Cecilia DeFazio

Executive Director, M.O.T. Jean Birch Senior Center

Photo courtesy of Cecilia DeFazio

Cecilia DeFazio racked up a pile of accomplishments in the last 18 years, making a name for herself serving as the executive director of M.O.T. Jean Birch Senior Center in Middletown.

Thanks to a $1.2 million capital campaign completed in 2004, DeFazio oversaw a physical expansion of M.O.T. that doubled the size of the senior center. M.O.T. also expanded its services and membership to nearly 1,000 seniors. “We serve people from the canal to the Kent County line, from the bay to the Maryland line, plus people in Newark, Dover and Maryland,” DeFazio says.

Backed by her staff of 22 and the center’s 250-plus volunteers, DeFazio led a tremendous COVID-19 relief effort, serving more than 2,000 people who needed essential services, including food. Staff delivered groceries and established a food pantry on M.O.T.’s front porch. DeFazio secured cash, products and services from Wawa, United Way, AmeriHealth, Super G and other companies, as well as individuals. “It was our honor to serve the community in our time of crisis,” she says.

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