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Senior Center celebrates its volunteers
2ERK 602 Pastor Joe Gaines  Volunteer of the Year  with Semior Center Director  Dawn Pruett
Joe Gaines

Volunteers with the Margie Weaver Senior Center in Dawson County have been recognized for their service to seniors.

There are only five staff members and 25 volunteers that make it all happen at the senior center, Dawson County Manager Cindy Campbell said during a luncheon on Nov. 20. Dawn (Pruett) wouldnt be able to do it without you.

Fifteen of those volunteers were recognized with a luncheon, gifts and a special award for the caring and companionship they provide to the communitys senior population.

I know you dont do it for the recognition, Senior Center Director Dawn Pruett said. You do it because it is in your heart to do it.

Pastor Joe Gaines of Cornerstone Christian Church was recognized as Volunteer of the Year and presented with a wooden plaque bearing his name.

One reason this center works is because there arent clients here -- were family, Gaines said. When one person here hurts, we all hurt. Thats one reason I enjoy coming here. It feels good. I come here to minister to them, but its they who minister to me. I feel better every time I leave.

Gaines and Carol and Jim Houtchens received a Presidents Award for giving more than 100 hours to the senior center this year.

The most important thing about volunteering is that it helps people, Dawson County Commission Chair Mike Berg said. Volunteering is so important to this county. You all make Dawson a great place to live.

Michelle Crane, the senior centers RSVP coordinator, recognized volunteers who deliver meals to homebound seniors.

They are on the front lines, and they give us feedback for how we can help our seniors, Crane said. They do so much more than just deliver meals. They provide fellowship and companionship. One of our volunteers, Tina Cobb, has been known to buy large quantities of dog food for seniors pets.

Other Meals-on-Wheels volunteers are: Becky Holbrook, Tom and Sara Reed, and Valerie Wetzel, who delivers meals three days each week.

Volunteers who donate time and talent to the center include Helen Anderson, Judy Brandon, art teacher Carole Kinzie, Pat Kirton, Barbara Wallace, Sarah Wishoun, and Joanne Gaynor, who teaches a sit-and-stretch class and makes jewelry.

If you want to laugh and smile, just come on down to the senior center, Gaynor said. We know how to have fun.

An open music session is held at the center each Friday, startingat 5 p.m.As many as 14 local musicians gather to perform a variety of music, including country, gospel, classic rock, and hits from the 40s and 50s.

Even though Dawson County is a small community, it provides so many wonderful services to its residents, Legacy Link Coordinator Dottie Suchke said.Legacy Links mission is to foster an environment which enhances and facilitates independence and quality of life for older individuals and the community.