Mary Jane Brown is February’s “Community Member of the Month.” As a life-long resident of Owego, she married and raised her children here. Her family has expanded to include four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Mary Jane’s first job was as a typist with Stackmore. She then became a secretary at the Owego Apalachin School, and joined Tioga Opportunities, Inc. in 2000. She now serves as one of our front desk receptionists, or as we like to say, our “Director of First Impressions.”

A very creative person, Mary Jane enjoys decorating for the holidays. She likes sewing, knitting, and other crafty projects in her spare time. Mary Jane loves to collect jewelry and can always be found wearing a beautiful broach.

Mary Jane began enjoying meals in the Countryside Café here at Tioga Opportunities, Inc. in 1990. She is a dedicated congregate meal diner, rarely ever missing a day. She finds the staff friendly and cheerful with a readiness to assist with her needs. She shared that it is a friendly atmosphere to meet up with friends to enjoy both a healthy, delicious meal and company.

Mary Jane invites others to experience a meal with family or friends at the Countryside Café at Tioga Opportunities, Inc. (9 Sheldon Guile Blvd, Owego) Monday through Friday, 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Watch for next week's meals in the “Join us for lunch” article here on our website.

According to the Tioga County Public Health Department, there have been multiple cases of whooping cough in Tioga County in the last few weeks.  This can be an extremely dangerous condition, especially for babies less than one year old.  Symptoms include violent coughing; vomiting during or after coughing fits; and exhaustion following coughing spells.  


For more information on symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, visit


Did you know that lunch is available Monday through Friday at the Countryside Community Center?  From 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM, a complete meal (including salad bar, entrée, sides, and dessert) is available for the suggested contribution amount of only $4.00 for those aged 60 and over, and $6.00 for those under 60.  Come enjoy a delicious meal while partaking in lively conversation with others in your community! Menu subject to change without notice.
Next week’s meals:

Monday, 3/18: Meatless Monday
Garden Chili

Tuesday, 3/19: Lemon Garlic Chicken

Wednesday, 3/20: Roast Beef with Gravy

Thursday, 3/21: Macaroni & Cheese

Friday, 3/22:  Cheesy Rice & Beans

National Wear Red Day
Friday, February 1, 2019

National Wear Red Day is the day when men and women across the country show their support for women's heart health awareness by wearing red.  Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in America, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined. One in four women dies from heart disease. What can YOU do?


The Red Dress is the symbol for National Wear Red Day and the Go Red for Women movement. National Wear Red Day is your opportunity to join millions of people in standing up to heart disease by wearing your favorite red dress, shirt, tie, or Red Dress pin.

New York State has set up a program to help out homeowners who encountered damage to their home and/or appliances that occurred because of the Flash flooding August 13-15, 2018. There is a Deadline for application submission of February 4th, 2019. Find the application at: Southern Tier & Finger Lakes Storm and Flood Recovery Program
New for 2019:
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period--January 1st through March 31st


During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP), Medicare Advantage plan enrollees may enroll in another Medicare Advantage plan or disenroll from their Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare. Individuals may make only one election during the MA OEP and may also consider adding or dropping Part D (prescription drug) coverage. For more information or a Medicare Plan review, please contact Tioga Opportunities, Inc.’s Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Program (HIICAP) at 607-687-4120, ext. 344.

The following information has been sent from the Social Security Administration:

We have become aware of reports of fraudulent telephone calls from individuals claiming to represent the Social Security Administration (SSA). In them, unknown callers are using threatening language to warn unknowing victims that they will be arrested or face other legal action if they fail to call a provided phone number or press the number indicated in the message to address the issue. In some instances, these unknown callers switch tactics and communicate that they want to help an individual with activating a suspended Social Security number. Such calls are a scam, and are not coming from official SSA representatives.

We encourage you to inform your members and extended networks not to engage with such callers, and to report any suspicious calls to Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General by calling 1-800-269-0271 or submitting a report on the OIG website (


Sepsis can and does affect people of all ages. The very young and those who already have a chronic health issue or a compromised immune system are at higher risk of developing sepsis. But people over 65 years old, particularly those who have health issues, are even more susceptible to sepsis than any other group. According to a study published in 2006, while people aged 65 years and older make up about 12% of the American population, they make up 65% of sepsis cases in the hospitals.

Sepsis kills someone every 2 minutes, hospitalizes someone every 20 seconds and is the leading cause of hospital readmissions and avoidable hospitalizations. Eighty-ninety (89) percent of sepsis infections originate in the home and community and NOT in the hospital. Prevention and identification are key, and when identified, 80% of people’s lives are saved.

For more information, watch the clip below:

Video clip:  Sepsis & Older Adults

Are you receiving all the property tax exemptions for which you are eligible? Do you qualify for additional savings? Cheri Grenier, Owego Tax Assessor, will be offering a presentation on common property tax exemptions that Tioga County residents may be eligible for. Join Tioga Opportunities, Inc. on January 29th from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at the Community & Fitness Center (57 E. Tioga St., Spencer). This presentation is free to the public, but registration is required. Please call 607-687-4120, ext. 331 to RSVP.
Looking for something different to do? Want to learn a new recipe? Join us for a fun night of cooking instruction with friends, old and new!

• Wednesday, January 23rd at 4:30 PM at Confection Connection (59 North Ave., Owego)

The cost for the class is $20.00/person (all ingredients and supplies will be provided). The class will be limited to the first eight (8) people to sign up. Join us and bring a friend! Please bring your payment the night of the event.

Registration is required for this event. Preference will be given to older adults. Please call 607-687-4120, ext. 331 to reserve your spot before January 18th.

Thank you to all of our RSVP volunteers (and their guests!) who joined Department of Aging staff for a Holiday Luncheon on Wednesday, December 5th at Tioga Downs Casino Resort.  RSVP volunteers have made a significant difference in the lives of many older adults in Tioga County, both by delivering healthy meals and providing transportation to needed medical appointments.  In the time period from March 2018 through September 2018, RSVP volunteers dedicated 1,430 hours of their time serving their fellow community members.  We were grateful to have the opportunity to offer a small token of thanks for the time and energy given by these selfless volunteers.  If you are interested in learning more about volunteering through RSVP and giving back to the community, please contact Christine Shaver at 607-687-4120, ext. 313 or

A recent article in The New York Times regarding phone scams stated that "the number of fraudulent calls in early 2018 had soared to 30 percent of all calls, rising from 4 percent in early 2017."  More and more, scammers are relying on the telephone to exploit innocent people, many of whom are older adults.  Last year, individuals between the ages of 50 and 70 filed the most fraud and identity theft complaints to the Federal Trade Commission.  Please click on the link below to read the full article:


"When Answering the Phone Exposes You to Fraud"

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Tioga Opportunities, Inc.
9 Sheldon Guile Blvd.
Owego, NY 13827

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(607) 687-4222
Toll-free at 866-352-3680.
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