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Senior volunteers honored for giving 86,000 hours to others

August 21, 2012

“It’s impossible to thank some people enough, but every year we try!”
—Denise Potterton, project supervisor, St. Mary’s Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs.

This year the hospital thanked the 140-plus generous seniors who volunteer their time with a 1950s-themed brunch celebration July 27 at Two Rivers Convention Center. The soiree featured entertainment by a blue-eyed crooner and a chance to pose with glamorous Hollywood icons of the era.

Volunteers were recognized for providing 86,029 hours of service to more than 1,600 clients in 2011. Senior Companions help other seniors stay independent and in their own homes by providing assistance with errands, transportation and friendship. Foster Grandparents serve as mentors and tutors to young students.

“With the start of the school year, more Foster Grandparents will be needed,” Potterton says. “People are so generous with their time, and our clients are so appreciative.” Senior volunteers must be 55 or older and receive ongoing training and support. Those with low or fixed incomes may qualify for a tax-free stipend of up to $400 per month. For more information about the programs and becoming a volunteer, call 263-9091.