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Riverhead Senior Center celebrates annual ’90 and over’ event

Age is just a number.

That popular phrase certainly applies to Dorothy Janowicz of Riverhead, who turned age 101 in May. She still lives in Glenwood Village, and is mostly independent, with an occasional check-in from caretaker Michelina Dauito of Comfort Keepers in Riverhead.

Although Glenwood is a retirement community, Ms. Janowicz said its residents are much younger than she — so she visits the Riverhead Senior Center, as she has for the past two months, to be among folks more her age.

Ms. Janowicz and 23 other town residents age 90 or older were honored Friday at the center’s annual “90 and Over” event.

Nonagenarians and centenarians were presented with proclamations of appreciation by Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith. Afterward, the honorees and their guests enjoyed a hot lunch.

“You serve as an inspiration to us all,”  Riverhead Senior Center manager Debbie Schwarz told the group. “Thank you all for being here today. It’s been a wonderful experience, and I say that on behalf of all of our staff.”

The annual event grows larger each year, Ms. Jens-Smith said, as more family and friends come to celebrate another year for their relatives.

“It really is great to be here and be able to support the community, and that we see these people stay in our community,” she said.

Joseph Barraco, 92, has lived at Riverhead Landing for over 20 years. He said a celebration is warranted for anyone above the age of 90.

“I feel wonderful by meeting all these people,” he said. “They all have the right to have a good time; doesn’t matter the age.”

A sense of community emerges from mingling with other seniors, Ms. Janowicz said.

“To be with people my age, I love it here,” she said.

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