On Friday, October 16, Milford Senior Center held a Volunteer Appreciation Brunch and Ceremony to honor those that give their time to promote the programs of the center. The Halloween-themed event offered the “Ghost Café,” which included ghost stories from members and a visit by a “ghost” who claimed to have been a member of the center.
Representative Harvey Kenton welcomed the group to the ceremony. Representative Kenton, who is a member of the Board of Directors of the Milford Senior Center, said that volunteerism had been important to him and his family for as long as he could remember.
“There is a lot to be said for the quote on the front of your program, ‘Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer,’” Representative Kenton said. “It makes me think of my mother who always said that if you want to receive you must give. She also said that giving had to come from the heart, not to get ahead or get something back. She said that if you didn’t give from the heart, you would not receive the benefits of your generosity. It is clear that everyone here is giving from the heart and not for recognition.”
Mayor Bryan Shupe was the guest speaker at the ceremony, saying that when he and his wife opened their store, Fur-Baby Boutique and Daycare, which was located directly across the street from the center, they often questioned what was happening at the Senior Center since there were always many cars in the parking lot and people going in and out.
“I understand that over the past few years, the senior center has grown from 600 to 1,200 volunteers,” Mayor Shupe said. “This sense of giving is what makes Milford so great. When I talk to people throughout the state, whether it is the mayor of another city, the Governor or business leaders, I am told that they see something good happening in Milford. We have a sense of place here. We have a wonderful downtown area and the Milford Senior Center is an important part of that.”
In addition to recognizing the volunteers who manage many of the programs offered by the senior center, awards for years of service at the center were given for the first time in the center’s history. Winning awards for years of service were Mickey Engals and Delores Swain – 20 years; Dorothy Howard, Lucy Mondoza and Richard Sames – 21 years; Jan D’Agostino – 23 year; Mary Daye – 25 years; Marianne Heinhold – 31 years. In addition, a special award was given to Jeanette Quillen who gave 1,164 hours to the center in the previous year.
The mission of the Milford Senior Center is to encourage and support the independent living of seniors by offering programs, services and activities for people over the age of 50. Volunteers help the center offer trips to interesting places including the Herrs Snack Factory, Cape Cod, Radio City Music Hall and Colonial Williamsburg. In addition, volunteers help fix and serve lunch daily with such menu items as chicken salad, ham and cabbage, Salisbury steak and fried shrimp. The center also offers a variety of events such as walking, tai chi, Jazzercise, movies, Zumba, Mah Jongg and more on a daily basis.
“There is a quote that comes to mind each time I think of volunteering,” said Mayor Shupe. “Volunteers are not paid because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.”