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Retirement Village honors its volunteers at ceremony

June 12, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

Williamsport Retirement Village volunteers were honored Monday night for their service at the facility's nursing and assisted living centers.

Nearly 90 of Retirement Village's 125 volunteers attended the dinner ceremony at Rocco's Italian Restaurant in Hagerstown, Volunteer Coordinator Mike Guessford said.

Hagerstown residents Eric and Dianna Colliflower and their six children were named the nursing center's volunteers of the year for their dedication to the weekly Catholic service at the facility.

The Colliflowers began volunteering at the nursing home about seven years ago when Dianna Colliflower's grandfather was a resident, she said. The family has since prepared tables for the communion service, played piano, led readings and songs, and interacted with residents during the ceremony every Wednesday.

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"I like talking to the people," said Erica Colliflower, 12.

Her sister, Elizabeth, 11, said she enjoys "doing the sign of peace." Elijah Colliflower, 9, likes lighting the candles for the ceremony, he said.

Volunteer Donna Robinson's dependable and flexible service at Williamsport Retirement Village's assisted living center earned her the honor of volunteer of the year for that facility, Activities Director Debbie Schyllander said.

Robinson, 34, started volunteering at the assisted living center after resigning two years ago from her job as a certified nursing assistant at the facility.

"I left but I couldn't leave," she said. "You definitely get attached to the residents."

Robinson decorates bulletin boards every month and accompanies residents on trips when needed, she said.

Other volunteer duties include delivering beverages and snacks to residents, reading letters and playing games with them, helping at special events, conducting pet visits, and providing musical entertainment, the facility's spokeswoman Laurie Gauthier said.

Ellis and Peggy Duffey of Hagerstown perform together as The Harmonizers at the Retirement Village and more than a dozen other area nursing homes, they said.

Jim and Shirley Taylor of Falling Waters, W.Va., take their pet shelties to the facility to visit with residents. The pooches are "wonderful pet therapy dogs," Shirley Taylor said.

Valerie Malott of Williamsport has accompanied residents to and from weekly beauty shop appointments, and cleaned shop dryers and brushes, since September.

"You get attached to the residents. They're like family," said Malott, 59. "I derive a lot of satisfaction from my volunteer work. I'm getting paid - but not monetarily."

Juanita Gliniak of Hagers-town has played cards with residents at the assisted living center once weekly for the past three years. Her volunteer work is as fun for Gliniak, 80, as it is for the residents, she said.

"I like being with people my age," she said. "We have such a good time. There's a lot of patience and a lot of love."

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