Banquet honors more than 100 seniors for their service

By Mike Linn: CNJ News Editor

Some like volunteering with children. Others with the poor. Many with the elderly.

Harold Burris teaches a driver’s safety course at Clovis Community College. He gets a kick out of some of the stories he’s heard, like the time an elderly lady told him she wouldn’t drive in a car that had a safety airbag.

She said it would be too difficult for her to see what was on the road.

Burris found it amusing. It’s part of the fun of being a volunteer, he said.

Burris and more than 100 volunteers for the Curry County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and the Foster Grandparent Program were at the Chaparral Country Club Thursday at a banquet honoring their service to the community.

“All of you are appreciated in a special way,” said guest speaker Grant McGee, host of the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. “People who are respected in the business world are appreciated in the head, but people who volunteer and help others are appreciated in the heart.”
For Jay Boone the appreciation runs both ways.

Boone enjoys the opportunity to volunteer with senior citizens and working for Meals on Wheels, a program designed to provide food for those who have difficulty moving around. But what he most enjoys is volunteering for the annual fall fishing derby at Oasis State Park.

“I like to help kids learn how to fish,” he said.

Boone, who learned to love fishing late in life, has been volunteering with the RSVP for five years.

Marion Pasternacki has been volunteering at Plains Regional Medical Center for 15 years and has accrued over 15,000 hours of service. She’s worked in the chaplain’s office and with junior volunteers.

Now she works at the reception desk.

“Knowing that people need help and we’re here to help them,” is why she volunteers, she said.

Mela Sena and Meredith Morris work in the Gold Mentor Program, which is run by the state agency on aging.

The program helps less fortunate citizens by offering cash support, education and assistance finding jobs.

Lucinda Bonney, executive director of the Curry County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and the Foster Grandparent Program in Clovis, said any senior who wants to volunteer can contact her at 763-6009.