This past Thursday, the Retired and Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Dutchess County welcomed over 200 seniors to its annual volunteer recognition breakfast. The breakfast is held each year to honor seniors who stay involved in the community by volunteering their time at local organizations such as Dutchess County Office for the Aging (OFA) senior friendship centers, churches, libraries, hospitals, and area non-profits. This year the event was held at the Ramada Conference Center in Fishkill, NY.
Duchess County Executive Marc Molinaro presented the RSVP program with a check for $1,000 to support their efforts in promoting volunteerism among seniors in the County, and stayed around to thank the volunteers for their commitment to the community. State Senator Terry Gipson also attended the event, thanking volunteers individually and as a group for their service. The breakfast was generously sponsored by Ulster Savings Bank, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Vassar Warner Home, CDPHP, Fidelis Care, and New York State EPIC.
Charles North, the President and CEO of the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce emceed for the morning’s festivities, bringing his trademark humor and style—and penchant for give-aways to the event. Swapping trivia questions for prizes, North had more than two dozen attendees walking out with something in hand, which included prizes donated by Home Depot, Shop Rite, and others.
The event also serves as the kick-off for the RSVP program’s annual raffle fundraiser, which features a grand prize of $1,000 and gift certificates from Foam & Wash, Target, Adams and others. These raffle tickets will also be available at the OFA senior picnics throughout the summer, and at other community events leading up to the September 29th drawing.
RSVP is a federal program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and in Dutchess County the program is sponsored by Dutchess County Community Action Partnership and receives additional support from both the state and county offices for the aging. Annually some 450 RSVP members in Dutchess County serve over 100,000 hours. Nationwide nearly 300,000 RSVP members contribute a staggering 60 million volunteer hours to their respective communities.
Any person 55 years or older who volunteers regularly, or is looking too is eligible and encouraged to join the ranks of RSVP. Studies have shown that not only does RSVP improve communities though service, it improves the lives of those who serve, including longer life expectancies for seniors who stay engaged though volunteerism.
For more information on RSVP as a whole, www.getinvolved.gov is a terrific online resource to learn about this and other national service programs. For specific information about the Dutchess County RSVP program, including how to join, please visit www.dutchesscap.org, or call (845) 452-5014 Ext. 114 today.