Friday, September 17, 2010

Commerce City thanks senior volunteers for 7,500 hours of work

COMMERCE CITY – Commerce City thanked its senior volunteers for “making the journey worthwhile” at its annual volunteer appreciation dinner, held Sept. 14 at Buffalo Run Golf Course.

Mayor Paul Natale and City Council members welcomed nearly 100 older adult and senior volunteers to the clubhouse for an evening themed “Around the World.” City leaders expressed their appreciation for an amazing 7,500 hours of volunteer service throughout the year, valued at $67,500 (at a pay rate of $9 per hour).

“Commerce City has always been in the forefront for volunteerism,” said Mayor Natale. “We are so proud of all our volunteers. They really make Commerce City a ‘quality community for a lifetime’.”

The mayor said he looks forward to the annual dinner because “it provides a way for Commerce City to recognize the efforts of its older adult and senior volunteers. They really ‘go the distance’ and ensure that we continue to meet the needs of this community.”

The Parks and Recreation Department sponsors the event to thank its many volunteers, who aid the Recreation Center and the community in fund-raising activities, special events, transportation services, community projects and more.

Older Adult and Senior Coordinator Justin Lampe served as “tour guide” for the evening, giving the audience a glimpse of how far volunteers “travel” to make a difference. His presentation showcased the many ways in which they help, from dishing up lunches and manning the information desk to driving on group outings, helping to conduct surveys and mail newsletters, and much more.

Each year, special awards are given to the Outstanding Volunteer and Outstanding Community Partner.

The 2010 Outstanding Volunteer Triple C (Consistent, Considerate, Commitment) Award was presented to Mildred Baker, who has volunteered for more than 20 years at the Recreation Center.

Baker was a founding member of the Music Makers singing group in 1987, and she continues to play piano at the group’s weekly rehearsals and events.

“I see her every week,” Lampe said, “and she always has a smile on her face. Her commitment to the Music Makers is evident, and members of the group are excited to see her receive this award.”

The Music Makers attend various community events, volunteering their time and talents at area nursing homes, assisted living facilities, veterans’ groups and activities at the Recreation Center.

Along with the Triple C Award, Baker was presented with a traditional red sweater by Wells Fargo Bank.

The 2010 Outstanding Community Partner Award was presented to Great Time Tours, an area company that provides affordable travel for older adults. Lampe said the Recreation Center partners with Great Times to “provide travel to places we can’t afford to go otherwise.” He added that social opportunities such as traveling with groups are an important part in maintaining overall health and well-being, especially for older adults.

Lampe thanked all the volunteers for their dedication in helping the Recreation Center and the older adults and seniors it serves. Volunteers were “instrumental in helping us produce the first annual ‘Health 101: Senior Wellness Fair’ earlier this year,” he said, “and they will continue to play an important part in this and other events we are planning.”

There are many volunteer opportunities at the Recreation Center. Interested residents are invited to participate in roles that range from providing customer service to helping with marketing, translations, fundraising and technology. For more information about volunteering, call Justin Lampe at 303-289-3720.

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