MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Hope Levene has been volunteering at Northern Westchester Hospital on and off for about six decades. She recalls how the hospital has changed since then.
“It got bigger,” she said, noting a lot more doctors and more business with Mount Kisco Medical Group.
Levene, who lives in Bedford and turns 93 on Sunday, July 20, was recently honored with the Mary B. Robbins Beacon of Light Award in April.
Ellen Muentener, the hospital's director of volunteers, noted that it is awarded to a “deserving volunteer every year.” The awards ceremony was held at the Mount Kisco Country Club.
Levene, who usually volunteers at the hospital twice a week, brings a tea cart around to staff, which includes tea, cookies and fruit. She also handles office work at the hospital. Additionally, she volunteers for Twigs, a thrift shop in Mount Kisco that gives proceeds to the hospital.
Recalling what she did early in her volunteer history at the hospital, Levene said she was sitting at a desk at the front door. Her role was to tell visitors where they could find the doctors.
NWH has been one of several institutions in the region to have had Levene's involvement. She previously lived in North Castle, near Banksville, and served as the sole school board member for a district that included a 1-room schoolhouse, which her children attended.
That district was absorbed into the Bedford school district and Levene served on its board for several years, including time as president. Her children later went to Fox Lane High School. Additionally, Levene currently serves on the school board for the Mount Pleasant Cottage School Union Free School District.
Levene also discussed her family. She has three children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Her husband, who is 96, shares her longevity and they have been married for more than 70 years. Muentener noted that she still cooks, which is something that Levene learned as an adult. She also wrote a cooking column for a newspaper in Pound Ridge.