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RSVP walks to Russia and celebrates

Gerry Stotler, Sam Stephens, Sylvia Nelson, Sheri Harrell and Sue Lute celebrate their walk to Russia.

By Phil Fauver
Guest Writer

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program members and guests were given a dinner by the RSVP or Volunteers of America organization in appreciation and recognition for the Miles of Appreciation walk and recognition of the many RSVP hours Emery County volunteers put in helping others in this community.

Around the walls the names of individuals that had walked in the Walk To Russia event and the number of miles they walked were posted for all to see. Miles of Appreciation works as follows: Each year a place is picked to walk to. This year Russia was the place picked. Each senior that is part of RSVP and other seniors in the area were given pedometers. Any type of exercise or walking was recorded by the pedometer. The steps and miles are then recorded and reported to Gerry Stotler. She adds up the steps and miles to see if the steps and miles would reach Russia. This year the walk to Russia accumulated enough miles to get there and about half way back. Service hours put in by volunteers are also reported to Stotler.

The opening prayer was given in Russian by Cole Pitchforth a former missionary that served his mission in Russia. Cole is the son of Commissioner Pitchforth.

The Russian style recognition dinner of a cold beet soup called borscht, beef stroganoff with noodles and cabbage salad was held at the Orangeville Community Center, catered by Gilly's of Ferron. The number of people attending nearly filled the room.

Stotler, a resident of Ferron, the Volunteers of America, Senior Corps Coordinator gave a hearty welcome to everyone and especially those that participated in the Walk to Russia. She also, assisted by Sam Stephens, presented awards to those that gave the most numbers of hours of their time in volunteer work throughout the year.

Stephens, Vice President of Volunteers of America, External Relations came dressed in a Russian soldier costume. Many of those attending were photographed with Sam in costume as a memento. Volunteers of America operate more than a dozen human service programs in seven counties in Utah. One of those programs is the RSVP program operating in Emery County.

Sheri Harrell the Community Nursing Services, Director of Volunteers for the state of Utah reported on the great work accomplished by volunteers that care for Home Health Care or Hospice patients and just assisting those neighbors in need. Some volunteers put in many hours sitting with people that just need someone to talk to. Others read books to home bound individuals. Some volunteers help people in the last days of life. Some senior volunteers helped out with school recess and helping students learn to read at local schools. She said, "Thanks for all that you do."

Jedd Olsen RN, the Customer Relations Manager and Patient Care Coordinator from Community Nursing and Hospice Services explained to the group the benefits of Home Health Care and Hospice in our community. The office is at Farm Bureau Financial building. "I am out most of the time at blood pressure clinics, health fairs, giving flu vaccinations, etc. I grew up in Orangeville. CNS started in 1923, more than 80 years ago. We are the oldest home health care agency in the state of Utah. We started our Price office in 1980. The need for volunteers is still great. We still need you. We want volunteers to be part of our team. Satisfaction comes from knowing we made a difference," said Olsen.

The meeting was concluded by giving out awards for volunteer hours and the number of years as a RSVP volunteer.

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