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COMMERCE CITY — There was a Big Band swing in the air as more than 90 local seniors were recognized last month for their volunteer efforts of the city’s senior volunteer awards event at Werth Manor.
According to city officials, older adult volunteers contributed 7,487 hours of community service, representing about $163,152 in savings to the city. The event helped recognized those contributions, including staffing the desk at the recently remodeled senior center and driving.
Parks and Recreation Director Carolyn Keith said the many volunteer efforts help her department operate, similar to a large band with many players.
“The Big Band era was marked with 17-piece instrumentation — without all the contributing instruments, the sound wouldn’t have been the same or even existed,” Keith said. “That is no different than our senior volunteers. Without each and every one of them contributing to our community, we wouldn’t be able to successfully provide meaningful programs and services to our older adult population.”
Among the senior volunteer groups honored were:
• ArtReach, which used 400 tickets for metro area arts programs valued at more than $3,000;
• Music Makers, which performed at more than 10 locations and donates concert proceeds back into the group;
• Senior Advisory Committees, which help plan outreach and programs such as providing holiday meals to homebound seniors and the third annual 50-plus wellness fair.
Earning special recognition was Ramona Cisneros, who was presented with the Triple C Award, and Suncor Energy as the 2012 Outstanding Community Partner.
In the past year, Cisneros volunteered as a driver for 82 day trips for the senior center.
“When you consider that the average trip lasts six to 10 hours, Ramona has volunteered anywhere from 492 to 820 hours of her time,” said Tim Duda, community services supervisor. “Ramona has the kind of energy that amazes many of the senior center staff and rarely declines a trip when called upon. That dedication doesn’t go unnoticed.”
Suncor Energy was named the 2012 Outstanding Community Partner, recognizing its commitment to build partnerships with many different local organizations, including the city’s recreation division. In 2012, the company donated $1,000 to the annual senior pancake breakfast fundraiser, which benefits GoodFriends Scholarship program that provides older adults access to programming. Suncor also sponsored food and provided volunteers for neighborhood outreaches.