The Council on Aging recognized 14 volunteers on Thursday for their services. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
The Council on Aging recognized 14 volunteers on Thursday for their services. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

VAN WERT – The Van Wert Council on Aging honored senior citizens of Van Wert on Thursday at the Senior Center.

The council recognized 14 volunteers selected from nominations by community leaders who submitted recognition of those volunteers that had gone beyond and above in their efforts in volunteering in the local community.

Administrative assistant Samantha Turnwald noted that 14 senior citizen volunteers were chosen as recipients of this year’s awards. They include Deb Moser, Sandy Gordon, Nancy Friemoth, Thomas Marshall, Bill Kuhlman, Mike Cross, Betty Rider, Jewel Kurtz, Diane Haller, Charles and Vickie Ingman, Jerry and Marcia Etzler and John Donor.

“These seniors were recognized especially for their special volunteering in the community,” commented Turnwald. “They volunteer for their churches, Red Cross, United Way and a wide variety of other organizations and needs in the community.”

One requirement of the recognition was that the volunteerism needed to be work that has occurred after a person has turned 60 years old or a project that was started and continued after they turned 60.

“The volunteering could also include anything from reading to children, to heading up a major event,” said Turnwald. “No act of volunteering is too small or too large.”

Executive director Kevin Matthews noted that this month has been declared “Senior Citizen Month” by the State of Ohio.

“This is an opportunity for seniors to give back to the communities that have served them and their families over the years,” noted Matthews. “This event is an opportunity for the community to thank the volunteers for their assistance.

“It is our belief that senior citizens who volunteer show not only an active investment in the lives of others, but really make a significant impact in the Van Wert Community,” continued Matthews. “Seniors who volunteer really make or break many charitable organizations. Without senior volunteers these organizations would not have the necessary individuals to help out.”

In addition to the senior recognition, the “Senior Day Celebration” featured a dance and music by popular musician Melvin Mullins of New Haven. In addition, refreshments were provided by Van Wert Manor.

Community residents are reminded that the Council on Aging has bingo every Monday night which is open to the public. Early Bird starts at 6 p.m. with bingo starting at 6:30 p.m. The kitchen opens at 4:30 p.m. Texas Hold’em is also being played at 6 p.m. Payouts have increased since the beginning of the years.

The mission of the Van Wert Council on Aging is to assist older adults, age 60 and over, to live their lives with independence and dignity for as long as is possible in an environment of their homes. The council operates the Van Wert Senior Center.