2004-05-21 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter
A Chat With Chapey


While I was flattered that our Editor thought my impromptu romp with frivolity (a photograph of me in a mink halter top!) was news-worthy of the front page, I rather felt it paled as a story in comparison to the biggest social event of the season: The Trinity Seniors Luncheon at Russo’s on-the-Bay. 

Anyone who attended the occasion (and if you didn’t then you had to have been vacationing on Mars) is still talking about it. While the organization itself is a much needed and worthy cause, there is perhaps only one woman whom I know of who can mount such a daunting task and inspire nearly 750 people to attend a Luncheon in the middle of a work week; and that is Trinity Seniors Services Founder Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey!

Trinity Services Inc. was founded in 1994, exactly 10 years ago. What began as an idea conceived at Dr. Chapey’s dining-room table has grown to enhance the lives of 2000 seniors who reside within our community. With its Transportation and Inter-Generational After-School Programs, seniors enjoy a more expanded quality of life. The van program has filled a void for many seniors who either never or no longer drive a car. Without adequate access to transportation, seniors have limited access to many of the joys of life itself. They have to often rely upon expensive taxi service or on family members. Often, and very needlessly, the walls of their lives close in and their world becomes limited. The van service shuttles groups of seven
or more to interesting destinations as museums, Broadway shows, shopping sprees, and other points of interest. The inter-generational program enables both seniors and youth the exchange and benefit of their myriad life experiences. Perhaps the "mascot" of the organization and model of what a vibrant, active, enthusiastic senior could be is the extraordinary Frances Abbracciamento who, along with Joseph Mure, served as Co-Chair.
 This year’s honorees were a distinguished roster who hail from different parts of our community. They were: Matilda Cuomo, Dr. Kathleen Cashin, Congressman Tom Manton, Rabbi Alan Blaine, Commissioner Joel Miele, Dr. Fred Malamet, Elizabeth Languilli, Robert Kane, Fay Cohen, Sherry Bernstein, Maureen and Andrew McGee, and Kathleen and Fred Leander.

For all of her endeavors on behalf of seniors, Dr. Chapey has been recently feted by Temple Beth-el as their Righteous Person of the Year and at Haddassah’s annual Heart Luncheon.   
  Just when Dr. Chapey thought she could enjoy a brief "post-luncheon" reprieve, she will again be honored, along with her husband Eugene Pasternak and her mother Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey, at The West End Temple’s 60th Anniversary Gala at The Sands in Atlantic Beach on June 12th.

The Chapey-Pasternaks are an esteemed family who represent staunch values as the importance of education (they all hold advanced degrees), faith, community activism, hard work and perseverance.

Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey serves as Democratic District Leader and is involved with issues that enhance our community. She is a Tenured Full-Professor of Psychology at Kingsborough Community College in the Behavioral Science Dept.. She earned her Doctorate in Management and Labor Relations from Rutgers University. Along with her many accomplishments in the Education field, are her worthwhile contributions to a variety of local organizations. Her strong leadership capabilities are evident in her re-organization of the Rockaway Catholic Jewish Council, The James Conway Sullivan Queens County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee’s Scholarship Program, and The Rockaway Music and Arts Council. Among her numerous honors and citations on behalf of seniors, Dr. Chapey was recently featured on New York One as New Yorker Of The Week. Geraldine has been widely published, including weekly columns in The Wave as well as other community newspapers.

Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey is a Full Professor at Lehman College where she teaches Graduate students. She obtained her Doctorate from Fordham University. A former member and past President of School Board 27, Dr. Chapey is an elected member of the New York State Board of Regents. She has served on the Governor’s Advisory Council and on the Board of Directors of the Association of Teachers of New York.

For her significant contributions to Education, Dr. Chapey has received a number of honors including Woman of the Year, National Council of Adminisrative Women in Education, the New York State Department of Leadership Award, and Educator of the Year Award. Dr. Chapey is cited in Who’s Who in the East and The International Who’s Who of Intellectuals.

An esteemed expert in the field of Education and Speech Pathology, Dr. Chapey is the Author of several books including: Developing Speaking Skills (McGraw Hill), and Ready For School (University Press). She has Lectured throughout the United States, as well as in London, Hong Kong, Vienna, Hamburg, and Dublin.

Of course behind every successful woman is a wonderful and supportive husband. Eugene Pasternak perhaps deserves the Husband/ Man of the Year Award! A successful businessman in his own right, Mr. Pasternak is the President of a Security business with offices in Rockaway. He holds an MBA from Farleigh Dickenson University where he has taught Business Management. An expert in Computer Science, Mr. Pasternak has taughborough. He is an active member of the Rockaway Rotary, the Rockaway Music and Arst Council, and a Board of Directors member of the parade committee. In addition to his accomplishments and being Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey’s husband, Eugene Pasternak is perhaps one of the nicest and most decent of men I’ve ever known!

The most profound theme of the Chapey-Pasternak legacy is excellence, service, and a passionate fervent belief that through example, faith, and hard work, anything can be accomplished; and that one’s boundaries and limitations are merely those that one imposes upon themselves. Congratulations to them on their much deserved honors.

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