Covid-19 virus did not stop Hewlett-based CALE | Herald Community Newspapers
Covid-19 virus did not stop Hewlett-based CALE |  Herald Community Newspapers

Covid-19 virus did not stop Hewlett-based CALE | Herald Community Newspapers

The Director of the Center for Adult Life Enrichment, Lee Gerardi, personally welcomes and leads members into what was the wagon house on the Hewlett property on the Hewlett High School campus at 37 East Rockaway Road.

Everyone who enters must disinfect their hands, have their temperature taken, wear a mask and complete an 11-question Covid exemption regarding vaccination and testing, to help everyone in safety and healthy.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, CALE has remained a cornerstone of members’ lives. Gerardi and others have kept in touch with members by phone and keep them informed through daily emails.

Whether on Zoom or in person, Gerardi, the chairman of the board, first Richard Braverman and now Rhonnie Fischman, along with the board, have kept the “doors” open under Covid. [Full disclosure, I am a board member.]

“It’s been a struggle,” Gerardi said, not long after singer / songwriter Stuart Markus finished his approximately hour-long performance. “There were so many varieties and we’ve weathered that storm together.” She also credited the vendors who provide their services and talents.

CALE is proud to offer lectures in high school caliber, entertaining musical artists and, whenever possible, stimulating day trips. The programs, from book discussions to intimate concerts, training sessions, including tai chi and Zumba, maintain CALE’s mission to serve its members, offer the programs and services members want, and be the home away from home for them.

“Many of our members live alone because of Covid, their family members are away from them and they feel isolated, we can not have them isolated,” Fischman said, explaining why it was crucial to get CALE to offer its program to members and then reopened. personally in August 2020 under strict Covid protocols that remain in place, which includes limiting the number of people in the building to a maximum of 12.

“Members see that we care about them, and being with us outside of their apartment is to the benefit of their entire psyche,” Fischman added. She also teaches between French at CALE. “Lee’s role has been so steadfast that she just keeps it sunny, optimistic and healthy.”

Only four members attended Markus’ Thursday show, but Gerardi said more would have attended, but for the weather and concern over the Omicron variant that has kept people at home, the reasons CALE continues to offer programs over Zoom.

Markus, member of the recognized folk band Assembly timehas been performing for 27 years and doing it full time in 20. “Music is very powerful for humans and seems to improve memory,” he said as he packed his guitar and compact sound system together.

Markus noted that with today’s senior audience, the diversity of music he plays has expanded. During his performance, he ranged from “Me and My Shadow” sung by Sammy Davis Jr. to Jimmy Buffets “Margaritaville”.

Under the proverb “it takes a village,” Community Chest sponsors the South Shore, Hewlett-Woodmere School District, Inwood Charities, Nassau County Department of Aging, National Council of Jewish Women-Peninsula Section, and Town of Hempstead agencies.

To learn more about the Center for Adult Life Enrichment or to become a member, call (516) 374-4747 or email [email protected]. The website is

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