David Stone
Ravenswood Power Station manager Dominic DiBari spoke at the Sewing Studio's ribbon-cutting, last year.
Ravenswood Power Station manager Dominic DiBari spoke at the Sewing Studio's ribbon-cutting, last year.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

The Ravenswood Generating Station, our Astoria neighbor across the East River, came through for Roosevelt Island's seniors, funding a popular sewing program. The grant helps fill the gap left when RIOC and the Common Council shortchanged the Senior Center in public purpose grant considerations in June.

“I am so thrilled to hear about the impact our grants are making in the lives of our seniors,” said Simar Gill, Human Performance Engineer, Business Operations, Ravenswood Generating Station.

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“We are so proud, once again, to provide funding for the sewing center. And I look forward to seeing the beautifully-crafted pieces created here.”

In March last year, Ravenswood manager Dominic DiBari shared his thoughts in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the all-new program.

“Over the past year our older neighbors on Roosevelt Island have been learning and honing their sewing skills in an absolutely gorgeous space, while making important social connections, all thanks to Ravenswood Generating Station," said Bill Dionne, Executive Director at the Carter Burden Network, which oversees the Senior Center.

The CBN/RI Senior Center relies on funding from the City's Department for the Aging for basic services but needs donations for extras like the sewing program and fitness classes geared at keeping seniors' lives vibrant and active.

"The availability of classes like this is vital to the well-being of our seniors," Dionne added. "I’d like to thank Ravenswood Generating Station for understanding the value of this program and for their investment in the Carter Burden Network and those we serve.”

According to a spokesperson for CBN, "This year’s grant follows on the heels of previous funding in 2018 from Ravenswood Generating Station that transformed and modernized an underutilized space at the Senior Center into a new state-of-the-art sewing studio fully outfitted with eight sewing machines and all the necessary accessories including thread, seam rippers, needles, pins, bobbins, scissors, storage, and tape measures.

"Sewing teaching artists, supported by the grants from Ravenswood Generating Station, teach seniors of all skill levels from the fundamentals to advanced sewing and provide a well-supplied workspace for more experienced sewers to work independently.

"In the year since the sewing center opened, seniors have not only mended, hemmed, let out and taken in clothing, they have also made dresses, skirts, pants, aprons, pillow cases, and table runners. In addition, quilts have been made as gifts and raffle prizes."