Two Allegany County senior adults receive state honors

The New York State Office for the Aging has honored two Allegany County residents for helping to make their communities a better place for everyone though outstanding volunteer and civic engagement efforts.

Joanne Armstrong of Wellsville and Rob Riber of Alfred Station, who were nominated by the Allegany County Office for the Aging for the awards, were among 100 individuals statewide to be recognized this week as part of Older NYers Day.

Armstrong has volunteered for the past five years for the county agency, despite health challenges, after a period of caring for her disabled sons.

Her efforts include preparing and mailing the county’s quarterly newsletter, contribution letters, bulk mailings, packing emergency food bags, and also making quilts for people in need through the Dorcus Quilting Club at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wellsville.

With a master’s degree in elementary education from Mansfield University, the recipient’s teaching career included pioneering inclusive education, fostering environments in which all students could thrive.

Riber’s volunteerism spans more than two decades with the county aging office, from building wheelchair ramps to serving on the Aging Advisory Council.

When the Office for the Aging moved into its current facilities in the Crossroads complex at Belmont, Riber was on the volunteer handyman crew, assembling all the desks. He remains an active member of many local organizations, including 22 years with Habitat for Humanity during which he has been involved in construction of 12 homes within the community.

He also has 54 years of involvement with the Lions Club, having been honored with the Melvin Jones Award for humanitarian service.

Information on this year’s Powered by Connection Older NYers Day, including other award recipients and their efforts throughout the state, is available at