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Bucks County Commissioners, Area Agency on Aging Applaud Positively Aging Volunteers for Over 65,000 Hours of Service

May 19, 2017

Bucks County Commissioners Charles H. Martin, Robert G. Loughery and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia joined Human Services director Jon Rubin and the Area Agency on Aging in thanking participants of the Positively Aging Bucks County volunteer program for donating 66,708 hours of service during 2016.  In a ceremony held Thursday, May 18, volunteers were applauded for helping across all areas of the county and all Bucks Countians, young and old alike.

Volunteer Site of the Year - Growth Horizons, receives a Commendation for their volunteer dedication.Valued at $24.14 per hour by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the national organization Independent Sector, the program’s volunteers donated $1.6 million of service to 58 non-profit partner organizations in Bucks County in the volunteer program’s 43rd year of operation.

Growth Horizons, Inc. was awarded the Loretta Osbourn Volunteer Site of the Year for exemplifying traditional volunteer qualities of commitment, energetic participation and desire to bring about community improvement. Growth Horizons first partnered with the Area Agency on Aging in 1996 to    deliver meals from one senior center to consumers’ homes. By 2016 they expanded service to five senior centers, providing both volunteers and transportation, serving nearly 6,000 meals to 50 consumers Monday through Friday, year-round.

Jim Waters receives the Volunteer of the Year Award during the Positively Aging Ceremony.While acknowledging the valued contributions of all individual volunteers, nominees for the Peggy O’Neill Volunteer of the Year “Plus Ultra” award were announced:  Mary Bell; Constance Brazell; Dolores McIlhenny; Sandra Parker; Gary Schiff; and James (Jim) P. Waters.  “Plus Ultra,” meaning “more beyond” portrays the vision of the volunteer program’s founder, Peggy O’Neill, who believed volunteering to be a process of self-discovery and enrichment that is achieved by serving others.

Jim Waters was named Volunteer of the Year. In 2016, he volunteered over 325 hours with the APPRISE Medicare insurance counseling program.  Last year alone, he assisted over 100 Medicare beneficiaries in one-on-one counseling sessions, helping them to understand insurance plan options that may best suit their needs. Besides being a first-rate counselor, Mr. Waters developed an expertise in the Medicare appeals process, having won a number of Medicare appeals and saving significant sums of money for consumers. Known for both his proficiency and gentle manner, Jim has inspired a number of individuals to volunteer for the APPRISE program. In volunteering for the APPRISE program Jim Waters discovered that indeed there is “more beyond,” cherishing most of all the experience of connecting with each person he serves.