State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R – Schenectady) had the pleasure of meeting several honorees from his district at the 2013 Senior Citizens Recognition Day on May 7th at the Capitol. The event is hosted by the State Office for the Aging and recognizes older volunteers for their service to fellow New Yorkers. Senator Farley also had the pleasure of recognizing the recipients in the Senate Chamber during Session.
Pictured with Senator Farley are the honorees and the people who nominated them for recognition. From left to right are Schenectady County Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services Department Manager Laurie Bacheldor, Senator Farley, Niskayuna resident and honoree Richard Ratajak, Schenectady resident and honoree Robert Harrison, and Niskayuna Community Center Director Rosemarie Mullaney.
Mr. Harrison has volunteered with 12 organizations as a board member and has been vice president and executive director of five non-profit agencies. He has contributed his time to the Schenectady Light Operate Company, the Senior and Long Term Care Services Board, the Funeral Committee at Immaculate Conception Church, the Hibernian Division of Schenectady, and the Annie Schaffer Senior Citizens Center. He is still active on six boards.
A Korean War veteran, Mr. Ratajak had a varied career that included service as a Roman Catholic priest, a prison counselor and manager for the New York State Commission for the Blind/Visually Handicapped. He has been dedicated to helping others with severe visual impairments and has also severed as a mentor to Capital District youth. He was appointed to the New York State Rehabilitation Council by Governor Pataki and severed four terms as chairman. He was a presenter at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown from 2005 to 2006. He has also given workshops on Norman Rockwell, horse racing history in Saratoga and on baseball and Olympic commemorative stamps. Last year, he served as Chairman of the Transportation Committee for the Niskayuna Senior Center and has been an active member of the Senior Advisory Committee to Niskayuna Senior Programs.