Flushing House Founders Hold 100th Anniversary Gala Celebration

09 Feb, 2016, 14:26 ET from Flushing House

FLUSHING, N.Y., Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Adult Ministries is holding a special Gala celebration marking the 100th Year Anniversary of the nonprofit organization which founded Flushing House.  The fundraiser, Celebrating One Hundred Years Serving Older Adults, is on April 21, 2016 at The Garden City Hotel, Garden City, New York.  

Friends of Flushing House will enjoy the famous hotel's legendary gourmet cuisine, fine wines and liquors. Along with dinner there will be live music, dancing and fellowship in the hotel's Grand Ballroom.  A special ceremony will honor three worthy individuals who have dedicated their careers to helping seniors.  Also featured is an Art Auction and Raffle.  All proceeds will strengthen the nonprofit's endowment, for the exclusive benefit of Flushing House residents. 

A Centenary Anniversary is a significant milestone for any group, but especially for nonprofits.  So, who were the Founders who built Flushing House?  Their origins can be traced to April 12, 1916, when incorporation papers were signed for the Brooklyn Presbyterian Home for the Aged.  In spite of good intentions by the Founders, years past with no construction for lack of funds.

However, the Presbyterian Home Women's Auxiliary, inspired by compassion for widows of WWI soldiers, continued fundraising for their dream home.  In 1945, the Board let the Auxiliary purchase a Guest House at 139 Bainbridge Street, Brooklyn.  To meet the need for additional space, this was sold and in 1946 a larger house at 153 Lincoln Place, Brooklyn was secured.  But this new home would soon be closed, due to City fire and safety regulations.  The Board and Auxiliary, realizing the need for larger buildings, made their plans known to the Presbyteries.  They surveyed relocation sites and in 1954, purchased the 11-acre Willock Estate in Woodbury.

First residents from the Presbyterian Guest House moved into the Woodbury mansion in 1955. The late 50's and early 60's saw construction of larger buildings on the estate, and mergers with other Brooklyn institutions in need of more space.  By an invitation from the Board in 1971, the Reformed Church in America affiliated with the burgeoning 'United Presbyterian Residence' (UPR), sharing governance with the Presbyteries of New York City and Long Island.  By the late 1990's, UPR had expanded to serve nearly 700 residents on a 33-acre campus! 

In 1969, the Congregational Reformed Church at Bowne Street and 38th Avenue, Flushing, was destroyed by fire.  UPR's Board recognized this site was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build their affordable Independent Living dream home for seniors.  This would be a nonprofit, nonsectarian, 12-story residence, with fire-resistant construction, studios, plus one bedroom suites and supportive services in-house.  An additional benefit was that nursing care, if needed, was available at UPR.  Ground was broken in 1974; Flushing House opened in 1975!

As fate would have it, in 1994 Winthrop University Hospital started managing UPR.  In 2007, it was sold and renamed Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation.  But without UPR, Flushing House would never have been built.  Flushing House is today New York State's largest, nonprofit, Independent Living retirement community. 

Through their perseverance, the Founders' Board and Auxiliary were finally able to create their dream home for older adults.  This Centenary Anniversary is also a celebration of the continuing mission of United Adult Ministries (UAM) -- Expanding Horizons For Older Adults.  UAM asks all who care for the elderly to support this Gala and help strengthen their endowment fund.

In addition to this worthy cause, attendees will help honor three who also persevered, dedicating their careers to serving older adults: Charles and Christine Frank, the first co-administrators of Flushing House, and; Bruce Cunningham, executive director of Queens Interagency Council on Aging (QICA).  The Franks met while working at UPR, and were selected by their Board to open and fill up Flushing House in its first years of operation.  Mr. Cunningham has served as QICA's executive from 2002 to present.  QICA is the only borough-wide coalition of over one hundred organizations and individuals providing vital senior services. QICA speaks "With One Voice" to improve communication among senior service organizations, and lobbies with elected officials and policy makers, keeping them informed of issues vital to Queens seniors.  These honorees will receive the Rose Kryzak Senior Leadership Award.

Rose Kryzak was a senior activist who fought for the rights of older adults.  A resident of UAM-sponsored Flushing House for her last 13 years, she passed on June 24, 1999 at 99 years of age.  To keep her legacy alive, UAM established the Kryzak Awards in 2000.  At each annual Gala since, Kryzak's family has attended to help honor award winners for continuing good works on behalf of older adults.  Kryzak was best known for spearheading the New York State Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) plan, from her Flushing House apartment!

The gala fundraising dinner will be held on April 21, 2016, at The Garden City Hotel, beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Those interested in attending should RSVP by April 4, 2016 by sending their name and address with a $150 (per person) tax-deductible check payable to United Adult Ministries, to Robert Salant, director of community relations, Flushing House, 38-20 Bowne Street, Flushing, NY 11354.  For more information re: RSVPs and/or Souvenir Journal advertisements, please call (347) 532-3025 or email rsalant@uam.org - All proceeds support a special endowment fund, which helps keep Flushing House affordable for many of the older adults who live there.

Constructed in 1974, Flushing House is New York State's largest nonprofit Independent Living retirement community, and was one of the first offering older adults Independent Living with supportive services on-premises.  Please go to www.flushinghouse.com for more information.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160209/331323

 

SOURCE Flushing House



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