The national theme of this year's Senior Corps week is "Making a Different for Generations." On May 16, 2013, Bucks County Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW joined county Human Services Director Joe Funk, Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Director Najja Orr and Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Brian M. Duke to celebrate approximately 700 senior volunteers who play a vital role in our community. The county's Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) held its 39th Annual Awards Luncheon at The Waterwheel Restaurant in Doylestown.
According to Mr. Orr, during 2012 646 Bucks County RSVP volunteers provided over 119,400 hours of service to 100 non-profit agencies - which accounted for an estimated $2.6 million of volunteer service during the year. Mr. Orr thanked the commissioners and RSVP participants for their service to fellow residents, ending with a quote: "Volunteers don't just do the work; they make it work."
Honored as the winner of the 2013 Peggy O'Neill Senior Volunteer of the Year was Ms. Virginia "Ginny" Watkins. During 2012, Ms. Watkins logged 552 hours serving as an APPRISE volunteer and served 284 consumers. She also served as a presenter of Medicare/health insurance at 10 events. RSVP officials praised her for her ability to "always go the extra mile. Furthermore, she is "said to handle even the most challenging situation with zeal and determination to resolve the issue at hand." The Peggy O'Neill Award is given to an RSVP member who has made a significant impact. It is named after Mrs. O'Neill, who introduced the RSVP Program in Bucks County.
The Loretta Osbourn Award went to the Greenbelt Overhaul Alliance of Levittown (G.O.A.L.). Formed in early 2009, G.O.A.L. is dedicated to cleaning Levittown, PA greenways and tributaries of debris. During 2012, the organization pulled 161 tires - many with rims - from Rte. 13. It also planted 500 trees, shrubs and native plants, while removing other invasive plant species. Accepting the award on behalf of G.O.A.L. was Dale Frazier.
For more information about the RSVP Program and the county Area Agency on Aging, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org.