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Tuesday, Sep. 23, 2014

Senior volunteers will be honored at banquet

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

SIKESTON - We have a lot to learn from the senior

population. They hold a lifetime of wisdom and

countless lessons learned along the way.

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program will pay tribute

to this special group of men and women on Wednesday at

a banquet hosted in their honor.

Planned for 2 p.m. at the Drury Lodge in Cape

Girardeau, the annual event is a way of showing

gratitude to a group of individuals who offer much yet

expect nothing in return.

This year 578 senior citizens who serve communities in

Scott and Cape Girardeau counties will be honored.

Together, they gave more than 80,000 hours of service

this year which Tina McDowell describes as a blessing.

"This celebration is held to demonstrate the

commitment and continuance of an ongoing dedication of

unique individuals, to honor those senior citizens who

are remarkable in every way," said McDowell, RSVP

administrator.

"They volunteer because they want to and because of

the overwhelming good feeling they get from helping

someone else. I want our RSVP volunteers to leave

Wednesday feeling like they play an important role in

today's society and I want them to know how important

they are to me as administrator of this program. These

senior volunteers make a big difference in this

program and in my life, they give me a new perspective

and outlook on how special our seniors are to us."

Designed for individuals age 55 and older, the RSVP

program began in Scott County in 1973. The project

benefits the community by meeting needs that strained

local budgets cannot afford and making it stronger

through the volunteer program.

Sharing their talents and knowledge in places like

classrooms, hospitals and social security offices,

volunteers' service hours increase every year as

people become more aware of the need for volunteers in

today's society, McDowell said.

Barney and Wanda Miederhoff have been RSVP volunteers

at Missouri Delta Medical Center for the past five

years, something they started simply because they were

told the need was there.

A half a day, one day a week, the couple directs

visitors from admissions to the Intensive Care Unit,

among other things.

"It's self-satisfying," said Miederhoff.

Although time is scarce for some, the Miederhoffs

agree a person can always find time for something he

wants to do.

"There are other times during the week or the day that

you can do the things you need to get done," Mrs.

Miederhoff said.

McDowell stressed volunteers are needed in all areas,

not only to help the business or organization be the

best it can be, but to help the senior citizen realize

the important role he plays in the community.

"Unless you get involved, things just don't get done

and now more than ever people are aware that they need

to volunteer. This year we have had an unusual

increase of people wanting to become volunteers. This

is the time to reach out to America," McDowell said.

"We can learn a lot from seniors citizens and I feel

they are one of the greatest resources and assets to

our county. It's fantastic that we have seniors

volunteering so many hours, especially to report to

the businesses, organizations and other funding

sources how successful our program is. When you see

the many hours given by these special people, you know

you live in a wonderful, caring community," she added.