"In the Army, Michael knew he'd be sent to Vietnam, and he'd always be prepared to be on the front lines, wherever those lines would be," said State Assemblyman Charles Lavine of long-time friend Michael Dubin, who was honored by the Senior Activity Generational Endowment (SAGE) Foundation at its annual dinner Wednesday at the Swan Club in Roslyn.
Being on the front lines has been Dubin's lifetime work, wherever it has taken him. After serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade from 1965-67, which included a role as commander of the Medical Company in Vietnam, Dubin has centered his practice around medicine and volunteer work. After retiring as Medicine Chairman at Glen Cove Hospital, he has served on the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association in New York and, most recently, Vice President of the SAGE Foundation in Glen Cove.
The foundation works to assist the in funding its programs and services.
The doctor's wife, Barbara, has an equally impressive resume. After a career as a teacher in Brooklyn and then Glen Cove, Barbara Dubin has worked with La Fuerza Unida and the Glen Cove Adult Education program, teaching English as a second language.
She currently serves as secretary of Izote, a not-for-profit organization which helps fund schools and hospitals in El Salvador.
"With the population of seniors expected to double by 2050; while many governments are cutting back on social services for senior citizens and the state of the economy, I am in awe of how much [the Dubins], SAGE and the city have accomplished together," said Carol Waldman, executive director of the Senior Center.
The Dubins agreed that it was important to support efforts like SAGE to look after the city's population of aging members. SAGE's role focuses on bringing private money into the Senior Center, which provides meals for more than 100 seniors per day, five days per week. Many members attend the center for mental and social stimulation, which is being increasingly recognized as a key factor in fighting degenerative mental conditions.
"We've worked to increase public awareness and we're bringing in advertising and donations. This effort is very important," said Dr. Dubin, who along with Mrs. Dubin jokingly retorted Assemblyman Lavine's stories of friendship, which spanned back to the late 1960's and included descriptions of dated clothing styles and parking methods.
"He got us," Mrs. Dubin said with a smile. "But we've got plenty of stories on him."
While maintaining a vast network of concerned individuals and strong friendships, as evidenced Wednesday, the Dubins' efforts with the SAGE Foundation, founded in 2005, has been a proven success in maintaining services to the seniors.
"They have continued to maintain their wonderful work at the Center," said Marilyn Brenner, the foundation's president.
Next on the agenda for SAGE is a new, first-of-its-kind campaign against dementia, for which Brenner said the foundation has received a $100,000 grant from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock.
The grant will be administered through the Senior Center.