By Jenny Weiss, Glen Cove Senior Center
On Tuesday, Jan. 26, more than 100 seniors and friends gathered for lunch at The Glen Cove Senior Center to honor Coleen Spinello. As Spinello and her husband Mayor Reggie Spinello, entered the room, her favorite song, “I’m Walking on Sunshine” was sung and played to her, and there was a standing ovation. The reason for this outpouring of love was to honor Spinello, who donated a kidney to a young girl named Mia. This was the perfect occasion for a party, which is always welcomed at the center.
Heartfelt tributes to Spinello were given by Senior Center Director Carol Waldman, Senior Advocate Shirley Pinckney, Glen Cove Youth Bureau Director Arlene O’Dell and the mayor.
Additionally, O’Dell presented Spinello with a beautiful bouquet and the Senior Center made a donation to the National Kidney Foundation in her honor. The group had a “toast” of sparkling cider and one senior from each table brought Spinello a single, long-stemmed peach rose, along with many hugs and kisses. Entertainer Elysa Sunshine played a jitterbug while Spinello and senior Donald Blumhagen danced together. The jitterbug is a particular favorite of Spinello’s, as it was the dance she used to do with her father.
I don’t think there was a dry eye in the Senior Center, as hearts were joined together in this celebration of life-giving, inspired by our own angel, Spinello. It is clear to see that Spinello is a very humble person who does not seek to be in the spotlight. Her gift of new life to Mia was the outpouring of a loving soul. We celebrate life and new possibilities every day at the Senior Center, but this day was especially moving. At the close of the luncheon, hand-dipped chocolate angel lollipops were passed out to honor Spinello, who remains an angel in our eyes.