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Volunteer of the Month Archive

December 2007
Linda Brian



January 2008
David Clemens
This month's honor falls on Dave Clemens. Dave is our Bingo Coordinator, which is the last thing he thought he would be doing. When Dave started coming to the center eleven years ago, he did not like bingo. In fact, his mother played so much bingo, that he soon hated bingo. Ironic for a man who became a integral member of the Bingo team. When former long-time Bingo Coordinators Alice Miller and Herbie Uffer passed away several years ago, we needed someone to fill those shoes. Dave really stepped up and has been our bingo go-to-guy ever since. Before he volunteered for bingo, he was also one of our volunteer T.A.P. drivers. When he first joined he was more interested in how he could help, than how he could have fun. He first heard about T.A.P. through the newsletter and decided then to help out. When asked why he'd like to volunteer he said that he had volunteered at other places in the past and had some free time and needed something to do. Before retiring from TAP driving a few years ago, he averaged four days a week and was consistently one of our top drivers in miles driven. Originally from Pennsylvania, a stint in the Air Force brought him out to California. Maybe it was the change in scenery that changed Dave's mind about bingo. And he loves a change in scenery. He has a new job as a driver for the United States Auto Auction. He gets to drive all over Southern California, picking up and dropping off cars, and he just loves it. But he still finds time to help us to run the bingo program, call numbers, get things organized, order supplies, and set up. Thanks Dave for all your help.
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February 2008
Ruth Jaime
This month we'd like to put the Ruth Jaime in the limelight. If you come to the center, you should know Ruth. She can always be found busily working up and down the hallways, or outside cleaning up. First and foremost she helps out on the front desk. She aids Elenor answering the phone, receipting money turned in for various activities, handling membership applications, and handling questions from members. She also works in our Transportation Assistance Office, and in our Thrift Store, serving customers, organizing, and turning over items, as well as setting prices on them. When she has some free time she helps spruce up the place making sure the porches and nice and clean for all of you. Finally, she helps out at our special events, doing whatever is asked without question. Originally from Prescott, AZ, she and her husband, Lupe, followed her family when they moved out to the area. Once out here, her husband opened several inns, including the Wander Inn, the Shanty, and the Green Frog (named after her husband's nickname 'Sapo' or Frog in Spanish). During this time she also managed to raise 5 kids, who supplied her with 9 grandkids. We're just happy that she's still manages to find time to help all of us.
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March 2008
The Nutrition Staff
This month in honor of it being the third month we’ve decided to hand out an award to our own set of triplets: The Nutrition Team of Marge Booth, Ike Hays, and Louise Lorenzen serve over 7,800 seniors annually. Collectively this group has worked 21 hours a day for almost 45 years! Every week day they come to the center to serve lunch for seniors. Ike arrives at the center at 5:00 a.m. to open up. He then begins his chores, volunteering every weekday to clean up the kitchen, prepare the lunches, and help serve. Meanwhile, Marge is busy doing the paperwork, record keeping, and ordering for the next day, Louise is organizing and also cleaning the kitchen. There are strict rules and guidelines that are set up by the San Bernardino Nutrition Program regarding cleanliness, forms, temperature, and many other items. They all adhere religiously to these rules and come in early each morning to assure that the kitchen is conforming to all standards required by the program. As a result the H.S.C. kitchen always passes inspections with flying colors. They have been awarded with proclamations from the Highland and San Bernardino City Councils, and the State of California, as well as being named by the San Bernardino City Parks and Recreation Department as Volunteers of the Year. They also always make themselves available to serve at our monthly breakfasts and special events. Beside volunteering for the Nutrition Program, both Marge and Louise are members of the Board of Directors. Marge also has sat on the Health and Welfare Committee, and Louise is the chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee and was instrumental with the dining room renovation and the installation of the folding divider in the dining room. Marge has also been named as Volunteer of the Month, Volunteer of the Year, and R.S.V.P. Volunteer of the Year. Ike, among many other things, is also a driver in the Transportation Assistance Program. Every month he always logs in hundreds of miles every month, taking one or two people a day to the doctor. And no ride is too short or too long. He often juggles his other volunteering duties so that he can drive people in between his shifts. Words cannot express the amount of gratitude we own this hardworking crew for the amount of work they put in, not only for the Nutrition Program, but for their other volunteering endeavors. Thanks for all you do.
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April 2008
Nona Martin
This month we’d to thank Nona Martin. Nona is one of those rare people who are small in stature but big in heart. Nona Martin has been a member for over twelve years. She first heard about the center when she was looking for trips to go on. After going on some trips, she found out that our trip coordinator was looking for someone to help in the trip office. She started out there, and since then has branched out to cover the entire center. Working the trip office just wasn’t enough for her. In addition she also helps out at the TAP desk, the front desk, serves at all of our special events and Koffee Klub, including our golf tournaments, and models in our annual fashion show. She’s like a mother hen, always wanting to help up out and keep us in line. Whenever we ask for a volunteer, she’s always one of the first to put her hand up. Originally from Topeka, Kansas, she got married to Dan, a military man, and traveled the states living in Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arizona, before ending up in San Bernardino. Nona added that “This is the best place I’ve ever lived.” Nona has had 5 kids, who produced 4 grand-kids, 7½ great grand-kids, and 1½ great-great grand-kids. Thank good though she still makes time for the rest of us kids.
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May 2008
Don Delaney
This month we’d like to give kudos to Don Delaney. Don is one of our newest University instructors. A member since 1993, he first heard about the center when he was doing the AARP dances at the Patton Auditorium. Ex-Director Don Bellairs talked to the crowd about coming to the center and becoming members, so Don and some others came down and joined. Since then he’s been enjoying our dances, lunches, and special events. However there is one joy he was missing: Wood carving. A self-taught carver, he first got interested in wood carving when he was around 11. He had books with a pocket on the side for a knife. He and his friends started would hang around the street corner carving. Guns (for shooting rubber bands), animals, and knives. His father taught him how to sharpen knives, because his dad wanted to make sure he got his tools back nice and sharp. He learned to make his own knives while working at Kaiser Steel for use on the job. Good thing since you need different blades for different types of carving. The right wood is essential, as there are different degrees of hardness, or some show more grain than others. Fast forward to the present, Rachel Vejar suggested to Don that he teach a class here. When he told her he wasn’t a licensed or certified teacher, she said he didn’t need one. Don talked to Penny Lilburn, who took him over to talk to Annette Mendenhall, and viola! A new class was born. Now he comes once a week to share this old art form to others. He not only gives instruction but also provides wood to students. Thanks Don for sharing your knowledge and love with others.
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June 2008
Bonnie Hubers
This month we’d to thank someone who just loves to help others, both before and after she retired. Bonnie Hubers has been driving for out Transportation Assistance Program since April 2005. She first heard about the center and its TAP through the Sun newspaper. She had recently retired and was looking for something to do. When she first started out she only wanted to do local rides. Since then she has expanded that to “no boundaries” and has taken rides to Pasadena. She regularly drives between 200 - 400 miles per month. Originally from Howells, Nebraska, she graduated from the University of Nebraska and got her nursing degree from Creighton University, a Catholic affiliate of U.N. She served in Vietnam as an army nurse. When she came back she visited her sister at March AFB in Riverside back in 1970 and never left. That’s good because it was our here that she met her husband. She nursed at Kaiser in Fontana for a bit, but her husband was in the military so she move around abit, but he came back to Norton. She did some “freelance” work at the old County Hospital (now ARMC), then went back to Kaiser before retiring. She also spent 22 years in the Army and Army Reserve. Now when she’s not driving she also volunteers at Our Lady of Hope Pantry, Mary’s Table, and does health ministry at Our Lady of Hope. That is when she isn’t visiting with her three kids, eight grandkids, and one great-grandkid. And she is happy to be a “grandma who wears combat boots!” Thanks to Bonnie for your service to our members, our community, and our nation.
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July 2008
The Trip Office
This month we’d like to shower our gratitude on a group of gals who really stepped up to the plate for us. Following the departure of our trip coordinator, a few months back, a cry for help was put out. Nona Martin, Linda Brian, Lee Fulton, Sylvia Bolton, and Virginia Kautzman answered the call. Some had been working the trip office prior, but picked up extra loads of work, while others are brand new to the office. The office is staffed five days a week. Some things might have changed a bit. We are only planning a few overseas trips, while most of our trips are a lot more closer, popular trips going, such as the Pantages in Hollywood, or the Reagan Presidential library. You must agree because we are filling up on all of our trips, and we’ve had to add on a few extra buses. One thing that hasn’t changed is how hard the volunteers work. It takes a lot of hours and work to get these trips researched. We don’t use agencies for most of our trips. They are put together by our trip office. In just a short time these ladies have learned to work together as a well oiled machine, like they’ve been working together for ages. Thanks to all of you for making the dreams of others come true.
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August 2008
B. Calvert & M. Steinbrecher
This month the Highland Senior Center would like to show their appreciation to Bill Calvert and Marty Steinbrecher. Most of us know them as members of the center’s Board of Directors. In fact, they are the Immediate Past President, and the current President, respectively. And while they do many things as members of the board, this is not why they are honoring them this month. As we prepare to bid a fond farewell to summer, and a good riddance to the heat, it\'s also time to say goodbye to BBQ\'s at the center for the year. It is with this in mind that they owe thanks to Bill and Marty. These two have been their chefs, at least once a month during the spring, and summer, for the past several years. Whenever there is a call for cooks, these two always answer. For the past several cook-outs the temperature has been hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, but rest assured, these two do not BBQ on concrete. Nope. They fire up the old charcoal grill and sweat it out over red hot coals for several hours to ensure a tasty treat for the members and guests. So thanks Bill and Marty for taking one for the team...or better yet, several for the team.
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September 2008
Barbara Bradley
This month we’d like to shine the light on one of our hard working volunteer university instructors. Barbara Bradley teaching our ceramics group. She comes in every Wednesday to teach the class from 9:00 - 11:00 am. But that doesn’t mean she’s done. She also works at home pouring molds, and getting items cleaned up and ready for students that just want to paint and fire. In fact, she can often be heard telling her husband “Only ten more minutes.” An hour later she’s still hard at work. She first became interested in Ceramics in 1960, yet it wasn’t until 1993 that she became certified to teach by Duncan & Gare, which took 8 weeks. Since then she has taught in several places including a home shop, and at the Orange Show for the Ceramic Doll Show. However, she’s not only a teacher, she’s also a student. She is always learning new techniques, and took a course at the Ceramic Art Institute. It was a tough course with only half of the class passing (including Barbara). Her group now is of various skill levels so she had to teach people individually. She hopes to teach a class for beginners, where she can teach one topic to the whole group, planting a seed, she hopes will continue to grow. Thanks Barbara for spreading your love of this art form.
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October 2008
Patrick Escobar
While we love all of our University instructors, and are thankful for the time they put in, not all of our instructors are volunteers. Many come here through the San Bernardino Adult Education Dept. The rest invest their own time and money to come and teach their skills to our members. Patrick Escobar is one of those teachers. Patrick loves to paint, and loves to teach. A perfect combination for our center. As our Oil Painting instructor he comes in every Tuesday to teach to a crowded room. He has been teaching oil painting since 1971. Trained in the arts, he as a B.A. in Arts and Crafts, an A.A. from Valley College and another A.A. from Mexico City. He has also trained at various colleges throughout the San Francisco Bay area. He got his teaching break when he went to Mexico City to learn. After 3 days, he ended up teaching. He can teach any skill level, and doesn’t mind absolute beginners. In his own words “We all have to begin somewhere” and he knows that everyone paints with different skills and styles. Each student and their own idea of what they want to paint and how it should look. Patrick simply helps them to bring out their own individuality while still showing them skills or ideas on how to improve themselves and their art. Thank you Patrick for the love you show to your art and your students.
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November 2008
Robert \"Bob\" Harvey
This month we’d like to shower kudos on another one of our teachers, Bob Harvey. Bob teaches the “Making Common Sense Out of Science” class for our HCU. He has been coming to the center for over 12 years, but it was five years ago that Executive Director, Penny Lilburn, approached him about teaching a class. He readily agreed. Before that he had been teaching the Plastercraft class. He is very at home teaching the science class, which deals with current interest of popular science such as: Global Warming, Problems with Poisons and Plastics, Stem Cell Research, Medical Ethics, and Organ Transplants, to name a few. After all, he is a biologist with a broad background in biological science. He holds an undergraduate degree from Loma Linda, and a Masters in biology from UCLA, as well as a second Masters in teaching from UCR. He is also one class away from receiving his doctorate from UCLA. He put that to good use teaching for 22 years at UCLA and San Bernardino Valley College. However he does more than just teach. He is a long-time member of the Drama Class, and uses his theater skills to participating in fund-raising plays for the center, playing in the Liar’s Club game show, and our Karaoke sing-a-longs. He even led the Karaoke at last month’s Hoedown. Originally from Pasadena, he has been in Highland since 1972. He first came to the center to check it out while he was teaching a class for SBVC at Patton. He saw the center and stopped by. We haven’t been able to get rid of him since! And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
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December 2008
Jane Desmarais
This month we\'d like to give our thanks to Jane Desmarais. Most of you know her as our Bingo lady. Jane has been helping us with bingo for years. Then in a very short time we lost four bingo volunteers. Thankfully we had Jane to take up the slack, taking over and literally, saving the bingo program. She runs and works at all three bingo programs: Mondays, Wednesdays, and alternate Saturdays. We recently had a longtime volunteer “retire” which means it was Jane, who once again stepped up to fill the void. However she does more than bingo. She first came to the Highland Senior Center while she was taking trips with a longtime friend, who happened to also run the trip office. One day the friend asked if Jane if she would volunteer in the trip office, which she did. She has since retired from that job, but volunteers here wen she can. She has covered for us in the Thrift Store when needed, and helps out every year in the Fashion show as a model. Unfortunately for us, and fortunately for others, we have to share her volunteering spirt and hard work. She helps out at St. Bernadine as a receptionist in the Emergency Room, and in the gift shop. However, when she comes to the center it’s not only to work. She still enjoys going on trips, taking our University classes, and of course, playing Bingo. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, she came out west with her husband to escape the cold. Once out here she began working for Sears, which she did for 31 years as a Department Manager. Thanks Jane for being one of those rare gems that we can always count on to shine!
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January 2009
Mary Wallace
This month we’d like to show our appreciation to one of our hardworking receptionists, Mary Wallace. Since 2005, Mary has been helping out at front desk in the afternoons, answering phones and questions, renewing memberships, taking in money, and anything else we can throw at her. She even takes the center’s University computer class to further brush up her skills. Mary also likes to have fun here also. She comes to all the special events, sometimes to enjoy the meal and entertainment, helping to serve when needed. She has also been one of our models for our annual Fashion Show. If there’s one activity she comes here strictly for play it’s the shuffleboard group that meets on Friday afternoons. She got her office experience having worked as an Administrative Assistant at the East Valley Water District for 18 years. After having retired, she and Penny Lilburn, got together and viola! After all, she has known Penny since Penny was a small child on her softball team. Now Mary is happy to trade places and be on Penny’s team. Born and raised in San Bernardino, she and her husband, William, also raised their four kids here as well. They, in turn, have gone on to have seven grandkids. Thanks Mary for putting your many skills to work helping others.
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February 2009
Rachel Vejar
This month we’d like to put the Rachel Vejar in the spotlite. Rachel is one of our more quiet volunteers who shuns attention. However she doesn\'t shun work. Everyday she can be found serving others, as she has done since early 1999, when she first came to us through the Senior Employment Program as part of a six month training program. During that time she helped us as one of our receptionists, answering calls and questions, helping others. After completing her training she thankfully stayed on helping out at the front desk, cleaning up, and volunteering in the nutrition program as a substitute. An injury forced her to cut back, but once recovered she came back full force and she has since become one of our nutrition staff, serving meals and cleaning up afterwards. She can also be found helping out at other events as well if needed. Originally from Los Angeles, she wanted to get out of that city so she moved to Highland where one of her Aunt lives. She used to come out to Highland for Labor day and enjoyed it so much that she wanted to move here when she got older. Rachel has four daughters and eight grandkids, so her life is busy. We are glad that she came our way.
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March 2009
Donald Dorris
This month we would like to show our appreciation for Donald Dorris. Donald is one of our Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) drivers. He just celebrated his one year anniversary as a driver. After retiring he decided to come to the center to take one of our computer classes. While here he asked Annette Mendenhall, the Program Director, if there was anything he could volunteer for. Wrong person to ask! She quickly signed him up as a TAP driver and he’s been doing it ever since, averaging three rides a week, and 210 miles a month. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, he came out when his family moved out here. Out here he served as a mail handler, retiring after 39 years. During that time he managed to get married, and have three kids, who, in turn, supplied him with three grandkids. Thanks Donald for going that extra mile...literally.
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April 2009
Louise Lorenzen & Marge Booth
This month we’d like to give thanks to an awesome twosome. Marge Booth and Louise Lorenzen are good friends and great volunteers. Close friends for over 40 years, they put that camaraderie to work while working to serve others five days a week. Every week day they come to the center to serve lunch for seniors. While Marge does the paperwork, record keeping, and ordering for the next day, Louise is organizing and cleaning the kitchen. They make a perfect team and have won awards and accolades for their efforts. Marge as been doing this for the last eleven years and for the past seven years she has been the volunteer coordinator. Beside volunteering for the Nutrition Program, both Marge and Louise have been members of the Board of Directors for over a decade. Marge also has sat on the Health and Welfare Committee, and Louise is the chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee. Louise is originally from Holdridge, Neb. She and her husband, Orin, got tired of the snow and moved out here. Out here she became friends with Marge who brought her here. Worked at home raising two kids, which led to 3 grandkids, and 5 great grandkids Marge is originally from Menahga, Minn. She came out to work during WWII, working for Goodyear building gas tanks for B-17s. It was then that she met her husband, Harold. Together they had a son, 2 grand kids, and 4 great grandkids Many thanks go out to our pair of friends, who show as much love and dedication to the Highland Senior Center and all the people they serve, as they do each other.
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May 2009
Sherry Mandigo
This month’s award goes to someone very familiar to all of us. Sherry Mandigo has been a member for over 12 years and has volunteering pretty much since day one. She has been busy volunteering serving food and drinks at Koffee Klub and our Thanksgiving Dinners. She also works at our annual Golf Tournament and Senior Recognition Dinner and most of our special events, our ‘Discover Highland’ and ‘Citrus Harvest Festival’ booths, has modeled at the Salad Luncheon, walks for our Center in the 4th of July parade, and fills in at the front desk when needed. In the past she also used to be a Friendly Visitor and a TAP driver. However her big job now is in the Thrift Store. She volunteers there regularly, but lately a lot of people have been doing their spring cleaning, which has led to an overabundance of items to be sorted through and priced. Sherry has been great going through all these items and making sure they get into the store where she then turns around and sells them. Originally from Beatrice, Nebraska, she moved all around the country as her father was transferred from state to state to state. They finally ended up in California when her father came out to activate Norton, before retiring at George AFB. While out here she worked in the food service business with various agencies, including the school district, and Patton. She spent her last 15 years working at juvenile hall in San Bernardino. Now, after three daughters and a son, she enjoys helping to look after her four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Thanks Sherry for everything that you do.
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June 2009
Marty Martinez
This month we’d like to give thanks to someone who helps to keep this place running and in tip-top shape. Marty Martinez is our Handyman/Jack-of-all-trades. He comes in several days week to help spruce up the place. He vacuums, takes out the trash...but he does much more than just clean. When we have something that needs taken care of or fixin’ he’s our go-to-guy. He’s started volunteering here just after joining the center. He has known Penny Lilburn for a long time and Annette Mendenhall for even longer so he had known about the center. He had just sold his business, the Green Frog Bar, which he owned for 12 years. He was looking for something to keep him busy. (Or maybe his wife was looking for something to keep him busy). If you know Penny or Annette, then you know these two can always find something for a volunteer to do, and he’s been doing it ever since. Originally from Fresno, CA, he spent 30 years in Air force. His last 17 were at Norton, where he retired from that job as a Loadmaster. He and wife Judith decided to stay in the area where they have raised two kids, 5 grandkids, 1 great-grand kid. Thanks for lending us a helping hand.
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July 2009
Sally Gomez
This months honor goes Sally Gomez. If you come to the center you know Sally. Sally is our Hostess at the front door greeting all those who come here. If you are reading this then you probably have Sally to thank as a member of the newsletter mail crew. She also helps out serving lunches and helping out at special events. A member for 6 years she first heard about us when she moved out here from Chino. Originally from Redlands, when she was younger, that city was too slow for her. So she packed up up her bags and moved to Los Angeles. After about 40 years of the fast life, her family, including her son, asked her to move back to the Inland Empire. Moving back to San Bernardino, she told her sister-in-law that she wanted to check out a senior center. She was told about our senior center and decided to check it out. She signed up for membership her first day here. Thanks Sally for making it a point to make people feel welcome and to always be willing to lend a helping hand.
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August 2009
Patty Bracone
This month we’d like to shine the light on another one of our center’s University instructors, Patty Bracone. Patty has been our Hula instructor for the past five years. She came to us with the idea of starting up a hula class, and Executive Director Penny Lilburn, thought it would be perfect for our seniors. Patty loves to hula. More importantly, she loves to teach others how to hula as well. Not an islander herself, she loves to travel to Hawaii and Tahiti, and soon learned to love the dance. From there she began taking classes, and progressed to owning her own group. Her husband, Dominic was coaxed into to helping She not only teaches them the dance “steps” but she also hopes to spread her love of the joy of the dance. She does this by encouraging students to bring a lei, a hay (something that goes around the head like a flower crown), or just a flower in their hair to inspire them. Students will also make a pareo, which is something you tie around your hips. Thanks Patty for bringing your love of this beautiful art form to our members and helping to spread this part of one of our unique state’s cultures.
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September 2009
Sylvia Pallas
This month we’d like to shine the light on a new face, Sylvia Pallas. Sylvia is our newest aerobics and water aerobics instructor. She first found out about the center through a friend who gave her a newsletter. Her friend then suggested she try the aerobics and water aerobics classes. Sylvia immediately signed up in January of this year and began taking the classes Then in April, she went to class one day and there was no water aerobics instructor. She follows the instructors really closely, so her fellow students asked her to teach for the day. She was now the class sub. She became a regular instructor a month later. When asked how she became an aerobics instructor, she smiled as said that the same thing happened in that class as well. Originally from Riverside, she moved to Fontana when she was young. She moved to Rialto after marrying her husband Daniel, whom she met at Pacific Telephone, where they both worked. While working she still managed to have two kids who provided her with five grandkids. Thanks Sylvia for stepping up when we needed it, and for continuing to do so!
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October 2009
Molly Wright
This month we\'d like to shine the light on another one of our HCU instructors, Molly Wright. Molly has been teaching the Shuffleboard class every Friday for the past five years. She join the center, with her husband, Odie. When program director, Annette Mendenhall, decided to start a shuffleboard class, she remembered that her friends, Molly and Odie, were long time players. Annette asked them if they would like to head the group, and they were more than happy to oblige. A few years ago Odie passed away, and Molly took over the group all by herself. The class remains a small yet loyal group of shuffleboard fans, who enjoy the class very much. In fact, when the other classes go on break, her class has decided that they want their class to keep on going. Originally from New York Mills, Minnesota. She came out to the Inland Empire when her first husband was stationed at Norton AFB, with whom she had two children. (One of whom is Tim Guek, our Pumpkinman). She also has a grandchild. Thanks Molly, for sharing your love of the game, and passing it on to others.
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November 2009
Joseph Soto
This month we’d like to shine the spotlite on one of our Transportation Assistance Drivers, Joseph Soto. Joseph has been a TAP driver for over a year, and has recently begun volunteering in the TAP office on Mondays and Wednesdays, helping to schedule other drivers with those who need rides. He first came down to the center with his father, to check out the center. He saw it was a “beehive of activity” and decided to learn more about the center and its programs. When he heard about TAP, he knew that there were other people like his father, who needed rides. A senior himself, he also began to think about the future, and if there came a time when he would no longer be able to drive. What would he do? He signed right up and has been driving for the past 7 months. Two months ago he talked to Outreach Director, Annette Mendenhall, about working in the TAP office. His favorite thing to do is to drive. He loves it. He says he has met so many wonderful people. It’s not a job for him. It’s something he enjoys doing. Originally from Ridgecrest, CA. Came out to the Highland area for work and school, and to help take care of his parents. He has a varied past having worked with the post office, been a dry waller, owned a tropical fish store, a Mexican Restaurant, and a Janitorial supply business, as well as having a real estate license. Now he say s he’s mostly retired to take care of his parents. Sounds like he takes care of more than just his parents. Thanks Joseph for all you do.
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December 2009
Linda Brian
This month we’d like to shine the lite on Linda Brian. Linda has been a member for 16 years. When she first signed up she volunteered to work the TAP office as well as volunteered to drive. Unfortunately she dropped out when her husband, Carl, became ill. Then after he passed away, she wanted to get really involved in the center, and boy did she ever. For the past two years she has been our Gadabouts Trip Office coordinator. She took over in a pinch, and has works extremely hard to make sure our trips are full, whether they be a local trip to a play, or a bus out to Primm. As coordinator she arranges and manages all the trips, as well as overseeing the trip office volunteers. She attended the water aerobics classes, and taught if needed, and drives TAP clients in emergencies. She has also helped serve lunch, bakes birthday cakes, helps out at bingo if needed (including making cup cakes to sell for the center), and formed and led the Women’s Poker group, and was Queen Mum of our Red Hat Sassy Seniors. She also volunteers to help out whenever and wherever needed, at our numerous special events, including our hoe downs, salad luncheons, and Christmas parties. Originally from Delphi, Indiana, she met her first husband, Roy, when he came out to visit Indiana. The two married and he brought her back out to March AFB where he was stationed. When he passed away she and her son stayed in California. Luckily for her because she then met Carl, while she managed several A&W restaurants. Together they had two more sons, and she now has six grandchildren. Thanks Linda for your helping hands.
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January 2010
Carmella Dickey
This month we’d like to show our appreciation to Carmella Dickey. Carmella Dickey is one of our hardworking Thrift Store workers. Working two days a week, Carmella has become our top salesperson, turning donated items into cash for our center. Carmella has been a member since 1994, and used to volunteer at Bingo with Alice Miller. Unfortunately she got injured and took a short leave to recoup. It was after her husband, Virgil, died that she began looking for something else to do. She asked Penny Lilburn is we could use her anywhere, and she was immediately put to good use in the Thrift Store. One year later and she is our best salesperson. She loves working in the store and meeting all the friendly people who come in to shop or browse. Originally from Pennsylvania, she and her husband came out in on their honeymoon. It was in April, and it there was snow on the ground back east, but nothing but sunshine out here. They went back, packed up their things, and moved out here. It must have agreed with her because she ended up with two kids, five grand kids, and five great grand kids. Thanks Carmella for all your hard work.
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March 2010
Marty Martinez
This month we’d like to give thanks to someone who helps with our Spring Cleaning all year round. Marty Martinez is our Handyman/Jack-of-all-trades. He comes in several days week to help spruce up the place. He vacuums, takes out the trash...but he does much more than just clean. When we have something that needs taken care of or fixin’ he’s our go-to-guy. Need something put together, Marty has just the tool for the job. He doesn’t, he soon will. He’s started volunteering here just after joining the center. He has known Executive Director Penny Lilburn for a long time and former Program Director Annette Mendenhall for even longer so he had known about the center. He had just sold his business, the Green Frog Bar, which he owned for 12 years. He was looking for something to keep him busy. Volunteering at the senior center will cure you of that illness! Penny can always find something for someone to do. Originally from Fresno, CA, he spent 30 years in Air force. His last 17 were at Norton, where he retired from that job as a Loadmaster. He and wife Judith decided to stay in the area where they have raised two kids, 5 grandkids, 1 great-grand kid. Thanks for lending us a helping hand.
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April 2010
Pat Lauer
This month we’d like to give thanks to Pat Lauer. Pat is one of our bingo workers. She has been volunteering for us for the past five years. She used to work Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, selling the forms, and calling the numbers. She had to stop working on Wednesdays, but continues to work the other days. She first came to us, due to another bingo worker, Dave Clemens. Her kids went to school with Dave’s kids so they knew each other. She was looking to get out of the house after she retired and Dave suggested us. She knows how hard it is to get people to vounteer. Pat also volunteers at other senior centers, including Yucaipa, where she lives. Originally from Wasenaca (sub of Buffalo), New York, she married an air force pilot and was soon off to Wright-Patterson AFT in Ohio. That led to a transfer to Norton AFB and she’s been out in the area ever since. Having raised 3 kids, which led to 2 grandkids, she is used to being busy and likes to keep busy. In fact, she’s getting ready to go on a medical mission to Guatamala. We’re glad she helping others...as long as she keeps helping us.
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May 2010
Virginia Kautzman
This month’s award goes to someone who wants to send your away from here! Virginia Kautzman is one of our Trip Office volunteers. Every Thursday she can be found in the Trip Office helping seniors to see the world, whether it be a European Cruise or a day trip to Los Angeles. She books trips, answers questions, and sometimes gets to go on the trips, to make sure the seniors have fun and everyone makes it back safe and sound. A member for 12 years, she first came here to take an aerobics class. That wasn’t enough for her. She also plays single deck pinochle, does Wii bowling, attends some Koffee Klub meetings, and goes to the Lowe’s presentations. Besides volunteering in the Trip Office, she is also has been leading the Taking Pounds Off Sensibly (TOPS) group for the past 5 years. Originally from Chicago, Ill, she came out to California with her family. Lucky for her, since it was out here that she met her husband, Clayton. Luckily for us, he transferred to Norton AFB to bring her closer to us. She had two jobs. One was working for Security Pacific/Bank of America. The other was raising 2 kids, and helping out with 2 grandkids. Thanks Virginia for making the time to help others follow their dreams.
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June 2010
Tom and Jane Slamer
This month we’d like to give thanks to a couple who helps get people to where they need to go. Tom and Jane Slamer are volunteer drivers for our Transportation Assistance Program (TAP). Tom and Jane had been members for a short time when they heard about TAP through our newsletter. Tom had just retired and was looking for something to do, so they both signed up. He’s busier now than he’s ever been. Tom and Jane usually do the drives together, but if he can’t make a ride, or she is busy, they will drive individually. They have a great time when they take people on the rides and love talking to them. Jane says she also gets great history lessons. When not driving they also volunteer for their church, and Tom helps out with the Elks. They have little time for non-volunteering fun, but they do make sure they can attend the yoga class. Tom also makes time for our Karate class as well. Originally from Wisconsin, they met while he was helping a friend move. They met again at a wedding and things took off from there. They came out to California after Tom was transferred. He was given two options, and since they had family already living out here, the choice was easy. Now with two kids, and four grandkids of their own they have even more family out here. Tom and Jane, thanks for doing such a great job, while having a good time.
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July 2010
Kathy Morris
This month we\'d like to give thanks to Kathy Morris. Kathy is one of those rare breeds of volunteers who simply needs to be asked to help out. Doesn\'t matter what, when, or where. Just ask, and she will be there. Whether it be helping serve lunches when needed, passing out food and drinks at our many special events, or manning a table at our Golf Tournament and Health fair, we know we can count on her. In the past she has also served on our Program Committee, modeled for our Fashion Shows, or helped us out at the Route 66 Rendevous. Not quite all work and no play she enjoyed coming for the scrabble group, until a scheduling conflict with Women\'s Poker, made her give it up. She is also a member of the Wii Bowling League\'s Pin Ticklers, and attends the Water Aerobics. However, her favorite activity is Bunco. She can be found every Friday ringing bells and raising a ruckus as she enjoys herself. But ever the volunteer, she is also the coordinator, setting up and keeping things organized. Originally from Minnesota, she got tired of the cold and decided to move out to California and live with her sister, who was already out here. She originally came to Los Angeles and loved it, going to the beach every day. After getting married she moved with her husband to San Bernardino in 1968, raising two kids, and three grandkids, and one great grandkid. Out here she worked as an accountant for a local insurance company. As soon as she retired from that job in 2001 she joined to the center, where she now \"works\" for us. Thanks Kathy.
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August 2010
John Rago
This month we’d like to shine the light on someone who you may not see much, but who has a great impact on our center. John Rago is a local businessman, the owner of Mac’s Spring Shop in Highland. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Highland Senior Center. John has served on the board since 2002. He had known Executive Director, Penny Lilburn, for many years through their involvement in the Highland Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, and the YMCA. Through Mac’s Spring Shop, John has been involved through donating money, services, and various items to our center. So, his joining the board was the next logical step, and one that he accepted with enthusiasm. He is willing to help wherever and whenever he is needed, having helped us at our Step Out for Seniors bbq, our booth at the Citrus Harvest Festival, our Horse Races. He is also responsible for donating and installing the cabinets in the kitchen. If he’s not doing, he is still helping providing the use of a flat bed for our 4th of July float our seniors rode on, or helium tanks for the balloons at our many special events. A lifelong resident of Highland, he continues to live in the city with his daughter, and grandchild. John, thanks for providing your equipment, and more importantly yourself, to our members and our center.
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September 2010
Elenor Boese
This month we celebrate one of our familiar faces, Elenor Boese. She now works in the Trip Office, helping members to take memorable vacations, but most of you will know her from her stint as our long-term receptionist. Elenor recently “retired” from her Monday through Friday Front Desk duties, but she still helps out from time to time as needed. Now she works in the Trip Office, answering members questions, and filling out the forms to send people on the vacations of their dreams, or a 1 day getaway. She still enjoys coming to special events where she likes to help out in any way she can, whether it be getting signatures, handing out literature, serving refreshments, setting up, or taking down. However, she not only helps out at the center. She also volunteers for A.A.R.P., the Emblem Club, and the Woman’s club. When she’s not helping others she loves to keep moving. She is a member of the Striders, and enjoy taking trips in the center’s Gadabouts. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, as the youngest of five, she came out to California over 50 years ago. Back then, before smog, the climate here was perfect for one of her children who had asthma. It worked because she ended up with 4 children, 5 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Speaking of worked, she retired from the San Bernardino County Assessors office after 35 years. We’re glad she’s back. Thanks Elenor for all you do.
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October 2010
Robert Wengen
When the ancient Romans built roads across Europe, they placed special stones at the sides of the roadways at regular intervals. Travelers could use these stones as identifiers to mark their progress. These were called milestones. It is appropriate that Robert Wengen should be celebrating two important milestones. As one of our leading Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) drivers he recently took his 1000th ride, and logged in over 25,000 miles. Robert first cam to us in May 2005 after reading about our TAP in the Highland Community News. He came and talked to Annette Mendenhall, the Outreach Director at the time, about driving. Ever since then he has consistently been one of our top drivers, always in the top three. He has been known to drive two clients a day, and when we lost another one of our drivers, he came in asking for more hours. His hard work ethic and friendly personality is what makes him one of our most requested drivers. Robert loves to keep busy with the seniors, takes as many rides a day as he can Even when he is out of town, he will call to find out what we have for him when he returns to town. For a while he was working for the California School for the Deaf, three times a week, and rearranged his work schedule to accommodate client rides or even drives after he got off. He stopped working for them last year, which made Robert happy because that gave him more time to drive. When they called asking him to come back, he turned them down. He’d rather volunteer for us, rather than get paid to work! Originally from Petaluma, CA (near Santa Rosa), he worked for the state, working with veterans. He took a promotion, which brought him to Patton State Hospital. His best promotional perk, was that it was at Patton that he met his wife, Yolanda. They, incidentally, just celebrated a milestone of their own. Their 33rd wedding anniversary. After 38 years of work he retired from the Veteran’s Home in Chula Vista, and now he ‘works’ for us. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
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November 2010
Al & Claudia Wrona
This month we’d like to honor a peach of a pair. Al and Claudia Wrona are a pair who love to volunteer by sharing their love of music with as many people as possible. They used to come here several days a week at lunch and serenading us with their old world music, as well as special events. They have since had to cut back their time to once a month, but still make sure they come to our special events. Al sings the tunes while Claudia accompanying him on the accordion. While they enjoy playing all types of music, Al’s Polish roots find a fondness for folk songs. Especially those from countries that Al has lived in. Al can sing in Polish, German, English, French, Italian, and Russian. Claudia is originally from Milwaukee, WI. She came out to California with her first husband and son. Her love of music came at an early age when she was given an accordion as a child, but she then took a thirty year break from playing. Al was born in Poland. After it was invaded by Germany, he was forced to work as a slave laborer in Austria. After being liberated by the British and Police Army-in-exile, he joined the army and served in Italy and England. He eventually moved to Michigan, then California, where he worked for the Corona School district for 30 years. They met at church, where Al says his prayers were answered. He found out that she had played the accordion in her youth, and went out and bought her one. The rest, they say, is history. They have been playing together since 1985, volunteering at churches, festivals, elder hostels, the Ollie MacDonald talent show, the American Red Cross of the Inland Empire’s annual Spaghetti Dinner, the Accordion Lover’s Society International, Evening Auxiliary to the Contemporary Club, and at the Dożynki at the Pope John Paul Center, in Pasadena. They were even invited to play at the 10th World Folk Festival in Poland in 1996. We’re just happy that in their busy schedule they make time for us.
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December 2010
Donna Hunter
This month we’d like to shower kudo’s on a very familiar face. Donna Hunter has been a member for since 1992, and she has been volunteering here in various capacities since then. She came to the center only after careful deliberation. She checked out all the centers in the area, then after comparing them, decided that we were the best. One of the activities she loved was the Happy Notes, our Sing-a-Long group. She enjoys plays piano for the Happy Notes during their gatherings, and single handedly re-typed over 200 songs for the group\'s songbook. Yes, this was back before computers were commonplace. She TYPED the 200 songs. Luckily she was able to then photocopy the forty sets that were needed for everyone. This is indicative of Donna’s volunteering spirit. In fact, when she first joined, she began volunteering. Her first stop was in the TAP office, but not for long. She soon transferred to the trip office, where she eventually became the Trip Coordinator, planning, scheduling, record keeping, and book keeping, between 20 to 30 hours a week. During this time she also served on the Board of Directors, serving as President Elect, the Program Committee, Fashion Show Committee, Health and Welfare Committee, and volunteered in the Friendly Visitor Office. When she wasn’t serving on a committee, she headed the bowling league, was a past Assistant Activity Leader for the Striders, and ran our ‘Points for Profit’ program. Outside of the center she sat on the Board of Directors for AARP Chapter 224, and the Community and School Alliance (CASA). Born and raised in Kirksville, Missouri she eventually tired of the snow and the cold, so she moved to Torrance, California. There she got a job with the Aerospace Corporation, and was transferred to San Bernardino. After leaving Aerospace, she worked for the \"San Bernardino Sun-Telegram\" as it was then known, as the administrative assistant to the publisher, for over 20 years. Despite all this she still found time to have two kids, and four grandchildren. We’re just glad that, although she retired, she didn’t retire from us.
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January 2011
Avon Hall
This month we’d like to shower kudos on one of our newest volunteers, Avon Hall. Avon began teaching our Watercolor class when the previous instructor suffered an illness. Avon had been taking the class when Art suffered a stroke earlier this year. Avon had been helping students when they had problems during classes while Art was still teaching, and continued doing so during the instructor’s absence. When executive director, Penny Lilburn came into the class and asked if they wanted to continue the class. They all said they did. When asked if they needed a new teacher, they said that they already had one...Avon. Penny asked Avon if he would like to teach and he said “Yes.” Avon is not new to art or teaching. While in the Air Force, and stationed in France 30 years ago, he took some art classes in oil painting and drawing. (Yes, he did paint at the Left Bank) He did not take up water color until three years ago, when he heard that we had a class and he was curious about it. Has won several prizes for his art, and has even sold some. As far as teaching goes, he did teach at the Air Force N.C.O. Academy at Norton, and had undergrad training in Vocational Training. Originally fro New York, New York, he joined the military and got to travel before retiring at Norton AFB. It was during his military travels that he met and married Lilly. Together they have 2 kids, 8 grandkids, and 2 great grandkids. Avon, thanks for stepping up when we really needed it.
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February 2011
The Trip Office
This month we’d like to introduce you to a group of volunteers, that put in more hours than just about any other group. . .the Trip Office. The office has a group of volunteers who come in every day of the week: Eleanor Boese, Linda Brian, Dianne Kassotis, Sylvia Bolton, Norma Loveday, and Virginia Kautzman. Each of these ladies works one day a week in the office aiding the Trip Coordinator and helping members get ready. This is a big job and takes a team effort, and this is one well oiled machine. So much that it makes it one of our most popular activities at the center. The Trip office attempts to keep an even balance of local and faraway destinations. They also keep the trips varied so there is a little something for everyone. Each of these ladies works one day a week in the office aiding the Trip Coordinator and helping members get ready. This is a big job and takes a team effort, and this is one well oiled machine. The Trip office attempts to keep an even balance of local and faraway destinations such as the Avi Casino in Laughlin, or the California’s Presidential libraries. You must agree because we are filling up our trips, and we’ve had to add on a few extra buses. They also keep the trips varied so there is a little something for everyone. It takes a lot of hours and work to get these trips researched. We don’t use agencies for most of our trips. They are put together by our trip office. Thanks to all of you for your hard work and ensuring a wonderful time is had by all.
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March 2011
Jane Desmaris
This month we\'d like to give our thanks to Jane Desmaris. If you play bingo here at the center, you know her. She is the lady in charge of bingo. Jane has been helping us with bingo for years. There was a tim when we lost four bingo volunteers in a very short time. Thankfully we had Jane to take up the slack, taking over and literally, saving the bingo program. She runs and works at all three bingo programs: Mondays, Wednesdays, and alternate Saturdays. We recently had a longtime volunteer “retire” which meant it was Jane, who once again stepped up to fill the void. However she does more than bingo. She first came to the Highland Senior Center while she was taking trips with a longtime friend, who happened to also run the trip office. One day the friend asked if Jane if she would volunteer in the trip office, which she did. She has since retired from that job, but volunteers here when she can. She has covered for us in the Thrift Store when needed, and helps out in our Fashion show as a model. Unfortunately for us, and fortunately for others, we have to share her volunteering spirt and hard work. She helps out at St. Bernadine as a receptionist in the Emergency Room, and in the gift shop. However, when she comes to the center it’s not only to work. She still enjoys going on trips, taking our University classes, and of course, playing Bingo. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, she came out west with her husband to escape the cold. Once out here she began working for Sears, which she did for 31 years as a Department Manager. Thanks Jane for being there when we need you the most.
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April 2011
Barbara White
This month we’d like to give thanks to Barbara White. Barbara is one of our volunteers in the Thrift Store, and has been doing so for the past eight months. The previous volunteer needed some time off and Barbara was looking for something to do following the death of her husband, Michael. It was a perfect match. We needed her, and she needed us. Since then she has been coming in faithfully twice a week to help us sell things She loves talking to people, and working in the store give her ample opportunity to meet lots of new people, and chat with old friends. However, it was TOPS that she credits for bringing her back to life. She lost 10 lbs. and found new energy. When not volunteering at the center, or exercising, she also volunteers at her church. Originally from Ontario, CA (Canada - not California), she came out to California after meeting her husband in Mexico, while they were both vacationing. They married and she move our here. Since then they had a son, three grand children, and three great grandchildren. We’re thankful we found each other and that she has that great volunteering spirit.
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May 2011
Marty Martinez
This month we’d like to give thanks to someone who literally helps to keep the place running. If something around here breaks, Marty Martinez is our go-to-guy. Not only does he come in several days week to help spruce up the place, vacuuming, and taking out the trash, but when we have something that needs taken care of or fixin’ he the guy who can fix it. When we need something put together, Marty has just the tool for the job, and if he doesn’t, he soon will. He’s started volunteering here just after joining the center. He has known Executive Director Penny Lilburn for a long time and had known about the center. After retiring and selling his business, the Green Frog Bar, which he owned for 12 years, he was looking for something to keep him busy. That’s all Penny needed to hear. She soon had him sprucing up the place. Originally from Fresno, CA, he spent 30 years in Air force. His last 17 were at Norton, where he retired from that job as a Loadmaster. He and wife Judith decided to stay in the area where they have raised two kids, 5 grandkids, 1 great-grand kid. Thanks for lending us a helping hand.
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June 2011
Janetha Hamre
This month we’d like to give thanks to one of our newer volunteers, Janetha Hamre. Janetha has only been a member since the end of January, and began volunteering almost immediately. She knew that when she retired from helping out at her son\\\'s office, that she wanted to volunteer at our center. She first started out as one of our newest hostesses, working the desk on Thursdays. However that wasn\\\'t enough. A month later she heard our call for someone to help out in the Transportation Assistance Program office, and within days she answered. She helps us out on Wednesdays in the TAP office, helping to take care of all the monotonous work. She logs all the rides of individual clients files, coordinates rides between clients and drivers, and receipts money. She’d like to help more, however, this isn’t the only place she helps out. She is also busy helping one of her sons in his office. Originally from Iola, Kansas, she came out to California with her two sons following a divorce. She came to be close to her aunt and uncle who had moved out here previously from Kansas as well. The moved agreed with her as she met and married Chuck, who had two daughters. A perfect match. Especially with the addition of three grandkids. We thank Janetha for helping us even with her busy schedule.
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July 2011
Rachel Vejar
This month we’d like to shine the light on Rachel Vejar. Rachel is one of our longtime volunteers. Everyday she can be found serving others, as she has done since early 1999, when she first came to us through the Senior Employment Program as part of a six month training program. Little did she know that six months would stretch out to 11 years! During that time she helped us as one of our receptionists, answering calls and questions, helping others. After completing her training she thankfully stayed on helping out at the front desk, cleaning up, and volunteering in the nutrition program as a substitute. An injury forced her to cut back, but once recovered she came back full force and she has since become one of our nutrition staff, serving meals and cleaning up afterwards. She can also be found helping out at other events as well if needed. Originally from Los Angeles, she wanted to get out of that city so she moved to Highland where one of her aunts lives. She used to come out to Highland for Labor day and enjoyed it so much that she wanted to move here when she got older. Rachel has four daughters and eight grandkids, so her life is busy. We are glad that she came our way.
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August 2011
Ricardo Tomboc
This month we’d like to shower kudos on one of our newer volunteers, Ricardo Tomboc. Ricardo is one of our evening Ballroom Dance instructors, and has been teaching a free class on Tuesdays for about a year. He has been involved in ballroom dancing since 1976, when he took a class in college. He was working and going to school at the same time, when he was told he needed to take a P.E. class. Since he was taking it on his lunch break he wanted to do something that didn’t require a shower and change of clothes afterwards. He continued with ballroom classes even after graduating and was taking a class with our ex-ballroom instructor, Lucy Guss. The two knew each other as she was also teaching for the school district, while he taught a photography class. When she got injured he took over for her in the school district class. When the class was canceled due to budget cuts, he approached Penny Lilburn about having the class here, and the class has been going on strong ever since. He is also preparing to teach a Photography class beginning in Sept. Ricardo has been able to turn his love of photography into a career, as a Forensics Specialist with the San Bernardino Police Department, where he has worked since 1983. He also does wedding photography on the side. Married to Terri, and having 3 kids you’d think he would have his hands full already, but we’re thankful that he is managing to find the time to share his love and knowledge with our center.
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September 2011
Jack and Nancy Wallace
This month we’d like to shower kudos on our good friends, Jack & Nancy Wallace. Members since October 2003, they are one of the reasons you are reading this newsletter. Every month we can count on them to help us with the bulkmail. Inserting sheets into the newsletter, stapling, labeling, and counting. When not doing bulkmail, Nancy has a more regular gig working in our Thriftstore on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Jack loves to help us out at special events, doing whatever we ask him to. His favorite job here at the center is pranking the staff, or generally giving us a hard time! When they first joined the center, it was Jack who came in first, for the Men’s Poker group. He loved it so much he got his wife to join. He was so excited, he wanted his wife to quit her job so she could join him in doing things. They met in Washington, where Nancy is originally from, and Jack was stationed while in the army. They met at a dance, where her saved her from another potential suitor. They danced the whole night. She loved the fact that he was always making her laugh. He even proposed to her on April 1st, then picked a wedding date of Sept. 31st (check your calendar). After marrying they traveled the world and the country. He eventually got out of the army and they moved to the Inland Empire, where they decided to finally put down roots. Thanks to Jack and Nancy for all they do for us.
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October 2011
Mary Reed
This month we’d like to show our appreciation for someone who is very special to us. Mary Reed has been teaching the creative writing class for the past sixteen years. And for those years she has been a great help to us, not only teaching, but helping at times to proof-read the newsletter, bring flowers to the staff, provide articles for the newsletter, or just write poems to bring a smile to us all. She also has tutored at the local library, mentored at Lincoln School, served on the Literary Coalition at the Highland Library, and submits articles to the Highland Community Newspaper. Mary had been asked to judge a poetry contest the Creative Writing class was holding. When the teacher retired, she recommended Mary, who was then approached about taking over the class. She only meant to take over for one semester. Sixteen years later she is still enjoying teaching. She feels that her students have real experiences and have important things to say. Originally from Mason, Nevada, she was schooled at the University of Nevada, with a Major in English, and a Minor in Music. She also got her credentials from the same University, and taught in Nevada. She began writing as a hobby, but it soon turned into a job, as she collaborated with her husband on his photography. He would take the photos and she would write about them. She also wrote devotionals, and has been published numerous times, including religious, and handcrafting articles, as well as poems. After coming out to California with her husband, she taught as a kindergarten teacher for over 17 years at local Burbank and Marshall Elementary. Mary has a son and a daughter, five grandchildren, and five great grandchild. She says that while she enjoyed teaching the little kids, she loves teaching the Seniors. That’s good, as they love being taught by her.
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November 2011
Raye Sanchez
This month we’d like to shine the spotlite on someone who loves to come here, but is not a member. Raye Sanchez enjoys coming to the center. Especially to the special events. And while it’s to have fun, it’s more to work. Raye comes to just about every special event where cooking is involved, and she can be found in the kitchen. She comes in early to help prepare food, serve, and help clean up. She came to the center because she is in a relationship with Richard Garcia, who works here. He worked at special events, and she came along as well. The more she did it, the more she liked it. Now she just enjoys helping to support the center, evening riding along the 4th of July parade route, showing her senior spirit. Originally from Sunland near Los Angeles, her father got a job out in San Bernardino and moved the family when she was 3-4 years old. After graduation from high school, she took on many different occupations, including selling insurance, being a beautician, and most unusually, she used to drive stock cars at the Orange Show. Now she works as a driver for the Vocational Improvement Program (VIP), though we’re sure she doesn’t quite go as fast! Raye has four kids from previous marriage, which, in turn, led to 5 grand children. Now is in a relationship with Richard.
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December 2011
Keiko Holcombe
This month we’d like you to meet Keiko Holcombe. Keiko has only been a member for a year, but you probably know her. She has made it her mission to do as much as she possibly can here at the center. She is taking Computers for Fun, Internet, Spanish, Watercolor, DMV Test Review, Science, and the Book Club. And that’s just university classes. She also participated in the Discussion Group, Sing-a-long (when it doesn’t interfere with her computer classes), aerobics, and Koffee Klub, as well as TEACHING the knitting class. Keiko Holcombe, who has been knitting since she was six years old, and has been teaching here in the states for over 30 years. That’s not counting the years she taught in Japan. Once she moved stateside she even owned a knitting store for 30 years. She actually retired from the store so she could come to the center. When Keiko joined the center she almost immediately began teaching others to knit. She asked the program director about teaching a class here, and a class was immediately formed. Originally from Tokyo Japan, she came to the U.S. when her husband, Joseph, was transferred back to the states. They had no children, but knitting and the senior center take up most of her time. Thanks Keiko for retiring so you could work here!e
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January 2012
Marge Booth & Louise Lorenzen
This month we’d like to give thanks to an extraordinary pair of volunteers. Marge Booth and Louise Lorenzen are longtime members, longtime friends, and longtime volunteers. Close friends for over 40 years, they put that friendship to work while working to serve others five days a week. Every week day they come to the center to serve lunch for seniors. While Marge does the paperwork, record keeping, and ordering for the next day, Louise is organizing and cleaning the kitchen. The two make a well oiled machine and have won awards and accolades for their efforts. Marge as been doing this for the last twenty-eight years and for the past twenty-four years she has been the volunteer coordinator, while “junior member,” Louise, has only been doing this for 22 years. Beside volunteering for the Nutrition Program, both Marge and Louise have been members of the Board of Directors for over 18 years. Marge also has sat on the Health and Welfare Committee, and Louise is currently serving as Treasurer for the board, and has chaired the Building and Grounds Committee. Louise is originally from Holdridge, Neb. She and her husband, Orin, got tired of the snow and moved out here. Out here she became friends with Marge who brought her here. Worked at home raising two kids, which led to 3 grandkids, and 5 great grandkids Marge is originally from Menahga, Minn. She came out to work during WWII, working for Goodyear building gas tanks for B-17s. It was then that she met her husband, Harold. Together they had a son, 2 grand kids, and 4 great grandkids Words cannot express the gratitude we have for these two for their many years of dedication and hard work for our seniors. Thanks. You two are definitely a peach of a pair!
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February 2012
David Borgshatz
This month we’d like to let you all know about one of our favorite TAP drivers, David Borgshatz. David, and his wife, Judy, joined the center in September of 2009. One month later he volunteered to become a Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) Driver. Since then he has taken his volunteer duties to heart, generally driving 4-5 times a week. He’d like to drive more but he has his plate full with other activities and duties. At the center he has begun helping out with our Newsletter bulk mail, and has begun serving at some special events, such as our Luau. For fun, he and his wife are a part of our Wii Bowling League. Every Wednesday he can be found here knocking down pins. However, if he can, he will provide a ride in the morning, before bowling in the afternoon. Outside the center, Dave (and again, with his wife) volunteer at the American Cancer Society Discover Shop, where he was recently named “Volunteer of the Year” for 2011. A stellar volunteer, one day he had over $1,200 in sales. For one day! TAP Coordinator, Kim Scarcella, has nothing but admiration for Dave’s volunteering spirit. She said two words fit him perfectly: Willing and Fullfillment. He is always willing to help out, and he gets a great sense of fullfillment from helping others. Originally from Redwing, Minn., he met his wife, Judy, in Minn., and even stayed in Minn. working for a trucking company until 1990 when his company transferred him to Colton. He’s been enjoying the sunshine eve since. Together, he and Judy have two kids, a son, and a daughter, and two grandchildren. Thanks Dave for your hard work. Maybe we should put him to work in our Thrift Store as well!
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March 2012
Sally Gomez
This month=s honor goes Sally Gomez. Anyone who comes here knows Sally, either by name or by face. Sally is one of the first faces one sees when they come to the center. As our official Hostess, she sits at the entryway desk greeting all who come to the center. However, she is more than our greeter. She also helps out in the nutrition program. She sets up tables for dining, serves the diners, and then helps clean up afterwards. If we have a special event she also helps us out at those functions as well. Finally she also helps out with the newsletter. Every month we send out thousands of newsletters to our members, and Sally is one of our newsletter crew who helps put in inserts, label, and count them. A member for almost 12 years she first heard about us when she moved out here from Chino. Originally from Redlands, when she was younger, that city was too slow for her. So she packed up her bags and moved to Los Angeles. After about 40 years of the fast life, her family, including her son, asked her to move back to the Inland Empire. Moving back to San Bernardino, she told her sister-in-law that she wanted to check out a senior center. She was told about our senior center and decided to check it out. She signed up for membership her first day here. Now she enjoys coming to the center. Unlike Jack, she is not all work and no play. She enjoys the arts, taking the watercolor and oil painting classes (before it ended). Thanks for being our hostess with the mostess!
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April 2012
Linda Brian
This month we’d like to shine the lite on Linda Brian. Linda has been a member for 16 years. When she first signed up she volunteered to work the TAP office as well as volunteered to drive. Unfortunately she dropped out when her husband, Carl, became ill. Then after he passed away, she wanted to get really involved in the center, and boy did she ever. For the past five years she has been our Gadabouts Trip Office coordinator. She took over in a pinch, and has works extremely hard to make sure our trips are full, whether they be a local trip to a play, or a bus out to Primm. As coordinator she arranges and manages all the trips, as well as overseeing the trip office volunteers. She attended the water aerobics classes, and taught if needed, and drives TAP clients in emergencies. She has also helped serve lunch, bakes birthday cakes, helps out at bingo if needed (including making cup cakes to sell for the center), and formed and led the Women’s Poker group, and was Queen Mum of our Red Hat Sassy Seniors. She also volunteers to help out whenever and wherever needed, at our numerous special events, including our hoe downs, salad luncheons, and Christmas parties. Originally from Delphi, Indiana, she met her first husband, Roy, when he came out to visit Indiana. The two married and he brought her back out to March AFB where he was stationed. When he passed away she and her son stayed in California. Luckily for her because she then met Carl, while she managed several A&W restaurants. Together they had two more sons, and she now has six grandchildren. Thanks Linda for your helping hands.
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May 2012
Joan Breiten
This month’s award goes to one of our newer volunteers. Joan only became a member five months ago, but since then she has taken to volunteering at the center to heart. She had just moved back to the area from near Bakersfield and was looking for someplace to volunteer. Then, one day as she was driving down Highland Ave. Joan saw a sign for the Highland Senior Center. Just about as soon as she became a member, she began volunteering. She volunteers one day in the Thrift Store selling gently used items to our members. She also volunteers one day a week as a part of the Nutrition program helping to set up, serve, and clean up the lunches. Originally from St. Paul, Minn., she came out to Southern California when her father went into the Navy and got stationed in San Diego. It was also a good move for her as it is also where she met another Navy man, Oscar, who would become her husband. They have 3 sons, 13 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren. Thanks Joan for taking the time to help others.


June 2012
Marty Martinez
This month we’d like to give thanks to someone without whom this place would fall apart. On any given day when he is here Marty Martinez can be found either cleaning or fixing something. As a non-profit organization, we rarely get anything new, and some of what we do get has seen better days. That’s not to say it’s no good. Especially with Marty around. He is good at fixing just about anything, big or small. He’ll fix it here, or need be take it home and fix it there, depending on if the tool he needs is too big to be brought in. For an example he fixed our vacuum cleaner 3 times last month alone! He’s started volunteering here just after joining the center back in 2005. He has known Executive Director Penny Lilburn for a long time so he had known about the center. He had just sold his business, the Green Frog Bar, which he owned for 12 years, and was looking for something to keep him busy. Well tell Penny that and she’ll make sure you never think that again! He’s been busy ever since. Originally from Fresno, CA, he spent 30 years in Air force. His last 17 were at Norton, where he retired from that job as a Loadmaster. He and wife Judith decided to stay in the area where they have raised two kids, 5 grandkids, 5 great-grand kids. Thanks for lending us a not only a helping hand, but a helpful one as well.


July 2012
Marty Steinbrecher
This month the Highland Senior Center would like to show their appreciation to Marty Steinbrecher. Marty has served on the center’s Board of Directors for the past eight years. Like Grover Cleveland he has served alternating terms as the Board President as well, as well as Vice-President. He has just finished serving another term as president and is now serving as Immediate Past President. While serving on the board he has also served on numerous committees including Health and Welfare, Building and Grounds, Golf, Nominating, and Finance Committees. You might not know him from those jobs, but you’ll definitely remember him as one of our BBQ chef’s. He helps out at our cookouts at just about every BBQ we have, whether it be a cool 80 degrees, or a sweltering 100! Among the other non-board contributions he makes to the center, he helps serve at our Thanksgiving Dinner. He has also provided awards at our Golf Tournament and Volunteer Recognition. Marty likes to tell people that he went to Harvard. Actually he comes from Harvard...Harvard, Illinois! He left Illinois when he joined the navy and got stationed in San Diego. It was a good move for him, as it was out here that he got started on what would be his career outside the military. He started a ceramics company AND met his wife, Debbie. The two have a daughter each from previous marriages, and three grandkids. Thanks Marty for all the time and effort you’ve put into the center. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to be our board president again!


August 2012
Dianne Kassotis
This month we’d like to shower kudos on one of our newer volunteers, Dianne Kassotis. Dianne is one of our Trip Office volunteers. Once a week she can be found in the trip office helping members plan trips to local and exotic places. Sometimes she even gets to go as a chaperone on the trips. Dianne has been a member for a couple years after hearing about us from the Trip Coordinator, Linda Brian. She had heard Linda talking about the center to a friend and asked her questions about the center. Dianne was looking for someplace to go and help people, and we are always in need of people wanting to help others. It was a perfect fit. Outside the Trip Office she can always be found helping out in the dining room. She’s not necessarily food fixated. It just turns out the she helps out with just about all of our special events, and most of them involve food. From Koffee Klub to Thanksgiving and Operation Senior Claus. She is always willing to help set up, serve, and clean up. Her next volunteering venture she is hoping to get involved in is helping out our newsletter crew, so if you’re reading this, you may very well have her to thank. Originally from Danvers, MA, she lived there until she met Jim, her future husband, who was just in town on leave following his Navy bootcamp. Married three months later, she moved around as a military wife, finally ending up in Florida. Following Jim’s passing, she moved out to the Highland area, and shortly thereafter, found her way to us. Thanks Dianne for seeking us out to help others.
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September 2012
Marge Booth
Marge Booth has been a member of the Highland Senior Center almost since its inception. For twenty-six years she has been coming to the center, where she has noticed significant changes. When she first started coming the center was merely a place to come and get breakfast and lunch or buy fruits and vegetables. The only real activity were a few trips. Since then, the center has turned into a bustle of activity and so has Marge. Marge has been serving lunches for the last twenty-four years and for the past twenty years she has been the volunteer coordinator of the Nutrition Program at the center. This means she is busy doing the paperwork, record keeping, and ordering for the next day. She also always make herself available to serve at our monthly breakfasts and special events. With the loss of her two main co-workers, Ike Hays and Louise Lorenzen, Marge has worked extra hard to help with the extra work. Besides volunteering for the Nutrition Program, Marge has been a member of the Board of Directors for the past eighteen years, and has served on the Health and Welfare Committee where she helped with the Annual Health Fair. Before she became so active in the center, she enjoyed oil painting, gardening, and playing the organ. Born in Menahga, Minnesota, she was raised there until age 20. Then World War II led to a job in Los Angeles at the Goodyear Tire Company. After four years with Goodyear she met her husband, Harold, at a barn dance. He had been in the military, and the two were stationed at March Air Force Base. Life in the military led to trips overseas and around the country. They ended up at Norton where he retired. We are grateful that Marge has continued to work at our center, and that she won’t retire for another twenty-six years!
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October 2012
Gloria Peterson
This month we’d like to shine the spotlite on a longtime member, but a fairly new volunteer. Gloria Peterson, is a very familiar face around here, having been a member for almost 15 years. However she just decided to get more involved when she started Wii Bowling. Before that she started out doing bingo, shuffleboard, and coming to special events and Koffee Klub. However, following Wii Bowling, she began helping out as well. Now when she comes to special events and Koffee Klub, she volunteers to help set things up, serve, and clean up. Gloria also comes in to help us out with bulk mail, putting in inserts, and putting on labels on hundreds of newsletters. Originally from Rosalie, Nebraska, she came out to the area with her husband, Larry, who was in the Air Force. First she got to travel the world and the country, before they got stationed at Norton. She was a stay at home mom, not only watching her 3 kids, but other mom’s kids so those moms could work. Now she has 3 grandkids, five great-grandkids, not counting all those other “kids” she took care off. And how she helps to take care of us. Thanks Gloria.
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November 2012
Virginia Kautzman
This month’s award goes to someone who wants to see less of you here! Virginia Kautzman is one of our Trip Office volunteers. Every Thursday she can be found in the Trip Office helping seniors to see the world, whether it be a European Cruise or a day trip to Los Angeles. She books trips, answers questions, and sometimes gets to go on the trips, to make sure the seniors have fun and everyone makes it back safe and sound. Besides volunteering in the Trip Office, she is also has been leading the Taking Pounds Off Sensibly (TOPS) group for five years before turning over the reins to someone else. She enjoys helping members shed pounds making them feel good about themselves, as well as feeling healthier. Finally she is one of our newest board members having come aboard in July 2012. A member for 14 years, she first came here to take an aerobics class. That wasn’t enough for her. She also plays single deck pinochle, does Wii bowling, attends some Koffee Klub meetings, and went to the Lowe’s presentations. Originally from Chicago, Ill, she came out to California with her family. Lucky for her, since it was out here that she met her husband, Clayton. Luckily for us, he transferred to Norton AFB to bring her closer to us. She had two jobs. One was working for Security Pacific/Bank of America. The other was raising 2 kids, helping out with 2 grandkids, with a third one on the way. Thanks Virginia for making the time to help others.
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December 2012
Daisy LaFountain
We’d like to shine the spotlite on Daisy LaFountain. Daisy has been a member for three years. She first heard about the center when her husband, Ed, would come here for the Stamp Club. From there she took interest in our Taking Pounds Off Sensibly (TOPS), and bingo. About a year ago she began calling numbers for half the games, for all of our bingo days. On Mondays, she also helps with the Nutrition Program when needed. More recently, we lost the person who cooked food for the Wednesday night Community Bingo crowd. Daisy volunteered to take over, making sure our bingo players had full stomachs to match their full cards. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, she moved out west with her first husband, who was a trucker and had family out here. Between her, and Ed, they have 11 children together, 43(!) Grandchildren, and 6 great grandkids. We are both surprised that she has the time to help us out here, yet know that she has lots of experience with feeding a large crowd. And for that we are extremely thankful.
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January 2013
Jane Desmarais
This month we\'d like to give our thanks to Jane Desmarais. If our bingo program has a face, it’s the face of Jane. She is our bingo the lady in charge of bingo. Jane has been helping us with bingo for years. There was a time when we lost four bingo volunteers in a very short time. Thankfully we had Jane to take up the slack, taking over and literally, saving the bingo program. She runs and works at all three bingo programs: Mondays, Wednesdays, and alternate Saturdays. However there’s a lot more to Jane than just bingo. When she first came to the Highland Senior Center, over 20 years ago, she was taking trips with a longtime friend, Joyce Owen, who happened to also run our trip office. One day Joyce asked Jane if she would volunteer in the trip office, which she did. Jane has since retired from that job, but has been known to volunteer there if needed, as well as in our Thrift Store. She has even modeled for us, in the past, in our Fashion Show. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, she came out west with her husband to escape the cold. Once out here she began working for Sears, which she did for 31 years as a Department Manager. Thanks Jane. We know we can always count on you to be there for us.
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January 2013
Jane Desmarais
This month we\'d like to give our thanks to Jane Desmarais. If our bingo program has a face, it’s the face of Jane. She is our bingo the lady in charge of bingo. Jane has been helping us with bingo for years. There was a time when we lost four bingo volunteers in a very short time. Thankfully we had Jane to take up the slack, taking over and literally, saving the bingo program. She runs and works at all three bingo programs: Mondays, Wednesdays, and alternate Saturdays. However there’s a lot more to Jane than just bingo. When she first came to the Highland Senior Center, over 20 years ago, she was taking trips with a longtime friend, Joyce Owen, who happened to also run our trip office. One day Joyce asked Jane if she would volunteer in the trip office, which she did. Jane has since retired from that job, but has been known to volunteer there if needed, as well as in our Thrift Store. She has even modeled for us, in the past, in our Fashion Show. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, she came out west with her husband to escape the cold. Once out here she began working for Sears, which she did for 31 years as a Department Manager. Thanks Jane. We know we can always count on you to be there for us.
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February 2013
Brenda Adams
This month we’d like to introduce you to Brenda Adams. Has been a member for just over a year, but during that time she has become as actively involved at the center as she can. She started out getting her feet wet with Wii Bowling, which she still does, but more than that she volunteers. Her main “job” is working nutrition. While only scheduled to work 2 days a week, she has actually been helping out 3-4 days a week. She starts out with cleaning the tables, then setting them up, serving, and then cleaning up after lunch. When we have special events she also helps out in the kitchen if needed. Lately she has also taken up bingo. Not for play, but to work. She works on Mondays and Saturdays helping to sell packets, and clean up afterwards. However, she’s not confined to the dining room when helping out. She also helps us get out our newsletters every month. Originally from Rosemount, West Virginia, her father, who was a coal miner, wisely moved the family to Ohio following a mining explosion. She lived there for most of her life until she came out to visit with her brother, who lives in Southern California. She soon moved out to |Highland to be with her aunt and uncle. Thanks Brenda for your volunteering spirit.
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March 2013
David & Judy Borgshatz
This month we’d like to let you know about couple of volunteers. In fact, they are an actual couple; David & Judy Borgshatz. David, and his wife, Judy, joined the center in September of 2009. One month later he volunteered to become a Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) Driver. Since then he has taken his volunteer duties to heart, generally driving 4-5 times a week. He’d like to drive more but he has his plate full with other activities and duties. Judy has also adopted this volunteer spirit. Both she and David are also part of our Newsletter Crew. Every month the they can be found helping us to staple, label, and count our newsletters so we can take them to the post office for mailing. Sometimes David is busy with a ride, so Judy comes on her own. They have also helped us at special events, such as our Luau, where they helped serve or whatever we need them to do. However they are not all work and no play. For fun, they are a part of our Wii Bowling League. Every Wednesday they can be found here knocking down pins. However, if he can, David will provide a ride in the morning, before bowling in the afternoon. Outside the center, Dave and Judy volunteer at the American Cancer Society Discover Shop, where he was named “Volunteer of the Year” for 2011. A stellar volunteer, one day he had over $1,200 in sales! Originally from Redwing, Minn., David met Judy, in Minn., and even stayed in Minn. working for a trucking company until 1990 when his company transferred him to Colton. They’ve been enjoying the sunshine ever since. They have two kids, a son, and a daughter, and two grandchildren. Thanks Dave and Judy for all your hard work. Thanks Dave for your hard work.
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April 2013
Eugenia Morain
This month we’d like to celebrate the good deeds of Eugenia Morain. Eugenia Morain has been coming to the center for over 17 years, both as a member and a volunteer. She is a member of our Phone Pal program. For the last several years she has taken on clients, calling on them weekly to make sure they were okay, and to let them know they had at least one person who was looking out for them. She is also a volunteer of the Friendly Visitor Program, where she goes to a person’s house to check in on them, and sometimes take them out and about to get them out of the house. Eguenia is now down to one client, but she has merged the two programs to suite her friends needs. She has a new client that she has for the past 5 months. She started out as just a Phone Pal visitor, calling 1-2 times a week and spending 15-30 minutes on the phone. Now she also goes over and visits with the client, for a quiet in-home visit, or going out to lunch. You might know Eugenia because she used to work here at the center. She used to work at the front desk greeting people, answering phone calls and peoples questions, writing receipts, among many other things, as our afternoon receptionist. She also used to help us out with mailing out our newsletter. She still likes to come in, when her health allows it, to take our Brain Fitness and Water Color class. Originally from Minneola, Kansas, near Dodge City, both she and her husband, Duane, wanted to move to the sunshine and away from the cold, and find a teaching job for her husband. Her parents were already out here, and he had some family members out here. When they finally arrived she began working at home before venturing out to the S.B. Community Hospital in admissions office. A fully qualified nurse in Kansas, she was required to take certificate exams before she could nurse in California. In the interim she also worked for the Department on Aging and Adult Services, and took time out to raise one of her grandsons for 8 years. After he was old enough she went back to nursing with some help from the Certified Nurses Association, before she retired again. Taking care of others is something Eugenia is good at, and we’re thankful she enjoys doing it.
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May 2013
Marty Martinez
This month we’d like to give thanks to not only a familiar face, but an indispensable one as well. Marty Martinez is a man of many talents, and we put many of those talents to work here at the center. On any given day Marty can be found either cleaning or fixing something. As a non-profit organization, we rarely get anything new, and some of what we do get has seen better days. That’s not to say it’s no good. Especially with Marty around. He is good at fixing just about anything, big or small. He’ll fix it here, or need be take it home and fix it there, depending on if the tool he needs is too big to be brought in. If we do get something new and “some assembly is required” Marty is our go to guy. He has a tool for every job and he is our man for every job. He’s started volunteering here just after joining the center back in 2005. He has known Executive Director Penny Lilburn for a long time so he had known about the center. He had just sold his business, the Green Frog Bar, which he owned for 12 years, and was looking for something to keep him busy. Well tell Penny that and she’ll make sure you never think that again! He’s been busy ever since. Originally from Fresno, CA, he spent 30 years in Air force. His last 17 were at Norton, where he retired from that job as a Loadmaster. He and wife Judith decided to stay in the area where they have raised two kids, 5 grandkids, 5 great-grand kids. Thanks for lending us a not only a helping hand, but a helpful one as well.
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July 2013




July 2013




June 2013
Donald Dorris
This month we would like to show our appreciation for Donald Dorris. Donald is one of our Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) drivers. He has been driving for four years now. He decided to come to the center, after retiring, to come to the center to take one of our computer classes. While here he asked if there was anything he could volunteer for. Of course we signed him up as a TAP driver before he could change his mind! Donald average 2.5 rides a week and habitually logs in over 200 miles a month. There was even one month when he logged in over 500 miles. He avg. rides per week has gone down since last year, but that’s because he takes longer trips. He is one of our “long distance drivers.” However, he does more than just drive for us. He serves on the Board of Directors and helps us out at special events, either helping cook, passing out beads, or signing people in. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, he came out when his family moved out here. Out here he served as a mail handler, retiring after 39 years. During that time he managed to get married, and have three kids, who, in turn, gave him with three grandkids. Thanks Donald for going that extra mile...literally.
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July 2013
Denise Kern
Denise Kern is the “Doris Day” of the Highland Senior Center, with her always smiling face and perky attitude. Denise is one of our volunteer receptionists. Every Tuesday and Thurday afternoon she can be found holding down the fort at the front desk, answering the phone, members questions, filing, and spreading her infectious joy. She has also recently taken, with Martha McGrew, to teaching the newly formed Craft Classes held on the last Thursday of the month. Denise and Martha come up with ideas, plan them out, get the supplies together, then teach the skills to eager students. Denise first heard about the center from Penny Lilburn after they met at the Grand Re-Opening for Far West Meats. That’s when she decided to start volunteering here. When she’s not working at the center she and her husband, Bob, spend time in time in Palm Desert preparing their retirement home (Bob has 4 more years!) Denise is also preparing to becoming a first time Grandma in November. Originally from Glendale, CA, she moved to Highland at an early age, and attended San Gorgonio High School, where she met Bob. Together they have 2 sons, as well as their 3 “child” Ziggy, their dog. Thanks Denise for your volunteering spirit and great attitude.
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August 2013
Nancy Sharp
This month we’d like to give special kudos to on of our Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) drivers. Nancy Sharp has been driving for the program for 4 years. She came in one day looking to volunteer and asked if we had anything she could help us with. Well that was an easy question. We immediately signed her up as a TAP driver and she’s been busy ever since! As a TAP driver she averages 500 miles a month, and 2 drives a day. Sometimes she even takes 4 rides a day, which gave her over 700 miles for just last month! She also utilizes the food program, getting food for two of her TAP clients who can’t leave their house on their own. Originally from Canton, Ohio, her mom worked a t a steel mill, but the job wasn’t steady, so they packed up and moved out to sunny CA where her mom got a job at Hughes Aircraft near Los Angeles. It was out here that she met her husband, Daniel, who then joined the Navy. During that time she raised six kids, who then gave her ten grandkids. She loves the TAP immensely and says that the seniors she takes light up her life. She says “You make their day, and they make your day.” She’s just the kind of volunteer we love. Thanks for making our day.
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September 2013
Kay Clay
Patricia Clay, or Kay as she prefers to be called, has been a member of the Highland Senior Center for over five years. She began coming to the center with her husband, Don, who was taking our computer classes. Kay decided to start taking classes here as well. Three years ago she began volunteering for our Operation Senior Claus. She and Don began delivering Christmas Day meals to seniors throughout the community, often taking three loads. Then, several months ago, she asked Penny, whom she has known for a long time, if there was any other volunteer work she could do. Penny suggested working as a Receptionist at the Front Desk on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. This is when the Food Program is going on and the regular receptionist, Martha, is busy helping with that program. Kay readily agreed and has been helping out ever since. She can be found answering phone calls, greeting everyone, taking in memberships, answering questions, calling our members to wish them a Happy Birthday, and much more. Her past job as a secretary for the San Bernardino City Unified School District, has served her well. Originally from Livermore, Iowa, she was only there until she was three. At three, her parents moved to California in search of work. It was out in California that she met her future husband, Don, at a New Year’s Eve party. Together, and 52 years later, they have four kids, three grandchildren, and two great grand children. Thanks Kay for helping us out when we need it the most.
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October 2013
Polly Miller
This month we like to shower kudos on our Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (formerly known as PACE) Instructor, Pauline (Polly) Miller. She has been teaching involved with People with Arthritis Can Exercise (PACE) since 1995, and has been teaching it here since 1996. She started taking them because she could barely get out of a chair due to her bad knees. The class was being taught by a friend of hers, and after months of participating, her friend asked to take some training classes. Polly did so well that she took over the class for her friend in 1996. Polly also helps teach our Water Aerobics class at the Highland YMCA pool, however she follows the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program guidelines. The arthritis exercise programs are very important to her as she also has osteoarthritis. She knows just how important these programs are, as well as just how much better they can make someone suffering from arthritis feel. As a volunteer of the Arthritis Foundation, which sponsors PACE, she also teaches at the San Bernardino 5th St. Senior Center and the Colton Senior Center, as well as Twinges in the Hinges, a similar exercise designed for the pool, at the Heisner Pool in Redlands, and the Ballard Rehabilitation Center. This is similar to the classes being taught at our water exercise class. She also volunteers her time to the Foundation by handing out brochures at public functions and acting as a substitute instructor at other facilities when asked. When asked about the success of the program, she uses herself as an example. She is now very active, and believes she owes a great deal to PACE. It is designed for those who can barely stand or if they can stand get exhausted quickly. It is designed to keep the body active by providing proper exercise for optimum joint flexibility, muscle strength, endurance, coordination, and cardiovascular conditioning. Enhanced self image and self esteem is also a possible benefit. Originally from San Fernando, California, she moved to Redlands in 1968. After kids grown, went to graduate at San Bernardino Valley College, and a Sociology degree from U.C. Riverside. She continued to work and live out here until Norton A.F.B. closed. She was then transferred to New Mexico to continue her job as a registrar with Air Force Inspection Agency. After retiring she came back to Redlands where she continue to lives today. Polly, thanks for all your hard work and inspiration.
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November 2013
John Henry
This month we’d like to shower kudos on John Henry. John Henry is a volunteer in our Bingo Program. He has been working for our Bingo program for off and on 10 years. He originally came here after he retired from 33 years with the Post Office. He worked the Wednesday Night Community Bingo Program for a while before retiring from that. Then, one of our old bingo callers got sick and needed to stop volunteering. Penny asked John to come back and has been here ever since. Except now he works all three bingo programs. He still only calls bingo, but now he volunteers at the Monday and Saturday Senior Bingo, and Wednesday Night Bingo programs John is not new to bingo. He also works the bingo program at the Knights of Columbus. He was their bingo manager for a couple years and even started, and served on their Bingo Board. However John does more than volunteer at bingo programs. He volunteers at Our Lady of Assumption, ushering and helping out wherever else he is needed. He is also a Citizen On Patrol (C.O.P.) for the Highland Police Department. Originally from Meridian Mississippi, he came out west to go to school. He went top East L.A. College, L.A. City College, and finished at the University of Redlands. Besides being a Postal worker, she also did a short stint in the military. When not doing bingo he likes to visit with his two kids, his grandchild, and his great-child. Thanks John for being there when we need you.
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December 2013
Sylvia Pallas
This month we’d like to honor Sylvia Pallas. Every Wednesday, you can catch her smiling face making money for us down in our Thrift Store. She joined the center over five years ago, when a friend who gave her a newsletter. Her friend then suggested she try the aerobics and water aerobics classes. Sylvia immediately signed up in January of this year and began taking the classes. Then in April, she went to class one day and there was no water aerobics instructor. She follows the instructors really closely, so her fellow students asked her to teach for the day. She was now the class sub. She became a regular instructor a month later. When asked how she became an aerobics instructor, she smiled as said that the same thing happened in that class as well. Before aerobics she would stop by and talk to her friend Carmella Dickey, who was working in the Thrift Store. Following the death of Carmella in 2011, it was announced that we were looking for a volunteer in the to take over Carmella’s spot, and Sylvia stepped up again to volunteer, and has been there ever since. Her latest addition to volunteering is with our Food Program. Every Friday she can be found at the Hostess desk, checking people’s membership cards and signing them in. Originally from Riverside, she moved to Fontana when she was young. She moved to Rialto after marrying her husband Daniel, whom she met at Pacific Telephone, where they both worked. While working she still managed to have two kids who provided her with five grandkids. Thanks Sylvia for your volunteering spirit and answering the calls when we need someone.
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January 2014
Pat Laur
This month we’d like to give thanks to Pat Laur. Pat is one of our bingo workers. She has been volunteering for us for the past eight years. She used to work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, but she had to stop working on Wednesdays. She still continues to work the other days, setting up, selling forms, doing payouts, calling numbers, and generally doing anything else that needs to be done. She first came to us, due to another bingo worker, Dave Clemens. Her kids went to school with Dave’s kids so they knew each other. She was looking to get out of the house after she retired and Dave suggested us. She knows how hard it is to get people to volunteer. Pat also volunteers at other senior centers, including Yucaipa, where she lives. Originally from West Seneca (a sub of Buffalo), New York, she married an air force pilot and was soon off to Wright-Patterson AFT in Ohio. That led to a transfer to Norton AFB and she’s been out in the area ever since. Having raised 3 kids, which led to 2 grandkids, she is used to being busy and likes to keep busy. In fact, she’s getting ready to go on an annual trip as a volunteer for Cedar Sinai on a medical mission to Guatamala. We’re glad she helping others...as long as she keeps helping us.
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February 2014
Mary Perdue
This month we’d like to introduce you to Mary Perdue. Mary has been a member for over four years. Mary first heard about the center through a friend in her park. The friend was a member of Taking Pounds Off Seriously (TOPS), so Mary came and joined up as well. Mary has been doing so well she took over the leadership of TOPS 3 years ago. Running the TOPS program is not her only “job” here. Mary is also one of our new volunteers for our Wednesday Night Bingo Program. Once a week she comes in early to help set up and sell the bingo game papers to those who dream of winning the big pot. She also helps us out occasionally with our Newsletter labeling, and would like to help out more with anything we have. She says to just call. Originally from San Bernardino, she has been in the area all her life, where she also met her husbands. (One while cruising ‘E’ street back in the day!). 2 kids and four grandkids later she cruises to the Highland Senior Center to help us out. With her volunteering spirit, don’t be surprised if you don’t start seeing a lot more of her
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March 2014
The Nutrition Crew
This month we’d like to show special thanks to a hardworking team, our Nutrition Crew. A group of individuals, each with their own job, who come together to form a great team. Marge Booth heads the Nutrition as she has for the past 35 years. She handles all the paperwork and oversees the crew. She has seen many changes in personnel, especially in the past several years, but she has remained our Rock of Gibralter. Helping her out are Virginia Kauztman, Don Clay, Sally Gomez, Brenda Adams, Joan Breiten, and Rosetta Love. These members come in on varying days from 9am to 1pm. During this time they prepare the kitchen by cleaning, and setting up the dining room table. When the food comes they get it ready, serve it, and then clean up the kitchen and dining room afterwards. We thank these hard working volunteers for their daily service, and their well oiled machine like work, and dedication.
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April 2014
Jack and Nancy Wallace
This month we’d like to shower kudos on our good friends, Jack & Nancy Wallace. Members since October 2003, they are one of the reasons you are reading this newsletter. Every month we can count on them to help us with the bulkmail. First, they will come in early to put in any inserts, if needed before stapling them all. The next day they will come back to help the rest of the newsletter crew in stapling the thousands of newsletters. Some of the other things they help us out serving at the Luau, and preparing food for our Operation Senior Claus. All work and no play, hardly make this Jack a dull boy, but he plays just to make sure. When they first joined the center, it was Jack who came in first, for the Men’s Poker group. He loved it so much he got his wife to join. He was so excited, he wanted his wife to quit her job so she could join him in doing things. He also plays Double Deck Pinochle. She did join, but she didn’t stop working. For a while she worked in our thrift store helping to sell items. Now she plays bunco and ladies poker. They both enjoy helping out whenever asked. Jack and Nancy met in Washington, where Nancy is originally from, and Jack was stationed while in the army. Every the joker, he proposed to her on April 1st. After marrying they traveled the world and the country. He eventually got out of the army and they moved to the Inland Empire, where they decided to finally put down roots. Thanks to Jack and Nancy for all they do for us.
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May 2014
Linda Brian
This month we’d like to shine the lite on Linda Brian. Linda has been a member for 11 years. When she first signed up she volunteered to work the TAP office as well as volunteered to drive. Unfortunately she dropped out when her husband, Carl, became ill. Then after he passed away, she wanted to get really involved in the center, and boy did she ever. For the past five years she has been our Gadabouts Trip Office coordinator. She took over in a pinch, and has works extremely hard to make sure our trips are full, whether they be a local trip to a play, or a bus out to Primm. As coordinator she arranges and manages all the trips, as well as overseeing the trip office volunteers. She attended the water aerobics classes, and taught if needed, and drives TAP clients in emergencies. She has also helped serve lunch, bakes birthday cakes, helps out at bingo if needed (including making cup cakes to sell for the center), and formed and led the Women’s Poker group, and was Queen Mum of our Red Hat Sassy Seniors. She also volunteers to help out whenever and wherever needed, at our numerous special events, including our hoe downs, salad luncheons, and Christmas parties. Originally from Delphi, Indiana, she met her first husband, Roy, when he came out to visit Indiana. The two married and he brought her back out to March AFB where he was stationed. Together they had two sons. When he passed away she stayed in California. Luckily for her because she then met Carl, while she managed several A&W restaurants. Altogether she now has six grandchildren. Thanks Linda for your helping hands.
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June 2014
Bob Wengen
When the ancient Romans built roads across Europe, they placed special stones at the sides of the roadways at regular intervals. Travelers could use these stones as identifiers to mark their progress. These were called milestones. It is appropriate that Robert Wengen should be celebrating two important milestones. As one of our leading Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) drivers as he is fast approaching his 2000th ride, and has logged in over 50,000 miles! Robert first cam to us in May 2005 after reading about our TAP in the Highland Community News. He came and talked to the Outreach Director about driving. Ever since then he has consistently been one of our top drivers or at least always in the top three. He has been known to drive two clients a day, and when we lost another one of our drivers, he came in asking for more hours. His hard work ethic and friendly personality is what makes him one of our most requested drivers. Robert loves to keep busy with the seniors, takes as many rides a day as he can [unless of course it interferes with his passion - March Madness (basketball, not bingo]. Even when he is out of town, he will call to find out what we have for him when he returns to town. For a while he was working for the California School for the Deaf, three times a week, and rearranged his work schedule to accommodate client rides or even drives after he got off. He stopped working for them last year, which made Robert happy because that gave him more time to drive. When they called asking him to come back, he turned them down. He’d rather volunteer for us, rather than get paid to work! Originally from Petaluma, CA (near Santa Rosa), he worked for the state, working with veterans. He took a promotion, which brought him to Patton State Hospital. His best promotional perk, was that it was at Patton that he met his wife, Yolanda. They, incidentally, just celebrated a milestone of their own. Their 33rd wedding anniversary. After 38 years of work he retired from the Veteran’s Home in Chula Vista, and now he ‘works’ for us. We wouldn’t have it any other way, and neither would he.
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July 2014
Terri Long
This month we’d like to shine the light on Terri Long. Terri Long is not only the Highland Police Department’s Captains secretary, but is also a Highland Senior Center Board Member. Terri goes way above and beyond those duties. Terri started volunteering shortly after becoming the Captain’s secretary. She started going to city events, which is where she met our Executive Director, Penny Lilburn. After getting to know Penny she said she would like to start volunteering for the center. That was back in 2010. A year later she was serving on our Board of Directors. Since that fateful day she met Penny she has helped out at our Golf Tournaments, Casino Nights, and just about every other special event we have going. All we need to do is ask and she’s there. Her specialty is selling, whether it be raffle tickets, or mulligans. Her infectious smile and persistent salemanship always ensures lots of money for the center. Born and raised in Yucaipa, CA she has stayed local. Engaged to be married this month to her fiancé, Brian Newborm, they look forward to starting a new life together with their three chihuahuas. Thanks Terri for your volunteering spirit and great attitude.
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August 2014
Bonnie Hubers
This month we\'d to thank someone who just loves to help others. both before and after she retired. Bonnie Hubers has been driving for our Transportation Assistance Program since April, 2005. She first heard about the center and it\'s TAP through the Sun newspaper. She had recently retired and was looking for something to do. When she started out she only wanted to do local rides. Since then she has expanded that to \"no boundaries\" and is considered our long distance driver, taking rides as far away as they need to go. She regularly drives between 200 - 300 miles per month. Originally from Howells, Nebraska. she graduated from the University of Nebraska and got her nursing degree from Creighton University. a Catholic affiliate of U.N. She served in Vietnam as an army nurse. When she came back in 1970 she visited her sister at March AFB in Riverside and never left. That\'s good because it was out here that she met her husband. She nursed at Kaiser in Fontana for a while. but her husband was in the military so she moved around a bit, but he came back to Norton. She did some \"freelance\" work at the old County Hospital (now Arrowhead Regional Medical Center), then went back to Kaiser before retiring. She also spent 22 years in the Army and Army Reserve. Now when she\'s not driving, she also volunteers at Our Lady of Hope Pantry Food Program, serves at Mary\'s Table, and works at the San Bernardino Community Partnership Food Bank. That is when she isn\'t visiting with her three kids, ten grandkids, and two great-grandkids. Thanks Bonnie for taking the volunteering spirit to the extreme.
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September 2014
Linda Nix
This month we’d like to give thanks to Linda Nix. Linda works in our Thrift Store two days a week, stocking, selling, and re-stocking. The first came to the center, when she brought her dad here. Then she saw a help wanted sign for the Thrift Store. She soon applied to be a member, and to volunteer. That was over a year ago since she started working in the store. Since then she’s added some fun things to do outside of volunteering. She plays bingo, takes trips, and is a bowler on a Wii Bowling team. Born and raised in Rialto, she worked with State Farm. Not she takes care of her dad. She also has a son back south, and five grandkids. Thanks Linda for coming to us in our time of need and taking care of us as well.
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October 2014
Dianne Kassotis
This month we’d like to give extra special thanks to one of our Trip Volunteers. Dianne Kassotis. Dianne is one of our Trip Office volunteers. She used to work once a week helping members plan trips to local and exotic places. However, when our Trip Coordinator went out temporarily with an injury, Dianne stepped up and took over. Now Dianne comes in 5 days a week to plan trips, coordinate, check the books, and help out the other Trip volunteers. Dianne has been a member for a couple years after hearing about us from the Trip Coordinator, Linda Brian. She had heard Linda talking about the center to a friend and asked her questions about the center. Dianne was looking for someplace to go and help people, and we are always in need of people wanting to help others. It was a perfect fit. Outside the Trip Office she can always be found helping out in the dining room. From Koffee Klub to Thanksgiving to Operation Senior Claus to just about any Special Event. She is always willing to help set up, serve, and clean up. Her favorite thing to do though is to root for the Dallas Cowboys. Originally from Danvers, MA, she lived there until she met Jim, her future husband, who was just in town on leave following his Navy bootcamp. Married three months later, she moved around as a military wife, finally ending up in Florida. Together they had 4 kids, 9 grand kids, and 13 great grandkids. Following Jim’s passing, she moved out to the Highland area, and shortly thereafter, found her way to us. Thanks Dianne for seeking us out to help others.
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November 2014
Junior Carrillo
This month we’d like to shine the light on Junior Carrillo. Junior is one of our big helpers with the Food Program. On Mondays, Wednesday, and Friday, he helps to go get several hundred pounds of food each time and bring them back to the center. He then unloads the items, helps to unpack and organize, before helping us to monitor the handing out of the food. In fact it was Junior who got the WalMart Food Program back up and running here at the center after talking to the Manager. Junior also helps out whenever we need him. He retired 1 1/2 years ago so he says he has a lot more time to volunteer. He first heard about the center after seeing Executive Director Penny Lilburn at the Citrus Harvest Festival. Originally from Los Angeles, he moved out to the area when he was three so he considers himself a native of these parts. He spent 37 years in the car business, either as a salesman or in upper management. Married, he also has three boys, one girl, ten grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. Thanks Junior for helping us to lift this heavy load.
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December 2014
Carol Rosales
This month we’d like to thank Carol Rosales. Carol is one of our non-member volunteers. Her main job for us is working Senior Bingo on Saturdays. She works the lunch counter serving lunches in between the shouts of ”Bingo!” She also serves as a Friendly Visitor and Phone Pal for the Outreach Program. She also helps out at special events with lunches such as our Fashion Show, Hoedown, and Halloween Party. She currently works for San Manual, so she has known about the center due to our relationship with them. It was because of this that she knew Penny Lilburn. One day she called up and asked if she could volunteer on Saturdays. Of course Penny signed her right up. Shortly thereafter, she also signed up for the Outreach Programs as well. Volunteering is in her blood. Her grandparents did lots of volunteer work and instilled that in her. Thanks Carol for your volunteering spirit. We can’t wait until you become a member.
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January 2015
Aneta Giltner
This month we’d like to give thanks to Aneta Giltner. Aneta (pronouced Anita), is one of our newest Trip Office volunteers. However, she is not new to volunteering around here. She had been working at our front desk since June. She was doing such a good job, that Executive Director, Penny Lilburn, asked her to switch to the Trip Office, where we really needed her. There she helps member with Trips, giving information, and receipting money. She enjoys it, but she doesn’t get to interact with people like she did at the front desk. Therefore she is hoping to start volunteering an extra day so she can help out at the front desk again, as well. Originally from Pennsylvania, she married Thomas, who was in the Air Force, who was then transferred out west. They ended their tour of duty at Norton with their daughter, who gave them two grandkids. Thanks Aneta for all the good work.
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February 2015
Don Harper
This month we’d like to shine the light on Don Harper. A first time Volunteer of the Month, he is also a new Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) driver. Don has been a member for nearly two years now. He first heard about the center from his mother-in-law, who is a Wii Bowler. He came and joined the Wii Bowling league. He then remembered Outreach Director, Holly Andrade, talking about TAP and how they needed drivers. It gave the program a test drive back in October and has been doing it ever since. He loves driving. In fact he often drivers six times a week, sometimes taking two drivers in a day if we need him too. He loves doing it, and the clients love him too. He has clients who ask for him. Originally from Forth Worth, TX, his mom brought him out here when he was two. He inched his way over from Blythe, to Beaumont, to Highland. We are thankful that his travels brought him closer to us. Thanks Don for driving that extra mile for us!
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March 2015
The Nutrition Crew
This month we’d like to show special thanks to a hardworking team, our Nutrition Crew. A group of individuals, each with their own job, who come together to form a great team. Marge Booth heads the Nutrition as she has for the past 36 years. She handles all the paperwork and oversees the crew. She has seen many changes in personnel, especially in the past several years, but she has remained our constant. Helping her out are Virginia Kauztman, Don Clay, Joan Breiten, and Rosetta Love. These members come in on varying days from 8 am to 2 pm. During this time they make coffee, and prepare the kitchen by cleaning, and setting up the dining room table. When the food comes they get it ready, serve it, and then afterwards, clean up the kitchen and dining room. We would like to thank these hard working volunteers for their daily dedicated service.
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June 2015
Betty Snyder
This month we’d like to show our appreciation to one of our newer volunteers, Betty Snyder. Betty is one of our Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) drivers, and has been six months. About a year ago she heard about our center through friends at Valencia Lea, so she came and joined up. Then, one day she saw an ad on our bulletin board asking for volunteer drivers. She spoke to Holly Andrade, who signed her right up. Since then she has been taking 5-10 rides a week, averaging 75-100 miles a week. She loves her “job.” She loves the driving, loves meeting new people, and loves helping them. That’s a good thing because she hates retirement. She hates staying home and sitting around the house, and this job gets her out and about. Originally from, Kansas City, MO, Betty came out to San Diego to be with her brother and help with his kids, while he served in Vietnam. She loved it so much she decided to stay when his tour was up. She owned a foster home for 10 years, and was an advocate for children who are mentally or physically challenged. Betty has one daughter, four grandkids, 12 great grandchildren, and is guardian to another girl whom she met as a foster mom. Maybe this is why she loves to help others so much. And we love her for that.
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July 2015
Pat Laur
This month we’d like to give thanks to Pat Laur. Pat is one of our bingo workers. She has been volunteering for us for the past nine. She works on Mondays and and Saturdays, setting up, selling forms, doing payouts, calling numbers, and generally doing anything else that needs to be done. She first came to us, due to a former bingo worker. Her kids went to school with theirs so they knew each other. She was looking to get out of the house after she retired and the friend suggested us. She knows how hard it is to get people to volunteer. Pat also volunteers at other senior centers, including Yucaipa, where she lives. Originally from West Seneca (a sub of Buffalo), New York, she married an air force pilot and was soon off to Wright-Patterson AFT in Ohio. That led to a transfer to Norton AFB and she’s been out in the area ever since. Having raised 3 kids, which led to 2 grandkids, she is used to being busy and likes to keep busy. She even takes annual trips as a volunteer for Cedar Sinai on a medical missions. We’re glad she helping others...as long as she keeps helping us.
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August 2015
Eva Sanchez
This month we\'d to shower kudos on Eva Sanchez. Eva has been a member for just over 2 years, she has been volunteering in our Thrift Store for every Monday, for over 1 year. She has also been helping us out on and off for 1 ½ years at our Hostess desk, signing in people for various events, when we need someone. She first heard about the center through a friend at Jeffrey Court where she lives. She came and started taking computer classes when Penny asked her if she could help us out. She’s been helping us out ever since. She also helps take care of the grandkids so her free time is limited, but she is looking forward to trying out Zumba and getting back into the computer classes. Originally from La Verne, she came out here when her husband Ray, decided to come out this way in search of more affordable housing. They found it, and have never looked back. Four boys and ten grandkids later, we think it was a wise move and a good move...for us. Thanks Eva for helping us out whenever we need it.
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September 2015
Lee Lombard
This month we’d like to give thanks to Lee Lombard. Lee is one of our newest Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) drivers. He came to the center over three months ago, just looking to donate some books, when he happened to see a TAP flyer on the board. He asked the Front Desk person what TAP was, and she took him straight to the TAP coordinator, Holly Andrade. That was all it took, and he’s been driving ever since. He now drives every weekday, sometimes taking 2 rides a day. He drives all over the Inland Empire which doesn’t leave him much time to explore the fun things our center has to offer, but he hopes to get involved soon. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, his fathers travels in the Air Force eventually brought him out to March AFB in Riverside, and he’s been here ever since. He did a stint in the Air Force, where he got trained in Military Pay, which helped him after he left, to get into Money Management, which he turned into a career. Now single, he has a daughter and two grandsons. Thanks Lee stepping up big time into this important program.
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October 2015
Jane Desmarais
This month we\'d like to give our thanks to Jane Desmarais. Jane IS our bingo program. She is in charge fo the bingo, and has been volunteering for the program for years. In fact, in the past year, so only missed on day! Every Monday and alternate Saturdays, she has sold bingo programs, called numbers, and sold ice cream as a bingo fundraiser. When she first came to the Highland Senior Center, nearly 25 years ago, she was taking trips with a longtime friend, Joyce Owen, who happened to also run our trip office. One day Joyce asked Jane if she would volunteer in the trip office, which she did. Jane did that for a few years and has been known to volunteer there if needed, as well as in our Thrift Store. She has even modeled for us, in the past, in our Fashion Show. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, she came out west with her husband to escape the cold. Once out here she began working for Sears, which she did for 31 years as a Department Manager. Thanks Jane for answering our call for callers.
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November 2015
Beverly Vann
This month we’d like to shine the light on Beverly Vann. Beverly has been working in the Trip Office. In the office she helps people sign up for trips, filling out forms and receipting money. Sometimes she even goes on the trips to help out in any way she can. Dianne Kassotis, the Trip Coordinator has nothing but praise for Beverly. She says that anytime Dianne asks her for something she always says yes, with no hesitation. Beverly is always willing to help and is very friendly to everyone she meets. This is not the only place where she has volunteered. In the past she has volunteered at St. Bernardines and Kaiser Hospital. Not always a volunteer, but always taking care of others, she even served as a daycare provider. Originally from Muscatine, Iowa, she later moved out to Yuba City, CA to live near her sister. Then moved down to Southern California when her husband got a job down here. Together they have 4 kids, 3 grandkids, and 2 great grandkids. Thanks Beverly for the good times.
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January 2015
Virginia Kautzman
This month’s award goes to Virginia Kautzman. Virginia is one of our Nutrition workers, but her services to the center goes way beyond that. Just for the nutrition program she comes several days a week from 9 am to 1 pm, helping to prepare the kitchen by cleaning, and setting up the dining room tables. When the food comes she helps get it ready, serves it, and then cleans up the kitchen and dining room afterwards. She also helps at various events throughout the year when needed, and is one of our newest Transportation Assistance Program drivers, helping out when needed. In the past she has worked in the Trip Office, led the Taking Off Pound Sensibly (TOPS). Finally she also serves on the senior center’s Board of Directors. A member for 14 years, she first came here to take an aerobics class. That wasn’t enough for her. She also plays single deck pinochle, does Wii bowling, attends some Koffee Klub presentations. Originally from Chicago, Ill, she came out to California with her family. Lucky for her, since it was out here that she met her husband, Clayton. Luckily for us, he transferred to Norton AFB to bring her closer to us. She had two jobs. One was working for Security Pacific/Bank of America. The other was raising 2 kids. Now it’s helping out with 3 grandkids and . Thanks Virginia for making the time to help others.
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February 2016
Gloria Peterson
This month we’d like to shine the spotlite on a Gloria Peterson. Gloria is a very familiar face around here, having been a member for almost 19 years. After joining our Wii Bowling program Wii Bowling, she began helping out as well. When she comes to special events and Koffee Klub, she volunteers to help set things up, serve, and clean up. Gloria also comes in to help us out with bulk mail, putting in inserts, and putting on labels on hundreds of newsletters. When not bowling or helping out she likes coming to our special events and Koffee Klub, and occasionally likes playing bingo and shuffleboard. Originally from Rosalie, Nebraska, she came out to the area with her husband, Larry, who was in the Air Force. First she got to travel the world and the country, before they got stationed at Norton. She was a stay at home mom, not only watching her 3 kids, but other mom’s kids so those moms could work. Now she has 4 grandkids, five great-grandkids, not counting all those other “kids” she took care off. And how she helps to take care of us. Thanks Gloria.
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March 2016
Food Program Hostesses
This month we’d like to show special thanks to are team who helps us keep our Food Program in orders. Our Hostesses, Mae Lucero, Cyrilene Johnson, and Ollie Williams. On Mondays, Wednesday, and Friday, they take turns signing in people who show up for our Food Program. They come in and accept donations and take the names, ensuring an orderly chaos, enforcing the sign-in rules: single file, printing of names, and no signing in for others. Without them disorder would rain down upon us like a El Nino storm! All three were recruited by Executive Director Penny Lilburn, who was looking for some help for the food program. All three didn’t hesitate when asked to help out, and all three love their job. They get to meet people, and be sociable, which is exactly what we were looking for in our hostesses. Cyrilene also volunteers in the Thrift Store, at some special events, and with newsletter mailouts. Mae will also vacuum or dust when needed, and helps out with the food line for Operation Senior Claus. Last, but not least, Ollie helps out with lunches on Saturday bingo, and cleans the tables in the lunch room if needed. We would like to thank Mae, Cyrilene, and Ollie, and making our members feel welcome.
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April 2016
The Nutrition Crew
This month we’d like to show special thanks to a hardworking team, our Nutrition Crew. A group of individuals, each with their own job, who come together to form a great team and it really is a team effort. While Marge Booth is still considered the commander in chief of the Nutrition Program, she has finally semi-retired after 37 years, and the rest of the team has stepped up to help. Rounding out the team are Virginia Kauztman, Don Clay, Joan Breiten, Anna Johnson, and Rosetta Love. Virginia and Joan do the paperwork, while everyone helps out cleaning up fore the food arrives, helps with the food prep and handling, serves, and then clean up. Don says he makes sure he stays out of their way in the kitchen, preferring to help in the dinning room rather than the kitchen, although they do make him clean the dishes on Fridays! We would like to thank these hard working volunteers for their daily dedicated service.
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May 2016
Dianne Kassotis
This month we’d like to give extra special thanks to Dianne Kassotis, our Trip Office Coordinator. Dianne has been a member for a couple years after hearing about us from the former Trip Coordinator. Dianne asked questions about the center as she was looking for someplace to go and help people. Well we are always looking for people wanting to help out so we were a perfect match. She started out working once a week helping members plan trips to local and exotic places. However, when the Trip Coordinator went out with an injury, Dianne stepped up and took over. Now Dianne comes in 5 days a week to plan trips, coordinate, check the books, and help out the other Trip volunteers. Outside the Trip Office she can always be found helping out in the dining room. From Koffee Klub to Thanksgiving to Operation Senior Claus to just about any Special Event. She is always willing to help set up, serve, and clean up. Originally from Danvers, MA, she lived there until she met Jim, her future husband, who was just in town on leave following his Navy bootcamp. Married three months later, she moved around as a military wife, finally ending up in Florida. Together they had 4 kids, 13 grand kids, and are working on their 17th great grandkid! Following Jim’s passing, she moved out to the Highland area, and shortly thereafter, found her way to us. Thanks Dianne for seeking us out to help others.
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June 2016
Jack & Nancy Wallace
This month we’d like to shower thanks on our good friends, Jack & Nancy Wallace. Jack and Nancy have been members for a lucky 13 years. Every month we can count on them to help us with the bulkmail, which allows you to read this. They come in a day early to help put in any inserts, before stapling hundreds of newsletters. Then, the next day they come back to help the rest of the newsletter crew in labeling the newsletters. Their helping out doesn’t end there. They also help us out serving at our Luau and helping to prepare food for our Operation Senior Cause. At our special events Jack usually checks in people, while Nancy sells raffle and 50/50 tickets. Not just workhorses, they both make sure they get to have fun here as well. Jack plays in the Men’s Poker group and Double Deck Pinochle, while Nancy enjoys Bunco, Ladie’s Poker, and Wii Bowling. Jack and Nancy met in Washington, where Nancy is originally from, and Jack was stationed while in the army. Ever the joker, he proposed to her on April 1st. After marrying, they traveled the world and the country. He eventually got out of the army and they moved to the Inland Empire, where they decided to finally put down roots. Thanks to Jack and Nancy for all they do for us.
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July 2016
Marty Martinez
This month we’d like to give thanks to a long time volunteer. Marty Martinez is one of our Food Program volunteers. He comes in 2-3 times a week to help to get, load, unload, and pass hundreds of pounds of food. He has known Executive Director Penny Lilburn for a long time and he had known about the center. He’s started volunteering here just after joining the center back in 2005 and was out handyman and Jack of All Trades. He had just sold his business, the Green Frog Bar, which he owned for 12 years, and was looking for something to keep him busy. Well tell Penny that and she’ll make sure you never think that again! He’s been busy ever since. Originally from Fresno, CA, he spent 30 years in Air force. His last 17 were at Norton, where he retired from that job as a Loadmaster. He and wife Judith decided to stay in the area where they raised two kids, 5 grandkids, 5 great-grand kids. Thanks for lending us a not only a helping hand, but a helpful one as well.
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August 2016
Diane Harvey
This month we\'d to shower kudos on Diane Harvey. Diane has only been a member for a few years, but ever since then she joined she has made the most of it. Every Monday she can be found helping us out in our Bingo program. It was the Bingo Coordinator, her friend, Pat Laur, who first got her to volunteer for our bingo program. Now Diane helps sell the bingo papers, and calls numbers. If Pat is ever absent, Diane fills in and takes over. Diane does more for us than just bingo. She is always there for us if we need her. She has worked at a hole at our Golf Tournament, sitting out on the course all day. Diane prefers helping us at our special events where she is inside in the air conditioned building! However, it\'s not that cool, as she is hard at work in the kitchen helping to prepare meals, and to help us serve. Diane is used to volunteering, as she has been active at the Yucaipa Senior Center, and the Calimesa Senior Center, as well as having working for Habitat for Humanity. Originally form Compton, she, her sister, and her mother, have each taken turns moving out west, and following each other. As the others have continued taking turns moving eastward, with Banning as their eastmost spot, Diane has put down roots here. Thanks Diane for all that you do for our center.
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September 2016
Joy Pritchard
This month we’d like to give thanks to Joy Pritchard. Joy is our Friday afternoon receptionist, and has been for several years. Every Friday she can be found helping us out by answering the phones, taking in money, writing receipts, and answering questions. When not helping out at the front desk she has also worked our booth at the Citrus Harvest Festival and modeled for us at our Fashion Show and Salad Luncheon. A member for 4 years, she first heard about us following a stroke. She became housebound and her daughters though she should get out of the house. She said they physically put her in the car, brought her down here, and signed her up. She has been here ever since. She started out taking Brain Fitness, Magic, and Hula class to help get her mind and body back on track. One day, the director, Penny Lilburn asked her to volunteer. Joy was hesitant but soon decided that it would help in her recovery. Working the front desk has really helped. In fact she has taken computer classes and is now taking the writing class as well to help with her skills and mental exercises. Originally from Big Spring Texas, in the pan handle, she read history books about California as a child and bugged her dad so much that he decided at it was a good idea and move out here. The rest is history! Once out here she used to own an auto mechanic stop, running things behind the scenes, while her husbands did the greasy work. Joy has also managed to raise 2 daughters, who gave her 2 grandkids. Thanks Joy for turning something unfortunate, into something fortunate for us.
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October 2016
Cyrilene Johnson
This month we’d like to show special thanks to a very familiar face. Cyrilene Johnson has been helping us out as one of our Food Program Hostesses. She can be found signing in people at least one day a week, sometimes 2 depending on if we need a sub. She works 2 days a week in our Thrift Store, and has recently taken to working one day a week in the kitchen for our Nutrition Program. However, she doesn’t stop there. Cyrilene also volunteers at some special events, and with newsletter mailouts. Her volunteering spirit doesn’t stop at the center. She also volunteers for her church making diapers for kids in Africa and Haiti. A member for over 15 years, she originally hails from Barbados. She emigrated originally to New York, but then came out west to Loma Linda to help with her granddaughter. Cyrilene has 6 kids, 9 grandkids, and seven great grandkids. Thanks Cyrilene for all you do for your community near and far.
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November 2016
John Mielke
This month we’d like to shower our thanks one someone you’ve probably heard more than seen. John “Jack” Mielke is our Bingo Caller. Every Monday and on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, Jack calls all the bingo games at our center. Bingo is a big part of him. As a Catholic, he has called bingo for all his life. He is even on the bingo board at the Knights of Columbus. One day John Henry, Board Member and bingo volunteer, approached him about volunteering at the center. Jack’s wife plays here and he accompanies her. She told him that he might as well as long as he’s here anyway. He was also heard throughout the building playing our piano. He came in and saw our piano. The enjoyed playing and we enjoyed hearing him. Soon he joined others who would bring in their instruments. Sadly that group went in different directions, but Jack continued to play as our pianist for the Sing-A-Long group. Unfortunately that group faded away as well. That didn’t stop him from playing. He has played Christmas carols for our annual Open House the past few years. Originally from Stillwater, Minnesota, he came out west while in the Air Force. He was stationed twice at Norton, retiring from there in 1987. He has 1 son with his late wife, Sharon, and 2 grandkids. He also married into 3 kids and 7 grandkids with his present wife, Regina. Jack says he enjoys doing things for other people, and we enjoy having him here!
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January 2016
Bob Wengen
Bob Wengen is an animal...in a good way. He is our workhorse. Bob is one of our Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) drivers. Since he first came to us in May 2005 he has been consistently one of our top drivers. He drives almost every day, Monday through Friday, and has even taken an occasional Saturday ride as well. He normally takes 1-2 rides a day, but has been known to take 4 rides in a day if needed! It’s not only the number of rides, but the miles he’s willing to drive. He is willing to drive anywhere a client needs to go, whether it be 5 minutes away, or 5 hours. He is also willing to take rides at 4am if it needs to be done. There is little wonder that he has surpassed 75,000 miles driven last month, after having taken over 2,800 rides. Bob hopes to hit 100 thousand miles sometime in late 2018/early 2019. Originally from Petaluma, CA (near Santa Rosa), he worked for the state, working with veterans. He took a promotion, which brought him to Patton State Hospital. His best promotional perk, was that it was at Patton that he met his wife, Yolanda. After 38 years of work he retired from the Veteran’s Home in Chula Vista. He got used to the long drives which worked out well for us. Thanks Bob for going above and beyond.
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February 2017
Sherry Lopez
This month we’d like to shine the spotlite on a Sherry Lopez. Sherry is one of our “newer” volunteers. She has been helping us for just under a year, ever since a fateful meeting with Penny Lilburn. She had known Penny for a long time, but it was chance coincidence Sherry had recently retired and was looking for something to do, when she ran into her at the Harvest Festival. It started to helping us out at last year’s annual Golf Tournament and her impact on the center has grown ever since. Following the tournament Penny told her that we could really use her a couple days at our front desk. Sherry then started working Mondays and Wednesdays answering phones, taking in and receipting money, and helping people. From there she has helped us at our Luau, Operation Senior Claus, and with our Food Program. However, the center isn’t the only place where Sherry helps others. She is also a volunteer with the Assistance League. Originally from Springfield, IL, came out to the area after visiting her first husband’s family. They liked it so much they decided to move out here. Once out here she went and became a medical assistant, a dispatcher for heavy equipment, an Edison customer service rep, and finally retired as a worker’s comp appeals board legal secretary. All this while having two kids, two step daughters, nine grandchildren, and one great grandchild. Sherry, thanks for taking all your life skills and putting them to use here at the center!
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