Hi! My name is Laura Hand. I retired from a longtime career as a news anchor producer (47 years at NBC3 and CBS5 in Syracuse). For many of those years I was also the stations’ community relations director, which included attending career fairs & community outreach projects. Now, as Covid hopefully winds down, I hope to move forward with a ‘second career’ working with my therapy dog to prepare young children for success in school, and recruiting others to get into dog therapy to reach more kids. As an Army brat I lived around the country and world, though often spent summers with my Italian cousins in my mother’s hometown, Trieste. My family includes a son and daughter, a granddaughter, and closer to home, my Pomeranian named Moose and my horse.
I’ve been an Oasis member for almost 8 years now. I have been on the Advisory Council for 5 years in which I help spread the word about Oasis courses and activities and more recently during the Covid pandemic I have become a virtual class coordinator, providing technical assistance for the Italian Zoom classes. I was also the interviewer on the Oasis/WCNY collaboration on the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor documentary.
My favorite thing about Oasis is staying active mentally, in the company of others who don’t consider themselves “old.” My favorite thing about volunteering at Oasis is interacting with other adults who want to expand their horizons. In the Italian class I have expanded the role to include chat updates that help participants see spellings and meanings of what is being taught.
When I’m not participating in Oasis classes and activities, I can be found working outdoors especially in my garden and talking to neighbors “over the fence.” My favorite thing to do in and around CNY is sharing information about and encouraging involvement in the many activities put on by so many, mostly not-for-profit or volunteer, organizations which also want to see a more vibrant community for all.