SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Schenectady County Legislature has announced the winners of the 2022 Hon. Karen B. Johnson Schenectady County Older New Yorker of the Year Awards, which are sponsored by the Schenectady County Department of Senior and Long-Term Care Services. The awards were presented at a luncheon on Tuesday for the awardees and their guests.

The awards were created to recognize older adults in the community who have offered their time and experience to worthwhile projects or causes, either through professional or volunteer efforts. The Senior and Long-Term Care Services Advisory Council voted to rename the award in 2019 after Karen B. Johnson, who previously served on the Council and was a liaison between the Department of Senior and Long-Term Care Services and the County Legislature.

“The volunteers we are here to honor today have served our community as first responders and through not-for-profit and senior organizations,” said Schenectady County Legislator Michelle Ostrelich, Chair of the Health, Housing and Human Services Committee. “Congratulations to all the awardees. Your commitment to our community has helped countless residents when they need it the most.”


Nancy Massaroni

Nancy, a mother of two, grandmother of four children and retired employee from the New York State Department of Health, was nominated by St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church. Nancy is a lifelong resident of Schenectady, who spends her retirement as a board member for the Sons of Italy. In addition, Nancy spends many hours knitting and crocheting for the Rotterdam Senior Center, Stitches of Heart Ministry, local crafting stores, and her granddaughter’s girl scouts troop.

Nancy turned her passion into a mission, most notably through the Stitches of Heart and Stitches of Love Ministries which she leads at local churches. Prayer shawls are made and distributed to community members who experience illness, grief, or any type of struggle. Shawls are also made to welcome new babies into the community and to honor Veterans. Homemade dishcloths and potholders are included in welcome home kits for families transitioning from homelessness into new homes.

Adrienne Westfall

Adrienne, a lifelong resident of Rotterdam and teacher at Scotia-Glenville’s Lincoln Elementary School for 34 years, was nominated by Schenectady ARC. Adrienne has served on the ARC board for more than three decades. A spokesperson for the ARC said, “through her commitment and genuine desire to help, Adrienne has helped to ensure that the participants of Schenectady ARC are able to live healthy, rewarding and fulfilled lives living, learning, working, and playing within the community.”

Adrienne is highly regarded by her former students and colleagues and is considered one of the most influential volunteers at Schenectady ARC. Her service to SARC combined with her passion, dedication, and wealth of knowledge has helped shape SARC into a top provider of disability services, according to the spokesperson.

Schenectady County Hon. Karen B. Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award:

Angelina Pomykai

Angelina is a mother of two, grandmother of one, and has a faithful companion, an American Eskimo dog named Cody. A retiree from General Electric, Angelina was nominated by the Town of Glenville. She is a lifelong member of Schenectady County.

Angelina’s outstanding contribution to seniors is her dedication to the Glenville Senior Center’s newsletter, which is published six times a year with each issue distributed to about 1500 seniors and other organizations in and outside the community. The volunteers and staff say they enjoy working with her on each edition. Her efforts ensure that seniors are aware of events and happening in the community, thereby providing opportunities to keep them actively involved.