OCES’ Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and Award Ceremony was held on April 2, 2018 at Bridgewater State University (BSU). OCES arranged this Luncheon to honor all of their volunteers who generously donate their time to help others.  Eastern Bank, Harbor Health, and Tufts Health Plan were sponsors of the event.

Arnaa Alcon, Dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences at BSU, welcomed the luncheon guests. Dr. Alcon volunteers her time as a member of the OCES Retired and Senior Volunteer Program’s Community Advisory Council.

Christine McLaren, OCES’ Community Programs Director, thanked the volunteers for supporting OCES and our Community Partner programs.

Two volunteers and an OCES Meal Site Manager received the “Making A Difference Every Day” award instituted by OCES this year. The three “Making a Difference” awardees were Don MacPhail, volunteer at the Plymouth COA; Alan Sherman, volunteer at the Easton Meal Site; and Valerie Winters, OCES’ Easton Meal Site Manager.

Jean-Marie Finn, OCES’ Volunteer Coordinator, explained that OCES is a National PVSA Certifying Organization. The President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) is the premier volunteer award, and it encourages people to live a life of service. Additionally, Ms. Finn shared a brief biography of each awardee with the audience and assisted Ms. McLaren in the presentations.  

The PVSA Lifetime Award for volunteering over 4000 hours was presented to Florence Cadillac of Middleboro. PVSA Gold Annual Awards for over 500 hours within 2017 were presented to Joyce Bean of Duxbury; Fran Lahey of Duxbury; Dianne Borges of Middleborough; Meghan Brigham of Plymouth; Helen Ennis of Duxbury; Emily Kelly of Duxbury; Renee Feeley of Middleborough; Margaret Hoppe of Brockton; Georgia Koundrokos of Brockton; Barbara Lindfors of Middleborough; John Melchin of Pembroke; and Jennifer White of Pembroke.

Their activities reflect the diversity of volunteer opportunities – from helping out at regular Bingo games, serving as Election Day Wardens, making senior center lunch events warm and inviting, knitting for good causes, driving for Meals on Wheels, to serving as Board members.

Ms. Finn concluded the program with two quotes that perfectly reflect the values of our volunteers. First, Audrey Hepburn once said:  “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands – one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” And second, the great Winston Churchill reminds us all: “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”