From left to right: Bill Snyder Jr., Phil Drozd, Clyde Drake, Joan Barsalou, Timothy Hogues, Mark Poloncarz.

By Carlee Frank

On Dec. 20, Joan Barsalou was awarded ‘Senior of the Month’ by Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Commissioner of Senior Services Timothy Hogues. Each year, seniors throughout the county are recognized for their honorable volunteer efforts, and 2017 marks the first time that a Springville senior has been honored.

Beginning with her work as a nurse in the United States Army, Joan Barsalou has a long history of selfless volunteering. She has worked at ECMC, the Suburban Adult Services for the Handicapped and countless other organizations. Recently, her position as CLUB 99 senior fitness Group Leader at the Concord Senior Center has been indispensable.

“Joan and her exercise class actually saved the center,” Richard Dewauld, head of fitness and exercise, said. “They got down to the point when they only served meals when she held class –it was the only thing bringing people through the doors.”

Her assistance in the senior center’s current success was noted not only by Dewauld, but by Supervisor-Elect Clyde Drake and Councilman-Elect Philip Drozd, who were both in attendance.

The celebration ended with a surprise musical cameo by Poloncarz himself. After admiring the musical abilities of the band, and admitting his own musical proficiency, he was asked to join the ensemble.