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Atria 'Care-Avan' Helps Briarcliff Seniors During Sandy

Volunteers from Louisville, Ky., hand out supplies at Atria On The Hudson in Ossining on Wednesday.
Volunteers from Louisville, Ky., hand out supplies at Atria On The Hudson in Ossining on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy Atria Senior Living

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Dozens of volunteers with Atria Senior Living went the extra mile – and then 815 more – to help senior citizens in Briarcliff Manor, Ossining, Ardsley and Rye Brook during Hurricane Sandy.

While each Atria community provided shelter and power and heat through a generator, about 30 employees from the company’s support center in Louisville, Ky., made the 816-mile journey to Westchester in rental trucks and SUVs Wednesday to bring additional supplies and aide to the communities during the storm. The truck, affectionately referred to as the “Care-Avan,” carried hundreds of batteries, blankets and extra generators to the four Atria communities in Westchester County.

“We needed it and Louisville came through for us,” said Atria Briarcliff Manor resident Leslye Hickman. “The blankets kept us warm and it really was a great help.”

Hickman and other residents, like Rose Marie DeBernardo, also praised the local staff for providing extra care that included extra blankets and lanterns when the power was lost.

Atria Briarcliff Manor remained without power Thursday and had to run on generator power. Con Edison officials said Thursday that it could be several days before power would be fully restored. Atria Senior Living, a provider in independent living, assisted living and memory care services, provides homes to more than 600 residents in Westchester, representatives said.

“I’m very proud and impressed that we were able to get that kind of support when we needed it most,” said Atria’s Westchester Regional Vice President John Hartmayer. “Whatever our needs were, they said OK.”

Hartmeyer added that the volunteers set up at Atria On The Hudson in Ossining and drove needed supplies to each community in Westchester. The efforts “were incredible,” he said.

“When you go through a storm like that, there is anxiety about people’s safety and making sure they get everything they need,” Hartmayer said. “Well, our support staff took that anxiety away.”

Ryan Linehan of Atria Briarcliff Manor’s said it was the group’s primary goal to make sure residents were as comfortable as possible during the storm. But he didn’t expect the support staff to travel hundreds of miles.

“It’s just amazing,” Linehan said. “What a great relief it was to see them coming such a long way to make sure we were OK. It shows how much people care and come together when it’s really needed.”

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