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Senior center donates van

Ed Neary, executive director of Colonie Senior Services Center and administrator of Bright Horizons, said he is glad to be able to help the budding program by offering the van.

"We wish Theresa and her crew a lot of good miles on her vehicle. Colonie Senior Service Centers is always seeking ways to coordinate transportation and share resources with adjacent communities to serve the senior community better," said Neary.

Bright Horizons is run from the Beltrone Living Center, St. Joseph's Provincial House and Pine Grove Methodist Church, and it has been around for 25 years, he said.

"We provide [Alzhimer's patients] with activities and meals. It's a full-day program," he said.

The bus was donated on behalf of Colonie Senior Services.

"Every year we go in and look at rotating the stock of vehicles," Neary said.

He said the van was already written off, so donating is more helpful than having it sit in a parking lot somewhere.

"It worked out well for us," he said. "We had fully depreciated the vehicle."

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, who advocates on behalf of keeping seniors in their community, backed the program as well.

Breslin said he supports "every activity we can do to assist seniors to stay at home, to get nutrition, to get socialization."

Bridges board member Mary Jo McNulty echoed Breslin.

"It would be very nice for residents. I would like to see people able to stay home," said McNulty, who is also a nurse at the Glendale Nursing Home.

McNulty said 60 percent of those with Alzheimer's disease could be cared for at home, but many times they are sent to a nursing home or other care facility.

McNulty's husband, David, is planning to help with the construction and renovation of the Bridges day care facility, she said.

Bob Beston, D-Watervliet, said he fully supports Ashline and noted her hard work at the Watervliet Senior Center.

"It's just the hub of the city as far as seniors go," he said.

Watervliet Mayor Mike Manning also praised Ashline for her hard work and expressed thanks to Neary.

He described the van as a "big ticket item" that the programs was lucky to get pro bono. He was especially glad it was in such good condition, he said.

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