DeKALB – The DeKalb Area Retirement Center – Oak Crest residents and staff celebrated National Volunteer Week by recognizing their many volunteers with a dessert buffet. The theme for the evening was “Volunteers – Music to Our Ears.” A program of bluegrass and gospel music was performed by Truman’s Ridge.
Liz Hoppenworth, director of resident services, spoke and sang a song dedicated to the volunteers.
Joan Launer, community events coordinator, introduced former recipients of the Oak Leaf Award in attendance. The award is given annually to a community volunteer and to a resident volunteer for their hours of service and for the impact of that service to the Oak Crest family.
Receiving the Community Volunteer Oak Leaf Award this year was Jerry Taylor. Taylor volunteers several times a week. He arrives early to make sure everything is ready for the Oak Crest Boys music program, one of the highlights of the week for residents, and he participates in the program. He also arrives early to prepare for the Thursday worship service, and participates in the service. He volunteers at other programs throughout the year and escorts the Oak Crest King and Queen to the Pumpkin Parade in October.
The Resident Volunteer Oak Leaf Award was presented to Anita Elwell. Elwell and her husband, Bill, moved to Oak Crest in 2011. She began volunteering right away, assisting in the craft group, which meets weekly to work on crafts for the fall Craft Fest, which benefits the Oak Crest Good Samaritan Fund, and to work on the Community Service Trauma Doll project. Elwell also volunteers in the library once a week. When a book club was suggested, she was ready to help with that. Special events at Oak Crest need many volunteers to organize and carry out, and Elwell is always ready to do what is needed.
New volunteers are welcome. Flexible volunteer opportunities are available. Call Joan Launer at 815-756-8461 for more information.