Senior Services honors volunteers

Published 4:15 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2022

A crowd of around 150 filled the Stanly County Senior Center on Tuesday night as the Senior Services staff recognized the volunteers involved in its numerous programs.

The event, cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID, consisted of dinner and featured a “Mary Poppins” theme, with entertainment provided by performances from students of Melissa Kathleen’s School of Dance, and musical numbers performed by West Stanly Players members Brooke Tomberlin and Elliot Ecenbarger.

The volunteers in attendance were recognized for their roles in the various services provided through the Senior Services agency, including Congregate Meals, Home Delivered Meals, Newsletter Production, Tax Aides, SHIIP (Senior Health Insurance Information Program), Uwharrie Senior Games, Monthly Senior Dances, the Senior Services Advisory Board and Friends of the Senior Center.

“There is no way we could do the job we do without you,” said Pam Sullivan, Senior Services director, in expressing gratitude to the volunteers for “countless hours and dedication,” noting that some have volunteered for more than 20 years.

To conclude the event, three volunteers were honored with the annual Clarence D. Hinson Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Nutrition Services Director Joy Richardson presented the award for Nutrition Services Volunteer of the Year to Jerry Hudson.

“Jerry, along with his late wife Judy, were always ready to help when we needed them,” said Richardson.

Nutrition Services Director Joy Richardson, Nutrition Services Volunteer of the Year recipient Jerry Hudson and Albemarle Congregate Meals Coordinator Bonnie Efird are shown at Tuesday’s Senior Services volunteer recognition banquet. (Photo by TOBY THORPE)

Program Coordinator Alexa Sells announced the Senior Center Volunteer of the Year recipient as Nancy Millard, who was unable to attend. Penny Bates accepted the award in Millard’s absence.

“Nancy stepped up during COVID to keep things going here at the center,” said Sells, noting that much of Millard’s work took place behind the scenes, but did not go unnoticed.

Senior Services Director Pam Sullivan is shown with Penny Bates, who accepted Senior Center Volunteer of the Year award for Nancy Millard, who was unable to attend. (Photo by TOBY THORPE)

Sullivan recognized Craig Reich, president of the Friends of the Senior Center board, as recipient of the Board Member of the Year.

Reich, who also was unable to attend, “gave countless hours to the center,” said Sullivan, who also noted that he “has run numerous fundraisers” for the agency.

The event, which Richardson described as the result of “months of planning,” was long-awaited by Senior Services staff, participants and volunteers.

“These same volunteers that we are recognizing have actually thanked us for this event,” she said, “and that’s almost embarrassing considering the hours they put in unpaid.”

“We are so glad to have everybody back,” said Richardson, “and we want to honor them every chance we get.”