Brown ’18 to present award to Dr. Kelly from Riverdale Senior Services

Mira Bansal, Staff Writer

Head of School Dr. Thomas Kelly will be honored by Riverdale Senior Services (RSS) at the Riverdale Yacht Club on June 27, Director of Institutional Research and Enrollment Management and RSS board member Lisa Moreira said. Lutie Brown ‘18 was chosen as the Master of Ceremonies and will be one of the speakers honoring Kelly.

Riverdale Senior Services provides care to older adults and in the past the school has partnered with the organization to unite students and members of RSS, Moreira said.  

The decision to award Kelly was backed by the entire RSS board and community, RSS board member Helen Morik said. “[Kelly] was chosen because of his commitment to the intergenerational program between seniors and students,” Morik said. “He has been extraordinarily supportive and generous with his time and resources.” 

In Kelly’s thirteen years on the board, he has furthered opportunities for students to engage with members at RSS, Moreira said. 

“I’ve been more of a problem solver for my colleagues and friends at this incredible organization,” Kelly said. He has worked on finding solutions to bus storage, access to technology, annual fundraisers, and hosting events, he said. 

To choose the presenter, Moreira went to Director of the Center for Community Values and Action (CCVA) Dr. Kimberly Joyce Bernard. Due to COVID restrictions, not many current students were unable to visit RSS and form bonds with the RSS community. Therefore, Bernard decided to ask a former RSS intern and former student: Brown, Moreira said. 

The Party Committee within RSS organized the event, Morik said. The event itself will consist of refreshments, raffles, and some short speeches.

All the money raised will be going towards better funding for the RSS program, Dr. Kelly said. 

RSS was one of the first organizations that partnered with the school, Moreira said. The program between the school and RSS first started with Dr. Jeremy Leeds, the founding director of the Center for Community Values and Actions (CCVA). He coordinated a program for students to interact with members at RSS, she said. 

Many members of the community have already sent emails of congratulations and donations, Moreira said. 

“It is not unusual for Dr. Kelly to be saluted for his efforts for the community,” Moreira said. Kelly has been a supporter for many local community organizations such as the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, she said. For this reason, she was not surprised that Dr. Kelly received this honor. 

Although Kelly is often recognized for his exceptional work for the community, he is pleased, humbled, and honored to be receiving this award, Moreira said. Dr. Kelly always wants the recognition to be directed towards others. 

“It’s always nice to be recognized, but more importantly, to turn that recognition into something good, something actionable, for RSS to benefit from,” Dr. Kelly said. This gala will be an opportunity for the members at RSS who have worked hard to be recognized and for their work to be celebrated, he said. 

Kelly is honored to be recognized for his honorable work, but is also proud of the students’ and greater school community’s involvement with the program. “I’m proud to know that Horace Mann is not just a resource to RSS when the power goes out, but also for a long list of goods and services, many provided by the students on the service learning team in our Upper Division,” Kelly said.