Around the Island

Richard’s almanac: A new face at the Senior Center

Sara Mundy has been named assistant to Laurie Fanelli, director of Senior Services at the Senior Center, and started her new post last week.

It won’t be long before the Shelter Island Senior Center has an online presence — thanks to Laurie Fanelli’s new assistant. Sara Mundy has been named Assistant to the Director of Senior Services and started her new post last week.

“I am working on a Facebook page and an Instagram page,” Sara told me, adding that she wants family and friends of the seniors to be able to log on and feel more connected to their loved ones even if they are far away.   

“I want them to see pictures of what they’re doing,” Sara said.

Sara is an Island native and went to Shelter Island School from kindergarten through graduation from high school. Sara left the Island for college in New York City where she attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy of New York.

Sara is an accomplished pianist and singer. She also plays guitar and gives piano lessons. I suspect that in the near future music will become a significant component of the Center.

Twenty-seven-year-old Sara sings in church choirs and local bands. Her uplifting demeanor and attitude should make her an important addition to the Center staff.

The day I spoke with her she had just returned from Town Hall where she had to sign lots of papers and be approved to drive the Center’s vehicles — except the large bus which requires a commercial license.

Sara says she enjoys interacting with older people and has a great deal of patience. And she’s grounded on this Island with parents, grandparents and a great-grandmother living here.

After college, Sara supported herself in New York with her singing and piano playing, which had to be supplemented by work as a nanny.

“I learned to be very patient working with little kids,” she said.

The “help wanted” ad that Laurie posted said that among other qualities, the successful candidate should have computer skills and be able to accompany the bus driver and seniors on field trips, adding that the “ideal candidate is resourceful, creative, a good problem solver and organized.”

First impressions tell me that Sara is a perfect choice for this part-time position.

Meanwhile, the movie program at the Senior Center seems to be off to a fantastic start. Numerous viewers have come to see the Oscar-winning films on the gigantic new flat screen television. “The Darkest Hour” played last Tuesday and “I, Tonya” is planned for next week. Refreshments are always served and transportation to the Center and back home is available if you call in advance. And this great treat won’t cost you anything. So get out of the house and take advantage of this Island service. All films start at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays.