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Washington County Commission on Aging honors retired and senior volunteers

June 25, 2008|By JOSH SHAW

WILLIAMSPORT -- Members of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) gathered Tuesday at the Williamsport Fire Hall to be recognized for more than 50,000 hours of community service in the past year.

The volunteers were rewarded for their efforts with a catered lunch, live entertainment and an awards ceremony during the Washington County Commission on Aging's annual awards luncheon.

"We want to pay tribute for the benefits you provide to the members of our community," Hannah Cramer, director of RSVP, told the more than 200 volunteers in attendance. "We want to show you that we appreciate everything you do."

RSVP is a program that pairs people age 55 or older with nearly 80 volunteer opportunities. Meals on Wheels, American Red Cross and Washington County Public Schools are just a few of the places where people can volunteer their time. The local program currently has more than 400 volunteers.

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Bob Bloyer, 83, is one of those volunteers and has been with Meals on Wheels for 22 years. He said he enjoys giving back to the community and said he feels like he makes a difference.

"Part of the motivation is that I enjoy doing it," said Bloyer, who delivers on the downtown Hagerstown route. "There is no question a big part of the program is just talking to the people and having some communication with them."

Lunch was followed by entertainment, which included balloon animals, and Zupe, a one-man band from Altoona, Pa.

Cramer awarded several volunteers certificates for their dedication to both the Meals on Wheels program and an income tax return assistance program.

Although no current volunteer has been with RSVP since it was started nearly 35 years ago, six members were recognized for their long-term membership.

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