Kathleen Hamed Honored for Work at Olean Senior Center

Catharine Young

October 31, 2013

For Release: Immediate, October 31, 2013

Presented with New York State Senate Proclamation for Her Service

OLEAN - In recognition of her years of devoted service to local seniors, Director of the Olean Senior Center Kathleen Hamed was presented with a proclamation from State Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean).

At the Olean Senior Center’s Harvest Luncheon on Tuesday afternoon, friends, coworkers, and members of the community gathered to thank Kathy for her commitment to helping seniors. Ms. Hamed’s work at the Senior Center has done more than just allow seniors to benefit from the extensive and valuable services offered, but has also helped foster a personalized approach that helps seniors receive the care and relationships they need.

“Kathy’s loving devotion to the seniors of our community deserves our recognition and thanks. Her personal touch and genuine concern is what sets the services offered at the Olean Senior Center apart. The care that she and others at the Senior Center provide is what makes our community such a great place for seniors to live and receive services,” said Senator Young.

Although Ms. Hamed knew Senator Young would be visiting with seniors yesterday afternoon, she was not at all expecting the honor she received.

“I thought Cathy was just coming to talk with seniors as she has done in the past. I am truly humbled by this entire experience and I still enjoy coming to work each day. I love and care about the seniors and feel that our center is an extension of their homes, where we have an obligation to provide a loving, caring atmosphere for them. Many seniors are isolated at home and the center provides a place where they can socialize, be with their peers, and know that they are not really alone.

“I don't do all this myself. It takes many hands to achieve running this center and all the activities. As a non-profit, I am truly grateful to our volunteers, the City of Olean, the United Way, and the Robert's Fund, which we receive funding from. From time to time we also receive additional grants from places like the Manley Trust and Renodian Fund and others that I can search and apply for. The bottom line is I actually get more in return than what I give,” said Kathy Hamed.

Over 18 years ago, Ms. Hamed became the Olean Senior Center’s Director, and ever since then she has won the praise and admiration of those she has worked with because of her dedicated and selfless service. She has always put the seniors she works with first. Going above and beyond her job description as the Director of the Center, Kathy will often cook for the seniors, take them to their medical appointments in Olean and Buffalo, run errands for them, and has even assisted seniors in the middle of the night when called.

With three others, she formed and developed the “Olean Junior League,” which is a group of younger seniors that meet nights and weekends to discuss fun senior-friendly events and activities. The League has organized day trips, euchre tournaments, dances, picnics, exercise programs, and other engaging social activities for seniors. Despite the time and energy it takes to plan these special events, Kathy has continued to go above and beyond by researching and writing grant requests to fund them.

Known throughout the Olean community for her sweet and caring disposition, Kathy, whose husband Bruce passed away in 2001, also remains devoted to her family. She spends time with her two sons, Jason and Kevin, as well as her three grandchildren, Boston, Reese, and Taylor. Kathy also has four sisters whom she maintains close ties with, and a niece, Ashley, whom she and her husband helped raise.

“Sufficient gratitude cannot be expressed for Kathy’s devotion to bettering the lives of seniors in our area. It is my hope, however, that this proclamation will help to honor her for her unwavering commitment to the community, and inspire others to follow her lead in helping others,” said Senator Young.