More than 150 volunteers attended Old Colony Elder Services (OCES) Annual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Ceremony held at Indian Pond Country Club in Kingston on May 3, 2022. Eight volunteers received special awards.

OCES, the non-profit agency proudly serving older adults and individuals with disabilities throughout greater Plymouth County, honored their volunteers, who generously donate their time to help others, with a Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.

Armindo Rocha, Volunteer Programs Manager and Cidalia America, Volunteer Program Assistant hosted the event and presented President’s Volunteer Service – Lifetime Achievement and Annual Gold awards along with OCES’ Make A Difference awards to the eight volunteers.

OCES is a National President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) Certifying Organization. The PVSA honors outstanding volunteers and recognizes the impact they make. The PVSA’s highest honor, the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing 4000+ volunteer hours in a lifetime, was presented to two volunteers. Joseph Tyler Jr., a resident of Halifax, MA, has impacted others with his infectious smile and sense of humor for many years as a volunteer; and Bill Raymond, a resident of Middleboro, MA, who volunteers by transporting seniors to their medical appointments regardless of location and will volunteer 8 hours a day driving if needed.

The PVSA’s Annual Gold Award, marking 500+ volunteer hours for the year, was presented to four volunteers: Steve Sundell of Easton, MA, a SHINE Counselor for 12 years; Fred Ciliberto of Hanover, MA, a volunteer for many years at the Hanover COA; Walter Hempel of Duxbury, MA, a long-time volunteer of both the Duxbury COA as well as the Project Gurnet & Bug Lights, Inc.; and John Ruthkowski of Duxbury, MA who has been involved with AARP tax preparation for several years, devoting well over 700 hours each year to the Kingston and Duxbury COAs to prepare taxes for more than 250 clients.

The Make a Difference Award is given by OCES and the RSVP-PC to recognize exceptional volunteers for their dedication to helping others making a big impact on the community. This award was presented to: John Durnan of Duxbury who has been traveling to Brockton to deliver meals since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020; and G. Mike Pauley of Brockton who is a longtime volunteer at the Caffrey Towers and Campello High Rise buildings in Brockton and was instrumental in delivering meals during the pandemic.

“We truly appreciate all of our volunteers for their dedication to helping others, assisting those in need in our communities, and making the world a better place,” said Armindo Rocha, OCES’ Volunteer Manager.

More about the PVSA

In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action too. Led by AmeriCorps and managed in partnership with Points of Light, this program allows Certifying Organizations to recognize their most exceptional volunteers.

As an AmeriCorps Seniors grantee, OCES receives funds through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) for volunteers age 55+. RSVP of Plymouth County (RSVP-PC) volunteers help OCES and other local agencies that are OCES Community Service Partners.

Volunteering for OCES

Our Volunteer Program supports OCES and other Community Service Partners. With the help of Nutrition Program volunteers, OCES serves 1,800 meals each weekday as part of its MOW Program. Money Management Program (MMP) volunteers assist older adults and individuals with disabilities with bill paying, reconciling bank statements, balancing checkbooks, and in special cases, negotiating debt with creditors. Volunteers also serve on the OCES Board of Directors, MMP and RSVP Community Advisory councils and contribute with many other important efforts.

To learn more about becoming an OCES volunteer contact Armindo Rocha at 508-584-1561 x355 or visit