Bristol Senior Center celebrates 40th in style

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A crowd of approximately 100 people attended the Bristol Senior Center’s 40th anniversary on Sunday at Jacky’s Galaxie.

“It was nice to see so many familiar faces here to help us celebrate this momentous occasion,” said Bristol Senior Center Executive Director Maria Ursini. “This was all about Emma (Dimond) Brown (Benjamin Church Home trustee) and the elderly of Bristol. We can’t thank her enough for all she’s done to keep the Center alive and well.”

Ms. Brown, who was present with several family members, received a citation from state representative Raymond E. Gallison Jr., and a proclamation from Bristol Town Administrator Antonio A. “Tony” Teixeira and Town Council chairwoman Mary A. Parella.

“This is a very deserving event for a group of folks who have dedicated time and resources to preserve the ‘yellow house’ to serve our seniors,” said Tony Teixeira.

Ms. Ursini, who has served as Bristol Senior Center executive director for the past 2 and 1/2 years, was also honored by the R.I. General Assembly and local officials for her dedication and service to the Senior Center. Remarks were also given by Bristol Senior Center Board of Directors President Josephine Alves.

“I never expected anything like this,” said Ms. Ursini. “I appreciated the acknowledgement that I received Sunday, and I really wasn’t expecting it. This wasn’t about me; it was about giving back to the elderly. I will continue doing what I have been doing and always have goals. One of my biggest goals now is to get more residents to come into this home and see what this town has to offer.”

Also present for the festivities were Bristol Town Councilman Edward Stuart, State Rep. Kenneth A. Marshall, Bristol Senior Citizens Board members and volunteers, and Bristol Housing Authority executive director Candace “Candy” Pansa, who presented a bouquet of flowers to Ms. Ursini in recognition of all her hard work and dedication to the Senior Center.

The blessing was given by Sister Marietta Walsh and entertainment was provided by the “Red Suspenders.”

When it comes to seniors citizens, Maria Ursini took a philosophical approach. She said in summation, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

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