United Adult Ministries will hold a gala celebration April 21, commemorating the 100 Year Anniversary of the organization which founded Flushing House at The Garden City Hotel, Garden City. The parent company of Flushing House, UAM, will also honor three outstanding individuals at their gala with The Rose Kryzak Senior Leadership Award.
This Centenary Celebration is a story of perseverance by eight Presbyterian women who never gave up on their dream to build a special home for older adults. Our story began on April 12, 1916, when incorporation of the Brooklyn Presbyterian Home for the Aged was approved. Years past with no construction, due to lack of funds. But the founders persevered, and in 1945 and 1946, the women’s auxiliary was allowed to purchase two brownstones in Brooklyn.
Realizing the need for more space, their board made plans known to the Presbyteries. Another site was found and in 1954 an 11-acre estate in Woodbury was secured. First residents from the brownstone moved into the Woodbury mansion in 1955. The late 50’s and early 60’s saw larger buildings go up on the estate, and mergers with other institutions in need of more space. In 1971 the Reformed Church in America affiliated with United Presbyterian Residence (UPR), sharing governance of the growing nursing home with Presbyteries of New York City and Long Island. By the late 1990’s, UPR served 700 residents on a 33-acre campus!
In 1969, the Reformed Church, at Bowne Street and 38th Avenue in Flushing, was destroyed by fire. UPR’s board saw this as an ideal site to finally build their dream home for older adults. This would be a nonprofit, nonsectarian, 12-story retirement community, with 319 apartments. An added benefit was nursing care, if needed, was available at UPR. Ground was broken in 1974, Flushing House opened in 1975 and is still the largest, nonprofit, Independent Living retirement community in New York State.
Rose Kryzak was a senior activist who also persevered fighting for older adults. A long-time Flushing House resident, she died on June 24, 1999 at 99 years young. To keep her legacy alive, UAM’s board started the Kryzak Awards in 2000. At each Gala, Kryzak’s family has attended to honor award winners for their service to older adults. Kryzak was known for spearheading New York’s Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage plan.
Our honorees also persevered, dedicating years of service to older adults. Bruce Cunningham has been executive director of the Queens Interagency Council on Aging (QICA), from 2002 to present. QICA is the only borough-wide coalition of over a 100 organizations and individuals providing vital senior services. QICA speaks “With One Voice,” improving communication amongst Queens senior service organizations. As their “sparkplug,” Cunningham has created hundreds of QICA programs and has lobbied effectively with elected officials and policy makers, informing on issues of vital concern to Queens seniors. Charles and Christine Frank, the first co-administrators of Flushing House, met while working at UPR. They were selected by their board to open and fill up Flushing House in its first years of operation. These honorees will receive the Rose Kryzak Senior Leadership Award.
Aside from perseverance on behalf of older adults, this Centenary Celebration is also about the continuing mission of UAM, Expanding Horizons For Older Adults. UAM asks all who care for the elderly to support their fundraiser. All proceeds support a special endowment fund, which keeps Flushing House affordable for many of the older adults who live there. Help strengthen their fund for the next 100 years.
The gala fundraising dinner will start at 6 p.m. RSVP by April 4 by sending your name, address, and 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, call (347) 532-3025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org