Senator Martins Presents Senior Citizen Awards to Local Residents for Volunteerism

Jack M. Martins

May 10, 2013

The Seventh Senate District is blessed to have an active senior population that has not only built the communities into what they but also still make invaluable contributions to improving the lives of others. To recognize such contributions, Senator Martins honored two residents from the Seventh Senate District during New York State Senior Citizens Day. The honorees were Fred Harber of Great Neck and Walter Wientge, Jr. of New Hyde Park.

"Fred and Walter exemplify the spirit of volunteerism. They are constantly thinking of others as they demonstrate that we can all make a difference," Senator Martins said. "They are both an inspiration to all generations."

Fred worked in the printing industry until retiring in 1995. But he didn't sit back in retirement. Instead, beginning in 2000, Fred has built homes for Habitat for Humanity in Nassau County, New York City and Alabama as well as in Sri Lanka following the 2004 Tsunami. Since Hurricane Sandy, he does demolition and mold cleanup in Long Beach.

He said the greatest satisfication he gets from volunteering is seeing the faces on people when "they get the keys to their first home, people who never thought they would get to own one."

Like Fred, Walter also keeps busy volunteering his time for the benefit of others. He volunteers weekly at the North Hempstead Animal Shelter and Garvies Point Museum as well as for United Celebral Palsy and the Compeer Program of Nassau County, a volunteer support and social program that uses the power of friendship to help people with mental illnesses live happier and more satisfying lives.

"I get more from volunteering than I give - inner satisfaction from reaching out and helping as I can and being blessed in what I do," Walter said.

Senator Martins thanks and congratulates Fred and Walter for all that they do.