Nearly 400 Retired Senior Volunteer Program participants were honored for their service to the Daviess and Martin County communities Monday during the 46th annual Recognition Celebration held this year at the home of RSVP, the Eastside Park Community Building.
“It would take hours and hours to list everything our volunteers do,” said RSVP Executive Director Kim Herbertz, before the Washington High School Beta Club served a meal prepared by Stoll’s Lakeview Resturant.
In the last year, 392 volunteers age 55 and up gave 103,494 hours to make Daviess and Martin County counties better places to live, work and play.
Those volunteers screened the vision of 1,789 children and 82 adults; provided fall prevention classes to 24 older adults; crafted 235 lap robes used as Christmas gifts for those in nursing facilities; hosted three Little Elves Workshops to help teach preschool children about earning, saving and spending; improved the literacy of 81 elementary students through the Pen Pals Program; made 480 teddy bears for children receiving services at Daviess Community Hospital and provided countless hours of service to children, families and the elderly in need.
After dinner, Linda Myers and Mary Smith from the Daviess County Community Foundation provided a check in support of RSVP’s new Ready, Set, Go program.
“We are very grateful to the Community Foundation for the support of our new Ready, Set, Go project,” said Herbertz, who said the program will help train volunteers on what to do in the event of a disaster and will help provide kits that will be distributed to seniors and families in the aftermath of a natural disaster. “The American Red Cross will be our primary partner in this endeavor with both the training and education pieces.”
Herbertz said funding for Ready, Set, Go was also provided through the Glick Gives Fund, the charitable arm of the Gene Glick Company, and Monday evening, RSVP received additional funding for the project through the Martin County Community Foundation. Funding was also obtained through Vectren.
“We hope you will mark your calendars for April 15, tax day, to participate in this event,” said Herbertz, who said volunteers will learn hands-only CPR before working on the kits.
Funding for RSVP, Herbertz also pointed out, comes from the United Way of Daviess County, Daviess County and the city of Washington as well as Corporation for National and Community Service.
Washington Mayor Joe Wellman and Loogootee Mayor Noel Harty also addressed the large crowd and thanked the volunteers for helping enrich the communities they serve.
Before naming the 2019 Daviess and Martin County Volunteers of the Year, other volunteers were recognized for their years of service. Those recognized for five years of service include Beverly Bernath, Bernadette Clark, Nancy Elmore, Shirley Embry, Mary Harder, Barbara Huebner, Rowena Remmel and Larry Smoot.
Faryl Armstrong, Marilyn Davis, Tedd Davis, Norma Jerger, Joe Kilps, Tom Peter and Shireley Selby were honored for 10 years of service while Judy Brustkern, Bernetta Buchheit and Rae Ann Mills were recognized for 15 years of service. Lydia Graber was honored for 20 years and Polly Mead was honored for 25 years of service to the community.
RSVP Board President Betty Huelsman then recognized the volunteers of the year, Sarah Spalding from Martin County and Barb Holder from Daviess County.
Spalding has been part of RSVP for eight years and has tallied 4,096 hours of service. She has worked on veterans projects, RSVP food preparation projects and is active in her church where she helps plan funeral meals and sings in the choir. She also volunteers with the St. Vincent DePaul Society and the St. Vincent’s Food Pantry.
Holder, a 16-year member of RSVP, has done almost every RSVP project offered and has collected 3,872 hours of service. She has worked on food projects, is a pen pal. and is a member of the Healthy Steps for Older Adults Fall Prevention Team. Holder also helps with vision screenings, is active in her church and serves on the RSVP board.
Those interested in learning more about the opportunities provided through RSVP should contact Herbertz at 812-254-1996.