Senior Week: Center depends on volunteers

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Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick

Jerry Dominion and Bona Colegrove take a brief break from lunch service at the Madison County Senior Citizens Center to smile for the camera. They are among 101 individuals affiliated with the center who donate their time as volunteers.

Every year, the Madison County Senior Center celebrates its volunteers. This year, for the first time the festivities have been incorporated into National Senior Citizens Week.

On May 22, certificates will go to 101 individuals who volunteer at the center or elsewhere. Some are center members, some aren’t. All donate their time to good causes.

"We have people that volunteer as much as 100 hours a month or two hours. It doesn’t make any difference how much; we couldn’t run this center without them," said Jim Holland, assistant director.

Of those who volunteer at the center, the majority help in the kitchen, which serves lunch every weekday. Some prepare the food, others serve it, and some work as cashiers.

"I love it. I like to cook and I do a lot of baking," said Bona Colegrove during a recent lunch service. The Madison County resident lends a helping hand two or three days a week, nearly six hours each day. "It doesn’t seem that long. I guess it goes by fast when you enjoy what you’re doing."

Other volunteers at the center help with Wednesday night bingo, the monthly newsletter, flowerbeds, cleaning, and special functions.

"We also have volunteers who help in the adult daycare. They provide one-on-one atten-tion for our daycare clients," Holland said. "Our volunteers just do a tremendous amount of work around here."

Most of the volunteers are 60 years old or older. Some at the center are well into their 80s. All are thanked each year, not just with certificates, but with an evening of dinner and entertainment.

 
Bobby Green of Pickerington will provide entertainment at the Madison County Senior Center’s volunteer recognition banquet.

At the May 22 banquet, Bobby Green, a senior citizen himself, will perform. Born into poverty in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas, Green ran away from home at age 16 to pursue a career in singing in California. He has since amassed over 50 years of entertaining experience.

The Pickerington resident has performed on stage and on television with Glenn Campbell, Lawrence Welk, and stars from "Laugh In," "The Brady Bunch," "I Dream of Jeannie," "The Beverly Hillbillies," and the Grand Ole Opry. He also has performed in Christian concerts across the United States and in Russia, Indonesia and Italy.

Green has recorded 16 long play-music projects, CDs and albums. As a comic, he uses stories and jokes in his shows, in addition to singing. He has made appear-ances at Branson, Mo., theater shows, state fairs and conventions.

Traveling coast to coast, Green has delivered a motivational speech, "You can win if you really want to win," at hospital, in-surance and real estate association seminars, dinners and ban-quets. He also visits public schools to talk about drugs, alcohol, suicide, running away, getting an education and having dreams.

This year, in addition to the volunteer banquet in London, Green will take his show on the road to Dublin, Columbus, Delaware, Lancaster, Upper Arlington, Kilbuck, Grove City, Worthington, Reynoldsburg, Canal Winchester and the Ohio State Fair. To learn more, go to www.bobbygreenlive.com.

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