After Tropical Storm Irene, Janet and Erik Jacobsen walked from their Bedford Hills home over to Fellowship Hall, a senior housing complex on Babbit Road.
"We wanted to check in on them," said Janet Jacobsen, an officer of the Bedford Hills Neighborhood Association.
"[Maintenance Superintendent] Dave McCabe had it all under control. But this led to discussions about how our organization can reach out to seniors and find out what they might need from us," she said.
To that end, BHNA plans to work with the town's parks and recreation department, which hosts monthly meetings and social activities for senior citizens, to identify the elderly population in Bedford Hills and solicit their feedback on programming and other ideas.
The storm also had the group thinking about the array of roles fulfilled by town employees and officials, and the possibility that others in the area may have felt as they did—unsure of what personnel or department to approach with questions about power outages and supplies. They plan to invite presenters to their annual to improve residents' knowledge of the names and faces behind town departments.
"It's not intended to be political—just informational," said Whitney Serrell-Barbera, BHNA officer. "We want to help people know where to go for information, like how to report a pothole."
The group is building on the momentum of a full calendar last year, including the family-oriented road race and , and adding another adult-oriented event in an attempt to appeal to as wide a cross-section of the community as possible.
On Oct. 13, BHNA will host "The Hills Are Alive," a cocktail party at Glen Arbor Golf Club in Bedford featuring jazz by the Gerard Carelli Orchestra, hors d'oeuvres, wine, and beer donated by Captain Lawrence Brewery and wine will be served. Tickets are $60 in advance, $50 for seniors and $70 at the door. A "Bedford Hills basket" including a gift certificates and merchandise from AC Designs, , and
Proceeds from the event will go toward BHNA programs and community gifts such as donations to the library and elementary school. The group received its 501 (c) 3 status in September, making all donations to BHNA tax-deductible.
For information on the next BHNA meeting and how to join, visit their website.
Checks can be made to BHNA and sent to BHNA, P.O. Box 414, Bedford Hills, NY 10507. For questions, please contact BHNA at BHNA10507@aol.com