May 20, 2011
County Honors Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Participants during 37th Anniversary Luncheon
In an annual tradition that is one of the highlights of the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) calendar, nearly 400 Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) participants filled King’s Caterers in Levittown for the 37th Anniversary RSVP Luncheon. On hand to celebrate the spirit of volunteerism in Bucks County were Commissioners Robert G. Loughery and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, former county AAA Director and current Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Brian Duke and county Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler.
“We have a diverse county of many ages,” Commissioner Ellis-Marseglia told the large mid-day audience. She concluded her remarks with a thought-provoking quote about volunteers, “who built Noah’s Ark, and professionals who built the Titanic.”
Commissioner Loughery told the assemblage: “It’s kind of hard to put a value on what you do (as volunteers). He spoke of a sermon he heard recently, during which the preacher told of fingerprints that each person makes on others. “It’s an imprint or impact,” he added.
Secretary Duke delivered the keynote address, noting his excitement “to be home.” A resident of Washington Crossing, he shared a story about a senior citizen named Amelia in Lehigh County. “What is volunteering? It’s a matter of the heart,” Amelia answered recently.
“Volunteerism is what each of you do to strengthen your community,” Secretary Duke added. He encouraged members of the community to reach out to their peers, calling the present a “time of resiliency” but also a “time of opportunity.”
Ms. Naomi Guy, a 25-year volunteer in the kitchen at the Morrisville Senior Center, received the 2011 Peggy O’Neill Senior Volunteer of the Year Award from Mrs. O’Neill and AAA Deputy Director Najja Orr (who emceed the program). Ms. Gay works in the kitchen every day, getting meals ready for the Home Delivered Meals Program and preparing coffee and goodies to serve to the members that arrive at lunch for the Congregate Meal Program. Thanks to Ms. Gay’s assistance, in 2010 Morrisville Senior Center delivered 7,302 Home Meals and served 4,492 Congregate Meals as she was responsible for 869 hours of volunteer service.
The Loretta Osbourn Award went to Family Friends Director Dawn Hoopes and Assistant Coordinator Meryl Lubchansky. Family Friends is a national program that matches well trained volunteers with families who have children with special needs, disabilities and chronic illnesses. Family Friends currently has 50 volunteer matches with children and young adults ages 5 through 21.
For information about volunteering through RSVP, please call 215-340-1210 in upper and central Bucks County and 215-949-5800 if you live in lower Bucks County.