RSVP honors southern area senior volunteers

13 years ago

“RSVP Volunteers: A Vital Piece” was the theme of the Aroostook Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) annual volunteer appreciation celebration held in May.
Fifty volunteers attended the 36th annual Aroostook RSVP volunteer appreciation celebration held at the Oakfield Community Center in Oakfield. Sponsored by the Aroostook Agency on Aging, RSVP supports about 500 volunteers countywide. The luncheon honored service completed from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.
    Besides recognizing volunteers for years served awards, four volunteers were applauded for serving over 500 hours during 2010 and received the Maine Roll of Honor Governor’s award. In President George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address, he issued a challenge to all Americans to make time to help their neighbors, communities, and nation through service. He called on each person to dedicate at least 4,000 hours – or two years – to service over the course of their lives.
One southern area volunteer, Mim Nichols of Houlton, met the President’s challenge and received the President’s Lifetime Volunteer Service award.
Ranging in age from 58 to 94, the recognized seniors are part of the 92 volunteers in the southern Aroostook area who donate their time to help meet critical needs in county non profit and public programs as members of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
RSVP Program Director Eleanor Reese served as master of ceremonies. Reese said the volunteers had donated a total of 85,760 hours of service to county agencies and programs last year. Volunteers also provided such services as: medical transportation, friendly visiting, Meals on Wheels delivery, support of thrift shops, hospitals, nursing homes, and museums as well as serving at schools, day cares, knitting and more. Steve Farnham, Aroostook Agency on Aging executive director, also made comments about the significant contributions each volunteer makes to the people, programs and agencies of Aroostook County.
Phil Bosse from Senator Susan Collins office and Rachael Smith from Congressman Mike Michaud’s office read congratulatory remarks. Barrett Potter and Debbie Schillinger, representing Kathadin Trust Company and David Brewer representing First Wind Energy — major event sponsors, thanked the volunteers for helping in their southern Aroostook communities.
RSVP coordinators from the southern area, Linda Bartlett, from the Caribou area, Margaret Kimball, from the northern area, Connie Michaud, and program assistant from the Presque Isle area, Gini Garrett planned the event. RSVP advisory council members Don and Charlotte Marley from Smyrna and Connie Barry from Houlton also assisted with the event. The meal was prepared and served by Bartlett, Hazel Beers and community volunteers. Chadwick Florist and Greenhouse, Daniel’s Florist and Briar Patch Flowers and Gifts provided complimentary floral arrangements for the occasion. Dozens of businesses and organizations throughout the area also provided support for the day.