Maplewood and South Orange have hired Maplewood resident Cathy Rowe to fill a new part-time position of Age Friendly coordinator for the two towns.
Rowe will run a new initiative called “SOMA: Two Towns for All Ages.”
It’s all part of an initiative to ensure that the senior population of the two towns continues to thrive and grow. Besides wanting to make it easier for residents who love the towns to stay in the towns, both Maplewood and South Orange leaders have recognized the need to hang on to “empty nesters” who help support the school district without putting a strain on its services as enrollment continues to increase.
Read more about the SOMA: Two Towns for All Ages initiative here.
Rowe, who has a background and education in public health, most recently worked to install vegetable gardens and health programs including Jefferson and Maplewood Middle. She worked with America’s Grow-a-Row, helping to bring fresh produce to underserved areas in New Jersey and wrote healthy eating and educational pieces for seniors served by Grow-a-Row. Before moving to Maplewood, Rowe worked for the NYC Department of Health’s Childhood Asthma Initiative and for the New York Academy of Medicine. She has degrees from Bates College and Columbia University’s School of Public Health.
Rowe began work the week of Feb. 27, according to South Orange Village President Sheena Collum, who announced Rowe’s hire at the last South Orange Village Board of Trustees meeting. Rowe has quickly jumped in and is promoting the SOMA – Two Towns For All Ages Senior Meet & Mix on Sunday, March 12, from 2-4 p.m. at The Woodland. Senior residents of South Orange and Maplewood are invited to come and meet other seniors and learn about upcoming events. The Meet & Mix includes a re-gift grab bag, so attendees should bring a wrapped gift. “Bring something, get something!” said Rowe.
The price of admission is one canned good for the Our Lady of Sorrows food pantry. Transportation is available by calling 973-763-0750. Call Maplewood Recreation at (973) 762-8120 x4005 with any questions.