NEWBURGH – Newburgh citizens, community organizations and elected officials celebrated the lifetime of dedication to the city by founder of Newburgh Meals on Wheels, Frederica Warner, Friday afternoon, renaming the section of Roe Street she had lived on for 35 years Frederica Warner Way.
Warner, who will celebrate her 100th birthday on December 14th, founded Newburgh Meals on Wheels in the early 70s and has since, despite her age, continuously remained active within the city community. Warner has dedicated her entire life to helping those in need within the community and in addition to founding Meals on Wheels, has worked closely with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Cornell Cooperative Extension, as well as being heavily involved in local, church-run, charities.
Warner chats with Mayor Kennedy
A permanent tribute to Warner
Warner said her work has always been motivated by her desire to return Newburgh to its golden years and her belief that it’s only a matter of time before that desire becomes reality.
“I want Newburgh to shine; I want Newburgh to shine like it was,” said Warner. “I want Newburgh to shine the way it did when I was a little kid, and nothing’s impossible.”
Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy said, after giving an emotional explanation of the value of service to others when looking back on one’s life, that the city was more than happy to honor Warner with a tangible representation of her impact on the community.
“When you have somebody that has had a life of service, she’s 100 years old, a life of service: constantly working, either initiating something or contributing to someone else’s efforts, to make the city a better place, you don’t find many people that selfless and that willing to just keep going and keep doing,” said Kennedy. “Naming this portion of the street for her, I think, is a way of saying to people, ‘This is the way you do it. This is the power that moves things forward in a positive way,’ and she did that.”
Warner said, after being honored by a sleuth of community leaders and elected officials, that she was elated and has never had such ceremony dedicated to her before.
Warner had a message, “If you ever need me, come find me. Call me. Knock on my door. I’ll be there.”