For over three years, Ralph Mercadante and his wife Catherine, both in their 70s and residents of Ronkonkoma, desperately needed a new mattress and box spring but couldn’t afford one. Ralph has a back problem and neuropathy in his foot. Their 12 year old mattress was too soft and exacerbated the back pain resulting in sleepless nights. Then they learned about Senior Dreams Come True. Sponsored by Genser Dubow Genser and Cona (Cona Elder Law), Elder Law Counselors, the new charitable program grants wishes to low income seniors on Long Island.
After submitting a letter describing their desperate situation, the Mercadantes were chosen as the first winners. Cona Elder Law presented them with a $1,000 gift certificate to Sleepy’s. Donated by David Acker, President of Sleepy’s, the couple went to the store in Centereach and chose a new Sealy Posturpedic mattress and box spring that were delivered to their house on Friday, December 3rd.
“When my sister saw a newspaper article about Senior Dreams Come True, I was amazed that such a wonderful program for seniors existed,” says Catherine. “Best of all was getting the phone call that we were actually chosen as a recipient. I was unbelievably happy. All I can say, is God bless this law firm that is so caring.”
The couple has four daughters and one son. Ralph was a builder and carpenter while Catherine worked in the health care industry. She is currently a companion for a home care agency.
“It is our pleasure to join forces with Cona Elder Law and contribute to this wonderful program that helps seniors in need,” says Sheila Acker, Director of Accounts Payable at Sleepy’s. “A good mattress and a good night’s sleep are so important.”
Not only does Cona Elder Law handle the elder law and estate planning services for seniors and their families but they are also advocates for the elderly and disabled. Through the firm’s subsidiary, Cona Elder Law Charitable Events, a nonprofit organization, Senior Dreams Come True benefits low income seniors on Long Island by granting wishes for seniors ranging from basic needs to fulfilling lifelong 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 an 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. Currently, wish requests under consideration include a hearing aide, a chair lift, home improvements, air fare to visit relatives in other states, and a computer. Donations are tax-deductible under 501(c)(3) of the tax code.