Kittay House celebrates in style at Inaugural Ball

Tenants and staff at Kittay House, 2550 Webb Avenue, gathered to hold their own inaugural ball celebration on Tuesday, January 20. (Top row l-r) Naomi Chiel-Bolzman, Diane McTide, Amy Gruszewski, Kay Grant, Arlene Richman. (Bottom row l-r) Zelda Fassler, Laura Singer, and Diane Richardson.

In honor of President Barack Obama’s inauguration, the tenants of Kittay House celebrated in style by holding an Inaugural Ball, on Tuesday, January 20.

A large crowded showed up for the celebration dressed to the nines and prepared to have an exciting time in the beautifully decorated room filled with streamers and balloons.

Kittay House, a 295-unit complex, part of the Jewish Home Lifecare Bronx Division, location 2550 Webb Avenue, makes a point to hold events and celebrations as often as possible, keeping tenants engaged and active.

“They were very excited about this election and all the seniors here voted and kept involved,” said five-year Kittay House director Arlene Richman. “We had a big lead up to the elections with round table discussion and debates. They all have a lot of wisdom and opinions.”

Amy Gruszewski and Naomi Chiel-Bolzman planned the celebration, with a night of events including a presentation on First Lady dresses throughout history, speeches, dancing, singing, and poem reading.

“They has a tenant meeting and Arlene suggested an inaugural ball so here we are,” said Gruszewski, who directs the Kittay House Choir. “I didn’t know exactly what happens at an inaugural ball, but we figured First Lady dresses would be a great thing to incorporate.”

Tenants admired the fashion of Dolley Madison, Mary Todd Lincoln, Helen Herron Taft, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy, Patricia Nixon, Nancy Regan, and many more while listening to the history of this elegant occasion, including proper ball etiquette.

Connecting with today’s youth, before tuning into live coverage of the ball, Gruszewski and Chiel-Bolzman read letters written by children to President Obama expressing their own ideas and perspectives on his victory and what they hope the future will bring.

“I think this is so much fun and it’s great, anything they can do to lift peoples spirits, and this happens to be a very exciting day,” said Zelda Fassler, who remarked on how she used to mimic the style of Jacqueline Kennedy. “We needed a change and Obama offers that change, this is a great celebration.”

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