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Still a volunteer: Binghamton veteran celebrates 100th birthday

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — A Binghamton man who has dedicated decades to serving his community reached a milestone on Thursday. Charles Gustaferro turned 100 years old.

We caught up with him at Knights of Columbus on Park Avenue in Binghamton, where he’s been a volunteer for 50 years.

“If you live to be this long you’ll have a lot of memories. You’ll make a lot of friends. You’ll lose a lot of friends. I’m losing friends every day. I’m out-living everybody,” Gustaferro told 12 News.

Gustaferro has has seen it all.

“I’ve lived through all the presidents. Through all the good things they did and all the bad things they did,” he said.

Gustaferro also served for our country in World War II.

At Knights of Columbus, he’s the first one you see when you walk in and always greets you with a big smile.

“It’s a lot of fun. You meet a lot of people. Everybody is real nice. We do a lot of things for everybody,” Gustaferro explained.

Through his time volunteering, he’s made close friends.

“When he comes here he drives every day as long as the weather is good believe it or not. So in fact I talk about him often off and on at different places so I do other volunteer work and his name comes up,” Bob Hantsch of Bighamton said.

“He’s been around a long time time [laughs]. He’s a nice fella. He really is. Everybody here likes him and he helps out immensely at this banquet,” John Crouch, also of Binghamton, told 12 News.

So what’s the secret to living a long life?

“I’ve been pretty active. That’s probably the secret to success. You have to be active. Keep your mind straight,” Gustaferro said.

But he also has something else in mind…

“Saint Peter doesn’t want me and the saint doesn’t want me so they leave me alone [laughs].”

Gustaferro says he loves what he does at Knights of Columbus and will continue to serve the people in our area.

Esperanza Gutierrez

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