Hundreds of seniors dressed in patriotic attire and filled the Avalon Community Center for the 2015 Cape May County Senior Jamboree. The Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Aging and Disability Services hosted the county’s annual Senior Jamboree on May 14, 2015. The theme of the event, held each year in honor of Older American’s Month, was “A Salute to the Military.” The fun day of celebrating county seniors and veterans took place at the Avalon Community Center located at 30th & the Beach in Avalon, New Jersey. There was music, dancing and a free lunch served by staff and students from Wildwood Catholic High School. Also, awards were presented to Fred Trasatti Jr., “Senior Male of the Year”, “Senior Female of the Year” Hilda Orlando and the “Organization of the Year” AARP Wildwood Chapter 5235.
“Senior Male of the Year” Fred Trasatti Jr. of Del Haven, New Jersey is retired from the United States Marine Corp., served in Vietnam from 1967-1968 and earned four purple Hearts. Trasatti is currently the Senior Vice Commander for the Disabled American Veterans’ Chapter 44 in Del Haven and the Second Junior Vice-Commander for the New Jersey State Disabled American Veterans. Trasatti is the VA Hospital service coordinator for Cape May County which entails scheduling and taking reservations plus driving the DAV vehicles to and from VA hospitals. He volunteers countless hours orchestrating rides to and from the Wilmington and Philadelphia VA Hospitals for Cape May County veterans. Freeholder Kristine Gabor said, “Fred is a very caring and conscientious individual whose compassion is for our men and women that have served. This award is a culmination of all of the various organizations he has been volunteering for his entire life.”
“Senior Female of the Year” Hilda Orlando volunteers at Crest Haven Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center once a month where she plays bingo with the residents. Orlando cooks meals monthly for the veterans at the VFW. She is member of the State of New Jersey VFW Ladies auxiliary. She and her Husband, Joe Orlando, the 2010 Senior Male of the year, will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in 2016. Orlando is always volunteering her time at Veterans’ Posts and any function that have to do with assisting veterans. Additionally, she cooks and bakes for special events throughout the year. Freeholder Gabor said, “ Hilda is always willing to give personal support and genuinely cares about the veterans of Cape May County.”
Organization of the Year AARP Wildwood Chapter 5235 was founded and certified in October 1997. They have approximately 90 members who attend monthly meetings at the Wildwood Crest Pier. The mission of AARP Chapters is to enhance the quality of life of persons over 50. They also participate in non-partisan advocacy on issues and legislation that will impact older persons and communities. Locally, they support many organizations. At Christmas time, the AARP Wildwood Chapter donates toys, hats, gloves and scarves for the children of the Glenwood Avenue School. Also, they are proud supporters of the Children’s Fresh Air Home and they collect non-perishable food for the Lazarus House food pantry.
Additionally, the AARP Wildwood Chapter makes donations annually to Volunteers in Medicine, the Coalition Against Rape and Abuse, Inc., Love of Linda, the Veteran’s Administration and the Wildwood Crest Library.
Each member of the AARP Wildwood Chapter reports their community volunteer activity hours in a chapter log book and in 2014 members logged in 1,700 hours of volunteer service. The record of these hours shows the commitment of members to their chapter and also to the people and organizations of Cape May County.