Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Dale St. Piere won the Dorchester County Volunteer of the Year for his work with Meals on Wheels at the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) annual volunteer appreciation luncheon on Oct.24 at the Bethany United Methodist Church.
Sam and Ann Leonti won the award for Berkeley County Volunteers of the Year.
RSVP is a program where seniors over 55 years of age spend time volunteering at various nonprofit organizations. The luncheon involved an opening prayer, lunch, door prizes, awards and certificates, drawings and the honoring of the 700-hour club, those who volunteered 700 hours in the last year.
“Some people originally think we’re a club,” said Dorchester County Area Coordinator Cathy Quenga. “We’re not a club. We don’t even have any meetings, you just show up to contribute as much time as you’d like.”
Quenga compared the church to a large family that works as a unit. One example she gave was about a woman in a nursing home that needed a new walker.
“She asked me if I knew of any walkers and hers was as ancient as Methuselah,” Quenga said. “We eventually found her one that was light as a feather and when we gave it to her it was like Christmas.”
Bethany was a perfect venue for the event said Quenga.
“None of the hotels in town have enough space for us, but Bethany has been so good to us and had the space to fit the 242 volunteers in attendance for a price that was perfect.”
Quenga said the stigma along with the program is that it is for housewives and bored retirees. She wants interested people to know that those stereotypes are not what RSVP is about.
“Seniors have so much to give to the community and to each other. They have to get out and help their fellow senior and society.”