Category Archives: The Blog


Hume Laidman Cofounder and President of Community Resources for Independent Seniors (CRIS) has been named a Champion for seniors for the impact he has made on the quality of life for seniors in our community. Hume is one of the five honorees selected in the Today’s Options Champions competition to be highlighted at the Syracuse Chiefs baseball game on July 30th. This award is given to outstanding individuals who demonstrate excellence through what they give back to their community and make a difference in the lives of older adults.

With this recognition CRIS is a finalist for a $10,000 grant for their work with seniors. To secure the grant and make Hume the Grand Champion we need your votes, community votes will determine the final winner. You can vote once a day (once on computer, once on iPhone, iPad) at from August 1-27. The winner will be announced at the New York State Fair.

A former Carrier Corporation executive in charge of worldwide manufacturing operations, Hume Laidman has remained vibrant during retirement. He is an active member of SCORE a group of experienced business leaders that advise and mentor start up business owners. He also mentors students at Cazenovia High School Engineering Program. He has been a ski patrol member for 49 years and is a support volunteer for bladder cancer patients at CNY Cancer Center. It is his tireless work on behalf of Cazenovia Seniors that made him a Todays Options finalist.

For the past six years Hume has been a driving force for coordinating and promoting services for local seniors with the goal that seniors remain in their homes and stay connected to their community.  After a community study revealed that Cazenovia was losing most of their senior population to other communities Hume speared headed a group that studied what other communities were doing and then started CRIS. “We researched many issues and found that as people age and are no longer able to drive they lose their independence and become isolated. Often their health declines and they need to move out of their homes. We consulted with other communities who successfully implemented a volunteer driving program and started CRIS-CAT” said Hume. “This is the signature program for CRIS and the numbers of drivers and passengers continues to grow”. The CRIS-CAT  (Cazenovia Area Transportation) program drives seniors to medical appointments, hairdressing, shopping, church and other needs. This program has 60 volunteer drivers and is coordinated by Steve Burrell.

“We are so excited and proud that Hume has been picked as a finalist and CRIS may receive $10,000 to offer programs for seniors. We need to get out the vote to make this grant a reality” said Nancy Zeferjahn, CRIS treasurer. Vote daily at www.todaysoptionschampions from August 1-27.

Have you heard of a Time Bank?

CRIS was recently awarded a Grant from the Central New York Community Foundation to develop a Time Bank for CRIS.

What is a Time Bank?
Visit this blog over the next few weeks for a full explanation of what a Time Bank is, how it works and how you may be part of it!

Would you like to be a CRIS-CAT scheduler?

CRIS-CAT, the CRIS volunteer transportation program, would like to find a few volunteers to help with scheduling drivers for ride requests. A CRIS-CAT scheduler will answer ride requests by area residents, find out details about when and where a ride is needed and then match the request with a driver from the CRIS-CAT driver roster.  Once a driver has been matched with a rider, the driver and rider  communicate on the exact time and place for pickup.   The scheduler records the request, the match and the completed ride on the CRIS-CAT  iPad.  If you are able to schedule for a couple of days a week or a week at a time, we would love to have you!

CRIS-CAT volunteer drivers are wonderful and a great group of people to know.  Would  you like to give scheduling a try?  We will train you and provide the support you need to become a scheduler.  Call 655-5743 and we will arrange to meet with you at your convenience.

Open Afternoon Book Club meets at Cazenovia Public Library

Kick off the new year by joining the “Open Afternoon Book Club” for adults at the Cazenovia Public Library.  This group meets in the Story Garden every third Wednesday at 1 pm

The January 15th selection is The Kitchen House, Kathleen Grissom’s debut novel.  A New York Times bestseller and word-of-mouth phenomenon, this novel is perfect for fans of The Help and The Postmistress.  

The February 19th selection will be, The Light Between the Oceans, by ML Stedman.

Future selections are Defending Jacob, by William Landry, Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan, The Art Forger, by B.A. Shapiro, and The Signature of all Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.  

The “Open Afternoon Book Club” is free and open to the public.  Books are available at the circulation desk and all are welcome.

For more information about this club or other events at the Cazenovia Public Library, call 655-9322 or visit

Bone Builders – Give it a try!

Every Monday and Thursday morning many Cazenovia residents attend the Bone Builders Program sponsored by Madison County RSVP. The Bone Builders program was developed through Tufts University and is designed to strengthen bones and muscles, improve balance and promote general fitness. The program is open to men and women age 50 and above.

Sessions are held every Monday from 10 – 11:30 and Thursday from 9:30 – 11  a.m. at the Cazenovia Episcopal Church, 12 Mill Street, Cazenovia.  Stop in and see what it is all about.

Weight bearing and balance exercises are incorporated into the weekly routines  with arm and leg weights supplied.

For more information, call RSVP at 683-3001 or one of the local Bone Builder leaders is Bev Thorp, 655 2493.


Be cautious when answering the telephone

There have  been  recent reports of area residents receiving telephone calls from someone posing as a “grandchild” in a faraway place needing money to be able to get home.  This is very similar to a scam that has been circulating the internet for some time.   If you receive one of these phone calls do not talk to these people, hang up, call your telephone company and report the call.

Cazenovia Public Library – Check out the programs offered!

Cazenovia Public Library is a gem in this community.   Go to and check out their events calendar. The Library Book Sale is coming up July 28/29 and there are several computer classes offered this summer.  If you have an  e-reader there are classes to help you download e-books from the  Mid-York system.  Look into it!

You can be sure to find something of interest.  If you need a ride to

an event or program, call CRIS-CAT at 655-0612, at least 2 days before

the event. and a volunteer will drive you to the event.

Did You Know? Prescription Delivery Available

Did you know that Kinney Drugs, 41 Albany Street, Cazenovia will deliver your prescriptions for free if you live within a 5 mile radius of Cazenovia?

If your request is received at least 2 hours before the driver  leaves at 4 p.m. you will receive your prescriptions that day. You may also have items in the store delivered  at the same time.  If you’d like to have items in the store delivered without a prescription, there is a small fee.

If you need your prescriptions delivered, call 655-3451 and press 2 for the pharmacy. It’s a great service!

Tax Relief Programs for Senior Citizenss

Several programs and credits exist to assist New Yorkers in keeping their tax liabilities within acceptable levels, especially when living on fixed incomes. Applications are available at your local Assessor’s office and must be submitted on or before March 1, 2012.

Basic Star: on your owner-occupied primary residence, includes mobile homes and rent to own property.  Contact your local Assessor’s office for information on income limit.

Enhanced Star: on your owner-occupied primary residence, must be 65 or turning 65 anytime during 2012.  Contact your local Assessor’s office on income limit.

Senior Citizen Limited Income Exemption: on your owner-occupied primary residence.  Must be 65 prior to March 1st.  Contact your local Assessor’s office for information on income limit.

Veteran’s Exemption: on your owner-occupied primary residence or spouse of owner, must have served during a time of war. Contact your local Assessor’s office for information.

Disability Exemption: on your owner-occupied primary residence. Owner must have documented physical or mental impairment. Contact your local Assessor’s office for information.

(reprinted with  permission from Madison County Office  for the Aging)