Senior Citizen Recognition Program

We always enjoy recognizing older adults for their accomplishments.  On a yearly basis, we like to recognize two Washington County residents who are 60 or older.  We accept nominations throughout the year.  Through an anonymous voting process, two individuals are chosen.

Our awardees:
  • Attend a ceremony and receive a free luncheon with other awardees throughout New York State, sponsored by the New York State Office for The Aging (NYSOFA)
  • Receive a Senior Day Commemorative book with biographies and pictures of all awardees throughout New York State
  • A certificate
  • Recognition on the NYSOFA website (each county is honored during one week from June - December)
In addition, our office and the NYSOFA work with the local press for recognition; we notify the awardees Assembly Member and Senator who may be present to provide an additional recognition certificate.
   
2021 Washington County Senior Citizen of the Year Nomination Form
   

2020 New York State Senior of the Year Awardee’s

2020 State Senior of the Year Awardee OuderkirkCongratulations Carolyn Ouderkirk!

Carolyn Ouderkirk was born in Massena, New York, to Maurice and Irene Dewey. Her first husband, Richard Aulicino, passed away in 1992. Her second husband, Eugene Ouderkirk, passed away in 2015. She has one brother, Richard, who lives in Indiana with his wife, Joan. Carolyn also has one nephew and four nieces who reside in Indiana. In the past, she lived in Florida for five years, as well as many years in southeastern New York and later, Guilderland. In 1995, she moved to Fort Ann.

Carolyn started her career as a teacher at West Point Elementary School in West Point, New York. After teaching at West Point, she worked for a boat-building company in Florida, followed by positions as office manager for two law firms in Albany.

Carolyn has been volunteering for 25 years in various capacities. Her nominators say, “She has been a great asset to the Queen Anne Senior Citizens and the Fort Ann community.”

Carolyn is the secretary of the Old Stone House Library Committee and is active with its pre-school and summer programs for the children of Fort Ann. She belongs to a book club that meets monthly at the library to discuss and share books.

She is also the secretary and a founding member of the Fort Ann Historical Society. She played an integral role in researching, editing and promoting the publishing of the book “Fort Ann: 300 Years of History” in 2007.

She is the “official” typist for the Queen Anne Senior Citizens, actively participating in their many activities. She once hosted a baby shower for the unwed mothers living at the Wait House in Glens Falls, collecting many items of clothing, as well as diapers and toys.

Carolyn is also a member of the Fort Ann Rotary Club, another organization whose members are very involved in the community. Activities include serving a graduation breakfast, planning Trivia Night, and participating in Photos with Santa and Operation Santa Claus. Additional-ly, taking photos at the school’s annual Valentine’s Day dance, as well as providing dictionaries and thesauruses to the elementary school students. Carolyn also donates food and funds to the Fort Ann Central School backpack program and the Cornerstone Church food pantry.

In early 2001, Carolyn had begun volunteering with the Red Cross. She had trained to help during local fires, flooding and other emergencies. She also served as the editor of the Red Cross monthly newsletter. One week after 9/11, she was sent to New York City where she spent three weeks serving meals to the families of the victims of the World Trade Center disaster. She returned during the Thanks-giving holiday and spent another three weeks at Ground Zero, serving meals to the workers. Following Hurricane Katrina, she went south and helped to rebuild damaged homes.

When Carolyn was asked, what advice she has for other New Yorkers about volunteering, she stated, “Bring your heart and your sense of humor to your volunteer service, along with your enthusiastic spirit, which is a priceless gift. What you’ll get back will be immeasurable!”.

2020 State Senior of the Year Awardee CormierCongratulations William “Al” Cormier!

William “Al” Cormier grew up in Leominster, Massachusetts area. In 1957, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at University of Massachusetts and Master of Education, at Cornell in 1965. William married Sara Jane Smock in 1957 and they have three children – Bill, Bob and Rebecca; one grandchild Jacob. William and his family moved to Salem, New York in 1965.

For seven years he was an English/history teacher and then the Salem Central School high school principal for 27 years. In addition, he has been the Salem Town historian since 1983. William served in the Army National Guard New York State 1st Armored Rifle Battalion, 108th Infantry for eight years.

William is the author of The Back Shop and Other Tales, a railroading book about Salem; Next Year in Salem, a chronicle of the Salem home front during WWII; and most recently a vintage photograph book, Along the Battenkill, of life along the Battenkill in the 1800’s and 1900’s. William also wrote the Salem section for The Covered Bridges of Washington County, New York and A Crease in the Landscape, the story of the slate industry in Washington County.

William is a frequent contributor to the Washington County Historical Society’s, The Annual Journal of the Washington County Historical Society. He has written six historical articles; “Out of the Great Depression: The Experience of the Town of Salem,” “Salem’s Forgotten African Americans,” “The McCloy Letters,” “The Northern Turnpike: Historic New York State Route 22,” “When Pigs Fly,” and “The Audubon Family of Salem, 1880-1949, A brief Recounting of their Washington County Residency.”

William has also edited and published Diary of a 19th Century Farm Wife and The Diary of Thaddeus Walker. In 2017, he wrote the article “No Man’s Land Re-visited” for publication in the New York History Review.

William is an active church member serv-ing in many capacities. In 1967, William co-founded the Salem Rotary and was a Charter member. He also held the office of president four times. William is a continuing member of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and its founding president in 1995. William is a member of the Washington County Historical Society and was a recipient of the James Cronkhite Award in 2004. In 2001, he was chosen for the Riverside School House list of honorees by the Fort Ed-ward Historical Society.

William has been a member of the Association of Public Historians New York State since 1984, Certified New York State town historian since 2003, supporter and member of Historic Salem Courthouse Preservation Association since 2002, served as clerk of the Salem Planning Board for ten years, Chair of the Salem Historical Preservation Commission since 1976 and has written numerous grants for historic preservation and record’s management. In 1995, he developed a records management system and historical archives for the town and village of Salem, upgraded the storage system and facilities for the town in 2019. He served as a member of the Mary McClellan Hospital Board of Directors for many years, and volunteers his time at the Salem Food Pantry.

William has written many historical articles for the local newspapers and has given many educational programs to adults and students since 1984. He has successfully placed the Revolutionary War Cemetery on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 and was instrumental in developing the National Historic District in the village of Salem in 1975.

William was asked, what advice he had about volunteering for other New Yorkers, and he stated, “We should live a life of ‘Service Above Self.’”