Senior Companions honored for years of volunteer service

GLADSTONE – The Senior Companion Program of Menominee, Delta, and Schoolcraft Counties recently celebrated 30 years of service to the community and paid tribute to the program’s volunteers during a recognition banquet held at the Terrace Bay Inn. Fifty-two volunteers were honored.

Receiving special honor for 20+ years of volunteering were Anne Bert (25 years), Olga Yagodzinski (23), and Elroy Ecklid (22).

Other volunteers who were recognized are:

Seventeen Years – Albert Marohnic;

Fifteen Years – Hazel King, Don Sayklly and Nancy Zellner;

Thirteen Years – Gerald Allsworth, Fred Coates and Ella Mae McNeil;

Twelve Years – Charmaine Lehman, Dorothy Sahn and Roberta Ecklid;

Eleven Years – Joan Leadman;

Ten Years – Loretta Iverson and Lee Robbert;

Nine Years – Lorna Cutler and Lois Robbert;

Seven Years – Mary Lou Break;

Six Years – Marlene Maulding and Fay Nygaard;

Five Years – Sally Briggs, Sharon Johnson and James Newhouse;

Four Years – Marilyn Burton, Gary Murphy, Rita Nicholson and Arla Westlund;

Three Years – John Berge, Patricia Boyington, Cheryl Cobiere and Nancy Gilbert;

Two Years – Barry Kirkpatrick, Jennifer Peters and Sandra Salchert;

One Year – Terry Anderson, Vivian Ayers, Anna Marie Bartke, Rosemary Clouse, Donna Colson, Jean Davis, Donna Gustafson, Jennifer Johnson, Billie Jean Krusic, Lorie LaCrosse, Carolyn Noble, Margy Renner, Jacqueline Sinnaeve, Doreen Stein and Lily Zorza.

New Companions are Marylee DeGrave, Susan Lanaville, Anita Smith, Phyllis Eastman and Carol Gorzinski.

Volunteer stations include:

Delta County – Bishop Noa Home, Christian Park Health Care Center and Village, Marquette General Home Health, Perspective Adult Day Center, The Elder Inn, St. Jude Foster Care, Lakeview and Northwoods Assisted Living, Pine Haven Foster Care, and Sunny Shores Foster Care.

Luce County – Helen Newberry Joy/Hospital Annex.

Menominee County – Heartland Manor, The Harbors, Pinecrest Medical Care Facility, and Erickson Foster Care.

Schoolcraft County – Hiawatha Behavioral Health/Options, Heritage House, Schoolcraft Medical Care Facility, and Woodland Assisted Living.

Policy Advisory Council members are:

Menominee County – Cheryl Rochon, Mary Fleissner, Al Marohnic, Kathy Scoggins, Doreen Stein and Olga Yagodzinski.

Delta County – John Lantagne, Anne Bert, Ruth Chouinard, Patricia Johnson, Don Sayklly, Lisa Valiquette and Amy Wilson.

Schoolcraft County – Sherry Varnum, Pam Beaudre, Charmaine Lehman, Tina Burnis, Marilyn Oas, Lee Robbert, Sally Strasler and Nancy Zellner.

The Senior Companion Program is a national program and volunteers are individuals 55 years of age and older who have a desire to help others. Volunteers receive 40 hours of orientation before they are given an assignment and receive on-going monthly in-service training. Most Companions serve five days a week without cost to themselves. Benefits include a modest hourly stipend, reimbursement for transportation and meals, on-duty insurance, and an annual physical examination.

The stipends are non-taxable and do not affect eligibility for Social Security disability payments or other similar programs.

Funding for the Senior Companion Program is administered by the MDS Community Action Agency Human Resources Authority with funding from the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, Michigan Department of Mental Health, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and by local, public and private non-profit agencies.