Elder Law Firm Helps Low Income Seniors on Ll – Fundraiser at Engeman Theatre – April 24th
For the sixth time, the Melville based elder law firm Cona Elder Law has granted a wish to a low-income senior through its program Senior Dreams Come True. Recently, they chose Anna Castoro, 68 and resident of Riverhead, who requested assistance to get the dental care she needs for a healthier lifestyle.
Since her husband James passed away about ten years ago and she had to stop working in 2009 due to an illness, Anna’s life completely changed. A former cost accountant and legal secretary, she now depends on just social security and food stamps.
Anna learned about Senior Dreams Come True on the internet over a year ago and held onto the application because she didn’t think this program could really be true. Finally, she decided to submit it and was thrilled and shocked to learn that she was in the running. “I asked for three wishes and Cona Elder Law granted my dental dream,” says Anna. “I had to get a few crowns on my top teeth which were chipped with old large fillings, an extraction and a tooth added to my partial on the bottom. Now I will be able to speak more clearly and not be afraid to smile.”
In addition to having an income of under $ 1,500/month for a single person, $2,000/month for a married couple, the senior is required to have given back to their community in some way. For Anna, it was designing, manufacturing and selling religious dolls in Rome and in the U.S. and donating the proceeds to the Little Flower Children’s Services in Wading River.
After contributing to needy children on LI, now it was Anna’s turn to get what she needs but can’t afford. As part of Cona Elder Law’s efforts in the Senior Dreams Come True Program, Cona Elder Law located Dr. Harry Boutis, a general dentist with offices in Smithtown and Mount Sinai, to provide the necessary dental work. To the surprise of all, Dr. Boutis donated the entire cost of the dental work to Anna, valued at more than $ 3,000. The law firm also provided transportation for Anna to the dentist since her 14 year old car is not reliable.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to help others in need, and I was more than happy to offer my services to Cona Elder Law and the Senior Dreams Come True program” says Dr. Boutis who is in practice for nearly 20 years. “Anna is such a sweet, positive person that it’s like working on family.”
“We are so pleased to grant this wish to Anna,” said Jennifer Cona, managing partner, Cona Elder Law, elder law firm. “Anna is exactly the kind of person our program is designed to help – not only someone in need but someone who has helped others during their lifetime. By reaching out to colleagues, we have been able to secure donations of goods and services, which has allowed us to stretch our charitable dollars to help more seniors who have basic needs or lifelong dreams,” says Ms. Cona.
To expand Senior Dreams Come True, Cona Elder Law is planning a fundraising event to be held at the John W. Engeman Theatre in Northport on April 24th. A portion of the proceeds from the dinner event and show “The Music Man” will be donated to Cona Elder Law’s charitable program. For information, go to www.conaelderlaw.com/ charitable events/senior dreams.
Applicants must be 65 or over with an income limit of no more than $1,500 a month for a single person and $2,000 a month for a married couple. Applicants are required to send a letter or statement under 750 words describing their wish and documenting how they have contributed to society in some way.
To obtain a “Wish Request” form and application, go to Cona Elder Law website at www.conaelderlaw.com or call Moriah Farrell at 631.390.5000 for more information.
Senior Dreams Come True is also seeking donations to help raise funds to grant wishes. Donations are tax-deductible under 501(c)(3) of the tax code.
Cona Elder Law is recognized as a leading elder law and estate planning firm on Long Island. The firm was ranked the #1 Elder Law firm by Long Island Business News in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The firm provides creative advocacy and cutting edge planning strategies and has been featured in many publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, L.I. Business News, Kiplinger’s, Reader's Digest and many others. Cona Elder Law attorneys are frequent contributors to Newsday’s Act II “Ask the Expert” column and have appeared as guests on WNBC-TV, CNN-fn, News 12, News 55, Channel 21 "Act II With Newsday" and many radio stations including WOR, WCBS AM and WFAN.