Howard volunteered as a bedside magic entertainer in the pediatric cancer unit at White Plains Hospital, taught magic to 4-7 year olds at summer and afterschool programs and established an annual magic performance for the high school classes he taught. During his time in WWII, he also appeared with Bob Hope and Martha Raye, performing magic to entertain the troops in North Africa. A member and former publicity Chairman of the local chapter of the Society of American Magicians, Howard is a recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement in Magic.” A member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, he was inducted into the Secret Order of Merlin.  A local Democratic District Leader in Westchester, Howard was awarded the Chairman Award for his long service.

Special Recognition:  Anil Joshi, White Plains

Dr. Joshi is one of the leading nephrologists in Westchester County, dedicating his life to helping patients with kidney disease. The Anil and Anju Joshi Center for Comprehensive Renal Care at St. John’s Riverside Hospital was named in honor of him and his wife. The couple also donated a significant amount in remembrance of their son, Anish Joshi, to the St. John’s Riverside Hospital to open the ICU Center for cardiac arrest patients. Dr. Joshi also set up the Joshi Family Catastrophe Fund at the IACAW (Indian American Cultural Association of Westchester) and at the Hindu Temple of Tristates, to help victims of catastrophic events with short term financial aid. Dr. Joshi was also one of the founders of the India Center of Westchester, a leading nonprofit serving the Asian Indian community in Westchester. Dr. Joshi served on the Board of Directors at St. John’s and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees at Hindu Temple of Tristates.

Special Recognition:  Malcolm Lazarus, Scarsdale

Since his tenure began in 1982, Lazarus has been instrumental in shaping United Hebrew of New Rochelle into the organization it is today. Lazarus has spent 35 years as a volunteer with the organization, as well as officer on its Board of Directors. A board member since 1982, Lazarus served as President five times from 1993 to 2007; he has also served as Chair and Senior Chair of the Board. Lazarus has chaired the organization’s fundraising campaign since 1998 and served as Chair of its UGC Foundation since it was formed in 2000. He also served as a founding member of United Hebrew’s Strategic Planning Committee. In addition to his leadership roles, Lazarus endowed United Hebrew’s Art Gallery, The Lazarus Gallery, which presents several exhibitions a year and is an integral part of life on the United Hebrew campus.

Special Recognition:  Suzanne K. Smith, Hastings-on-Hudson

Smith’s contributions are lengthy and varied. She was a member, and later became President of the League of Women Voters, a Hastings Village Trustee from 1990-1996, an Elder at the First Reformed Church in Hastings, Village Historian intermittently since 1987, and Chair of the Beautification Committee from 1990 to today. Smith founded and was President of the Hastings Farmers’ Market from 1998-2016, and as President of the Hasting Affording Housing Development fund, was instrumental in the creation of 39 affordable housing units. Smith has served as trustee and President of the Hastings Historical society since 1983, as a trustee at St. John’s Hospital, and as a trustee of the Andrus on Hudson Retirement Community from 1997-2002, where she was advocate for seniors. 

Westchester Senior Citizens Hall of Fame – Class of 2018

Armonk - Susan P. Geffen

Briarcliff Manor - Anne Golden, Ramesh Shah

Cross River – Laurie Wiegand

Cortlandt Manor - Helen Marie Ruh, John Weir

Croton-on-Hudson - Al Raymond

Eastchester - Sally J Rupert

Elmsford - Florence McCue

Harrison - Gwendolyn Strayer

Hartsdale - Samuel R. Gische, Irene Kanowitz, Michael Gary Kaufman, Elizabeth Gillman, Herbert W Weiner

Hastings-on-Hudson - Suzanne K. Smith**

Hawthorne - Peter Fiumefreddo, Mary Schembri

Katonah - Christine Robbins

Larchmont - Benita Marks, George P. Roniger

Mamaroneck - Coralie Joseph

Mount Kisco - Rosemarie Stasio*, Harriet "Gigi" Zeller

Mount Vernon - Sonia Elliot, Joan P. Horton, Shirley Sanders Maurice, Gloria Pagonico, Marcia C. Oliver, Barbara A. Schementi

New Rochelle - Nancy Brown Claiborn, Albert Fields, Ed Friedman, Joan Lucille James, Hope Miller-McRae, Lester Zimmerman

North Salem - Herbert F. Geller, Robert S. Loeb, Anna May Wiede

Peekskill - Patricia Fraleigh, Barbara Goldberger

Pelham - Frank Zumpano

Pleasantville - Donald Amoruso**, George F. Gumina***

Rye Brook - Bhavana Pahwa

Scarsdale - Eddie Mae Barnes, Richard Forliano, Malcolm Lazarus**, Audrey Wyman

Sleepy Hollow - Susan McCarthy

Somers - Elfriede Eidam

Tarrytown - Mary McGee

Tuckahoe - Arthur Howard**

Valhalla - Irmgard A. Kallenbach

White Plains - Catherine Ferri**, Joann Prinzivalli*, Julie Davis Carran, Anil Joshi**, Anju Joshi, Gerardine Looser, Pierre Poux, Bertram Reid, Sylvia Womack-Latimer

Yonkers - Pilar Blanck, Harris M. Lirtzman, Susan McAnanama, Gail O'Rourke, Leonor Ruge, Lawrence Sansone, Theresa Sheil, Bridget 'Ann' Slevin


* Top Honoree

** Special Recognition Honoree

***Golden Apple Achievement Honoree