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Senior center volunteers praised, honored in Greencastle

February 16, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Greencastle Senior Activity Center was much fuller than usual Tuesday.

Usually, 40 to 45 senior citizens spend the day and eat lunch at the center.

But the day after Valentine's Day, 114 people - many of them wearing the holiday's bright red - gathered to honor 25 volunteer drivers who deliver hot meals to local shut-ins.

Each volunteer received a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

"It doesn't come close to what they deserve," center director Sondra Weaver said. "If not for our drivers, I don't know what we would do. We don't have the staff to do this."

The volunteers deliver 35 to 40 meals a day on four routes.

"We have a small number of substitute drivers, but we're always looking for more volunteers," Weaver said.

Clients of the meal program receive more than just a nutritious meal. Social contact is an important part of the program, Weaver said.

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"A few minutes of chatter means the world to someone who doesn't get to see family and friends every day," she said.

Deliveries of hot meals prepared at the center are made to senior citizens who cannot leave their homes for any reason. Some never come to the center, while others are regulars but have been temporarily incapacitated by surgery or illness.

Four volunteer drivers each put in 11/2 to two hours per day.

Jim and Veda Mutchler of Waynesboro, Pa., have been delivering meals as a team for 13 years; he drives and she carries the meal into the client's house. Veda Mutchler said that "the main thing is to check and see if (the person) is OK. I chat with them. Some don't have anyone to talk to."

The chats sometimes get lengthy, she said. When she returns to the car, her husband often is reading the newspaper or doing a crossword puzzle.

The Mutchlers volunteer one day a week, delivering eight meals. Jim Mutchler said he also helps out around the center.

"Anything else I can find to do around here, I do," he said.

Honored volunteers were: Frank Mowen, Lanny Carbaugh, Cathy Symonds, Cal Hausenfluck, Tom VanWinkle, John Courtney, Jim and Veda Mutchler, Gene and Ann Miller, Peter and Ruth Gacki, Walter and Edna Kershner, Gene Goetz, Henry Carbaugh, Dottie Kay, Bill and Mary Lindenfelser, Bob and Pat Zimmerman, Debra Hurd, Cheryl Pulacios, Red Pensinger, Marvin Rice, Betty Walsnovich, Leo Sprankle and Glenn Miller.

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