By Melanie Lekocevic Capital Region Independent Media
CAIRO — A resource fair held at the Cairo Public Library put the interests of area veterans front and center.
The event, held Nov. 16, was hostedbystateSen.Michelle Hinchey, D-46. The senator was unable to attend as she was quarantining at the time after receiving a positive COVID-19 test.
“The senator is very sad to miss this, but unfortunately she is still homequarantining,”Hinchey’s chief of staff, Leah Goldman, said.
Hinchey reached out to American Legion Post 983 Commander Mike Adrian to put the resource fair together to make veterans aware of the programs and benefits that are available to them.
“Sen.Hincheyapproached me and said she wanted to have a resource fair so we jumped on board,” Adrian said. “This is all about veterans, veterans’ benefits and resources they are allowed. It’s a nice program that Sen. Hinchey started.”
Representatives were on hand from a variety of organizations, fromColumbia-GreeneCommunityCollegetoutilitycompany Central Hudson, Blue Star Mothers of Greene County, Albany Stratton VA Hospital, a therapeutic riding center, an agency that helps homeless veterans, and assistance with finding employment, among others.
A representative from U.S. Rep. AntonioDelgado,D-19,handed out a resource guide with information on federal and other benefits and services available to veterans.
GreeneCountySheriffPeter Kusmisky said the fair was a valuable resource for local veterans.
“I am glad veterans are here today to avail themselves of services that are available in the community,” Kusminsky said. “It’s great to see them out here.”
Blue Star Mothers First Vice President Karen Dudley said her group’s mission is to help veterans in any way they can. “Blue Star Mothers is an organization that likes to fill the gaps in what veterans need,” Dudley said. “We have reached out to our veterans at the local nursing homes — we just replaced the flags for them — and we send them cards, we send packages overseas, wherever we can help. We go ‘mom’ on whoever needs it.”
Veteran Chris Algozzine from American Legion Post 983 in Cairo shared ways the Legion can help those who have served.
“It’s important to be a member of the American Legion so that you can interact with people who have served, understand what is happening to you and your family as veterans, and to find out all the programs that are available to you and get help if you need it with any of those programs,” Algozzine said. “It’s a great way for veterans to get together and help each other out.”
Greene County Legislator Harry Lennon, D-Cairo, attended the resource fair and said it provided an important service for veterans.
“I am hoping veterans come not only from Cairo, but from all over Greene County to take advantage of this,” Lennon said. “I hope we can build on this in the years to come. This is the first time it has been done in Cairo and everybody did a wonderful job putting this together — I hope we can continue it and make it bigger for all of the veterans of Greene County and for all they have sacrificed for this country. We can’t thank them enough.”
MEDUSA – Zena B. Higgins, 58, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, at St. Peter’s Hospital.
She was born in Catskill on July 25, 1963, to the late Gordon and Ruth Waldron Shaver. She was raised in Westerlo and graduated from Greenville Central School. After marrying Anthony P. Higgins, they moved to Florida in 1986. In 2002, they moved to their current home in Medusa.
Zena worked at Greenville Central School until 2014, and was currently working as a service writer for Greenville Saw Service. She also worked at Zoom Flume in the summers. Zena enjoyed riding motorcycles, being with her family, spending good times with her friends, and loved her pets and animals. In addition to her parents, she is predeceased by her brother, Blaine Shaver.
Zena is survived by her beloved husband, Anthony P. Higgins; her children, Dominick (Brittany) and Mackenzie (fiancé, Nicholas) Higgins; her grandchild, River Higgins; her siblings, Kayette (George) Ferraioli, Doyle (Melony) Shaver, and Marla Shaver; and many nieces and nephews.
Zena has been privately cremated. Calling hours were held on Thursday, Feb. 10, from 5-8 p.m. at the A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home, 4898 State Route 81, Greenville. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a humane society of one’s choice. Condolences can be posted at ajcunninghamfh.com.