|The Golden Oldies performed for the luncheon.|
May was volunteer month in Utah and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program wasted no time in honoring its volunteers. At the Emery County Recreation Center in Castle Dale, Laurie Pitchforth, Natalie Blackwell and Betty Hatch hosted an appreciation lunch for the volunteers affiliated with RSVP.
The Emery County Senior Citizens Golden Oldies Band performed songs such as Roll Out the Barrel, Mockingbird Hill and capped off their welcoming performance with God Bless America. Blackwell led the group in the Star Spangled Banner followed by Marvin Gardner leading the pledge of allegiance.
The summer theme for the luncheon was Take the Plunge to Volunteer. The recreation center was decorated with swimming pools, fish and beach balls.
One program the volunteers are involved with is the reading program in the elementary schools. The retired volunteers spend time in the schools reading to or helping students to read. John Gilbert and Trudie Waddoups were honored as the volunteer readers at Castle Dale Elementary. Phyllis Allred and Raylene Oveson were honored from Cleveland Elementary and from Ferron Elementary Jan Bess and Glenda Worthen were the honored volunteers.
Stitches from the Heart is another program in which the volunteers participate. Those who crochet in the group make booties, blankets and hats for the babies at the University of Utah, Primary Children's and Castleview Hospitals. Hatch read a letter of appreciation from the nursery staff and U of U Hospital which stated how appreciative the parents of the babies are to receive the handmade items.
"Emery seniors from across the county have volunteered well over 2,000 hours during the past year," said Blackwell. "All this time goes entirely to benefit the children."
Pitchforth added, "Last year when I started this job, there were only 20 volunteers. Over the past 12 months that number has quadrupled to over 80. Congratulations to all of you."
The Get a Life Line Dancers performed dances and songs to further entertain the volunteers.
Door prizes were given and each volunteer received a visor and a cooler as the party wound down.