Turning Fifty, a Milestone Achievement for the Carter Burden Network

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“On January 18, 2021, Carter Burden Network celebrated its 50th anniversary as an aging services provider!” wrote executive director Bill Dionne. He penned an open letter to the community.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

Even in this city of 8 million people, it’s easy for seniors to feel invisible, vulnerable, and isolated. At the Carter Burden Network, we fight these challenges with love and belonging through our quality programs and services. Aging in New York City can be a challenge. Feeling loved and inspired should never be.

William Dionne/Executive Director, The Carter Burden Network

Nearly five years ago, I met Dionne when he visited the newly opened CBN Senior Center on Roosevelt Island.

I remember it clearly because he reacted seriously when I answered his question, telling him the (free) coffee his group served “sucked.” For me, it was off the cuff, but for Bill Dionne, it was serious business.

That’s his thing, one of them, a passion for excellence. Right down to the coffee.

The legacy and making a home…

Carter Burden Network executive director Bill Dionne
Carter Burden Network executive director Bill Dionne (L) with CBN/RI Senior Center director Lisa Fernandez (C) and RIDA president Wendy Hersh. This was a RIOC board meeting, and the smiles were about a generous state grant.
Carter Burden

Since then, I watched and reported as CBN grew roots in the community, growing senior participation and becoming a fixture.

That was all good, and a pleasure to watch and take part in.

But what brought it home for me was learning about Carter Burden, the singular, caring man who virtually invented the idea of a senior center in New York City.

Here’s his story, but it wouldn’t be complete without the group that’s kept the legacy rolling for five full decades.

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