LeadingAge New York Adviser Fall 2015 Vol. 1 - Page 34

“Jazz Up In The Sky” By Robert F. Salant, director of community relations, Flushing House, New York L ive Jazz was heard throughout the evening one Friday in June, as a group of talented musicians brought their love for the elderly to new heights on the Flushing House rooftop! “Jazz Up In The Sky” was a special fundraiser to benefit the more than 300 older adults who live at Flushing House. Headlining the evening’s performances was the famous and gifted jazz vocalist Deborah Davis, backed by her group - Deborah Davis & A Few Good Men. This international star has appeared with legendary greats Ray Brown and Lionel Hampton. She’s performed at The Blue Note, Birdland, Village Vanguard, The Rainbow Room, for dignitaries at the United Nations and President Bill Clinton. In 2004 Deborah and her band represented the U.S. as Jazz Ambassadors to Latin America. A former member of The Shirelles, she’s jammed with Bon Jovi and Billy Joel, opened for Diana Ross, Celine Dion, Eric Clapton and Alicia Keys, to name a few. Jazz Up In The Sky also featured two popular local jazz quartets. Christi Gehrisch is lead vocalist of The Lowdown Stompers, specializing in music of the 1920’s, 30’s & 40’s, including New Orleans Jazz, Swing and the American Songbook. Christi was joined by Steve Peppas, who also performed with his group Lucky Tones, four seniors who play jazz standards plus classical jazz. The jazz festival featured a dance floor boasting spectacular views of New York’s panoramic skyline. Hey, it was the next best thing to “Dancing On The Ceiling!” (Sorry Lionel!) Their 250 guests were treated to a fantastic gourmet feast prepared by Flik International and served up by Flushing House Food Service Director Matt Ferris and Executive Chef Mohamed Turay. Flushing House was honored to host this event with support from their numerous partners in the social services, health care and aging fields. In these hard economic times, their generous support and participation was greatly appreciated. We are also particularly grateful to two major sponsors: Flik International and Reliance Mechanical Services. At the fundraiser, the Rose Kryzak Senior Leadership Award was presented to a special resident of Flushing House: Mildred Puglia is all of 92 years young! She received the award for opening and operating her “bring and buy” Specialty Shop in the lower level of Flushing House, a thrift shop where all kinds of new and used donated goods are on sale, and all proceeds benefit the residents of Flushing House. Through her efforts, Mildred raised thousands of dollars for Flushing House. All are welcome to make donations to her shop, which is open from 1:30 to 3 p.m. every Wednesday in the lower level of Flushing House. For Mildred, this is a labor of love, and is a carry-over from the days when she volunteered at North Shore Towers, where she lived before moving to Flushing House. Congrats Mildred! This fundraiser was for the sole benefit of the residents of Flushing House. As many know, this not-for-profit is a charity with a special mission. Flushing House proudly boasts that we’ve never asked a resident to leave their community when they can no longer afford to pay their rent. To make this possible, The George Nussbaum Fund subsidizes residents who have fallen on hard times. They receive no government support for this fund. Only the cash raised from events like this, makes it possible for some seniors to continue living here! 33 Adviser a publication of LeadingAge New York | Fall 2015