Faith in Action

Making the Climb

Seniors around The Salvation Army’s Eastern Territory are finding new ways to ‘zip’ into retirement.


Hurray for Hollywood!

With the Poconos as a picturesque backdrop, seniors looking for some fun can find it at the Salvation Army’s Camp Ladore.

For 26 weeks a year, Ladore offers a camping experience under various themes. The most popular one this year was “Hurray for Hollywood.” “Red Hat,” ”Spring,” and “Fitness” were other themes.

“It’s just like being on a cruise,” said Barb Korteling, the director of sales at Ladore.

Seniors get a schedule that features a patriotic flag raising, breakfast, chapel, boat rides, yoga, outdoor games, lunch, an auction, crafts, bowling, dinner, evening chapel, and a game of Hollywood Squares to close the day.

Korteling said Ladore currently draws about 2,500 seniors a year. She hopes that number will increase to 3,500.

Seniors in the PENDEL Division who meet the financial requirements can camp for free. Others who are paying their own way pay only $220 a week. That fee includes meals, a room, and all entertainment and activities. For seniors on a fixed income, that’s a huge bargain.

“You’re not going anywhere in this country for that price and still get what’s at Ladore,” Korteling said.

For people seeking spiritual guidance, there are chaplains who visit and stroll the grounds. Majors Glenn and Bonita Snyder, who are the administrators at Ladore, also serve as chaplains. “The seniors have so much fun, they cry when they leave,” Korteling said. “They are so grateful for this program.”

The good soldier

Anthony Sherer, the community cares secretary at the Worship & Service Center in Lima, Ohio, was recently honored with a certificate for 15 years of faithful service.

Major Debbie Stacy, the corps officer in Lima, said Sherer has been involved in the League of Mercy program since the early 1980s.

Sherer, who is also the corps treasurer and takes care of the offering on Sundays, volunteers to drive when needed, plays the bass drum in the corps band, and assists with “Kettles in July” and Christmas kettles.

“Tony is the kind of soldier whom any officer would love to have at the corps,” Stacy said.

No time to waste

Solo Carrasquillo may be a relatively new soldier at the Boston South End Corps, but he is making up for lost time.

“He takes his soldiership seriously and doesn’t want to just sit around,” said Captain Kimberly Smith, the corps officer at Boston South End. “He spreads the love of Jesus by getting out into our neighborhood. He has been a tremendous witness through his humility and service.”

Smith said Carrasquillo prepares coffee, tea, and refreshments for meetings at the corps, including Sunday school. He also volunteers at the senior group on Thursdays, preparing snacks and serving lunch.

“Solo is often helping a senior carry groceries or is making a plate of hot food for a shut–in,” Smith said.

A generational alliance

Major Sylvia Rebeck may be retired, but she is bringing music to the next generation in Alliance, Ohio.

Lieutenant D. Matthew Hamilton, the corps officer in Alliance, said Rebeck has started a small music group. She is teaching piano and trumpet to 10–12 people in the corps.

“She is serving God through music and bringing alive a great culture of music in young people,” Hamilton said. “She has been teaching for a good year now and the kids are excited and are lining up to learn from her.”

Inspiring others

Diane Bennett’s 27 years as an active soldier at the Red Bank, N.J., Corps have not gone unnoticed.

Bennett serves on the Red Bank Corps Council, League of Mercy, and takes part in all women’s ministry activities, including a Bible study and Home League.

She also cooks for many events, including Sunday family gatherings, the Bread of Life Soup Kitchen, and summer day camp. Bennett also coordinated a women’s exercise program and was part of the knitting group at the corps.

“It has been inspiring to see her ‘wheels turning’ for as long as I have known Diane,” said Jesabel Cruz, the office manager at the Red Bank Corps.

‘Volunteer of the Year’

Daisy Estelle Anderson may be 95, but she is more active than people half her age.

In April, Anderson was awarded the Catholic Charities USA “Volunteer of the Year” Award by touching 10,000 lives as a volunteer.

Since the early 1990s, Anderson has played Bridge with the Salvation Army’s Golden Age Center (GAC) Bridge Club in Buffalo, N.Y. She told a reporter for the Buffalo News, “I’m not a very good bridge player and they’re hard up for a bridge player, so they don’t mind playing with me.”

Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, announced the honor in April.

“Estelle truly embodies the generous charity Jesus describes in the Good Samaritan parable; she has worked tirelessly on behalf of young mothers in need and for senior citizens,” Markham said.

Finding Grand Success

The Salvation Army’s Newark, N.J., Westside Corps is home to the Essex County KINSHIP Grandfamily Success Center—a multi–service program for grandparents and caregivers.

Rosario Reimon–Jenkins, director of the center, said the corps offers several group activities, including a senior caregiver’s group, a Friday Crafter Club, and  the “Golden Sit & Fit Group.”

“In this class, participants discuss their everyday concerns and receive a biblical class to enrich their lives,” Reimon–Jenkins said.

Some of the topics covered in the class are “The Scriptures,” “The True God,” “The Fall of Man,” and many other spiritual topics.

The Friday Crafter Club meets each week with program helper Melissa Anim.

“The goal of this group is also to help all participants reach a deeper understanding of the Lord,” Reimon–Jenkins said. “In this group, we have activities, such as knitting, arts & crafts, and coloring. They help promote peace and stillness so all participants are able to receive the message of the day.”

The Golden Sit & Fit Group is small and all about exercise and walking closer to God. The group begins with a devotional.

“Participants are encouraged to pray about their physical needs,” Reimon–Jenkins said. “To help them focus on deeper discipleship, all of the exercises are done during praise and worship.

“At the end, we close with prayer and thank our Lord for what He is doing and what He will do,” Reimon–Jenkins said. “As a team, we have an opportunity to minister to one another on a daily basis  and pray for one another.”

Manhattan Citadel rising

Captain Antonio Rosamilia is looking forward in a few years to opening an extraordinary new Manhattan Citadel in East Harlem.

When finished, it will have several stories of senior housing on top of it.

“It will be a perfect combination of corps ministry and residence ministry,” Rosamilia said. “It will be a safe haven for our youth and seniors. Human need will be met holistically, and seniors as well as youth will have their own spaces.”

The new complex will include 211 apartments for senior housing, Rosamilia said, and will be a “safe, Christian, loving, and discrimination–free facility.”

Rosamilia said the corps chapel will occupy the ground floor, while a basketball court and laundry will be in the basement. The 2nd floor will feature a cafeteria, offices, and classrooms. The 3rd floor will offer fitness rooms, a café, offices, a library, and meeting rooms.

Senior apartments will occupy the 4th through 11th floors.

The Manhattan Citadel is renting space in the neighborhood until the new facility is finished.

To follow the building’s progress, go to the time–lapse camera at

by Robert Mitchell

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