Foster grandparents celebrate anniversary, honor volunteers
The celebration took place during National Senior Corps Week, May 7-11. The week is meant to join the Corporation for National and Community Service with organizations across the country in order to honor the impact of Senior Corps volunteers for “Making a Difference for Generations”, as well as to encourage more Americans 55 and older to serve their communities.
The Menominee-Delta- Schoolcraft Foster Grandparents not only meet community needs, but also help themselves by living active, healthy lives through volunteering. They have increased strength and energy, decreased depression and a renewed sense of worth helping children with special or exceptional needs.
During their anniversary celebration, foster grandparents and other attendees were welcomed by William Dubord, executive director of the Community Action Agency. Mistress of Ceremonies was Lois Pinar, Delta County Policy Advisory Council member. Fifty-two foster grandparents from Menominee, Delta and Schoolcraft Counties were honored during the ceremony.
Dubord and Mary Bunnin, Foster Grandparent Program director, presented a plaque for recognition for the outstanding fundraising efforts and past and present support of the Foster Grandparent Program to Bark River Harris School staff and volunteers, including: Jane Chaulklin, Patricia Sheffer, Barbara Jean Hodgins, Loretta Skrobiak and Bernice Wieciech.
The fundraising sub-committee bingo workers were also recognized and applauded for their dedication and support of the program.
“These people are very important to the program,” said Bunnin. “They are: Donelle Robitaille, Sharon Reisner, Julie Baribeau, Peggy Visnaw, Steve Stein, and Laurel Myers.”
Cindy Brock, president of the Upper Peninsula Foster Grandparent Foundation honored the top fundraiser winners.
Also present were Elizabeth Reed, a representative from Sen. Carl Levin’s’ office, Dale McNamee, from Sen. Tom Casperson’s office, and Jeremy Hosking, from Senator Debbie Stabenow’s office, who presented Bunnin with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition honoring the program.
The foster grandparents honored during the program were: in the intermediate category: Jane Chaulklin, Tamara Crook, Christine Pearse, Sandra Slining, June Van Ness and Carol Winling; special awards: Dorothy Bulloch, Carolyn Cagle, and Donna Tourangeau; one-year: Joyce Sheffer, Marilyn Poupore and Kathryn Pereira; two years: Diana Anderson, Paul Schram, Edward Smith, Deanna and Wayne Thill, Ione McGeehan and Doris Neargarth; three years: Richard Gaffney, Dee Addis, Hope Hansen, Erlamay Hardwick, Judy Parrish, Beverly Robitaille, and Bernice Wieciech; four years: Virginia and Darrell Mullins, and William Smith; five-years: Barbara Hodgins and Virginia Parrett; six years: Judy Hardwick, Barbara Heckel, Patricia Schaffer and Alneida Weissert; seven years: Cora Mercier and Leila Thill; eight years: Margaret Besaw and Marie LaDourn; nine years: Gloria Evans and JoAnn Klodt; 10 years: June Anderson; 11 years: Helen Creten, Ottilie Dim ock and Carol Porter; 12 years: Mary Ellen Kane; 13 years: Shirley Macabee and Rose Moulds. 15 years: Rovena Murphy, Charlene Groll and Loretta Skrobiak; 18 years: Berta Maki.
Eash foster grandparent was presented with an award and a token of sincere appreciation during the ceremony.
Saluted were: Wanda Gould, Jeanne Larson, Eileen Gustafson, Alice Gilmet and Pearl Shreve, who passed away this last year.
Cindy Brock, Foundation Board president from the Upper Peninsula Foster Grandparent Foundation, presented Bunnin and Peggy Ramsden, volunteer coordinator, with an annual program grant of $13,200.
The Foster Grandparent Program is administered Dubord and funded through Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, Corporation for National and Community Service and, locally, the Upper Peninsula Foster Grandparent Foundation. For more information, contact Mary Bunnin or Peggy Ramsden at (906) 786-7080, extensions 119 or 126, respectively.