The "V" in RSVP, an acronym for Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Jefferson County, is the heart of what this program is all about, according to its program manager, Desi Gampolo.
The "V" stands for volunteers, of course, and the local program is blessed to have 90 of them, although there's always room for more.
Their service and dedication in many ways throughout the community was applauded during a "You Are The Stars" luncheon held June 5 in the very nice community room at the Laurels of Steubenville, which provided not only the space for the program but the meal, too.
Desi Gampolo, program manager for RSVP of
Jefferson County, presents an award to Rose Mankowski of the Laurels of Steubenville. The Laurels provided the community room and meal for the annual volunteer appreciation luncheon.
And it was good, another reason for me to celebrate not having to fend for myself and brown-bag it to the Herald-Star employee lunchroom.
Jamie Maloy, dietary manager in charge of the luncheon, got a round of applause for her and her staff, and Rose Mankowski, activities director at the Laurels, was presented a surprise award for putting the wheels in motion to make all that happen.
Mankowski is one of the members of the RSVP board of advisers, which also includes Sean Arai, Wal-Mart Distribution Center; Carol Bonar, Trinity Health Systems; Judy Bratten, Historic Fort Steuben director; Peggy Elliott, Jefferson County Community Action Council; Caroline Harris, Jefferson County Job & Family Services; Kathleen Musso, Jefferson County Chapter American Red Cross; Jaye Lynn Needham, Trinity Health Systems; and Judy Owings, Prime Time Office on Aging.
The real "stars" of the event, however, were the volunteers themselves who were treated to lunch, a chance for many door prizes and musical entertainment provided by Kathleen McCann, a Steubenville native who recently returned to the area and plays the harp.
Piano tunes came courtesy of Delores Wiggins and Charlie Puff.
While Gampolo expressed appreciation to the volunteers, so did Amy Arnold, who is the director of senior programs, Family & Community Services Inc.
RSVP is one of many programs that falls under this umbrella agency.
Jefferson County RSVP volunteers number 90 and contributed 13,000 hours of service in 2011 in their roles with area nonprofits.
In the broader picture, the RSVP volunteers in the five-county area Arnold oversees had 775 members contributing more than 102,000 hours last years. That five-county area includes, in addition to Jefferson and Columbiana counties, also includes Stark, Ashland and Portage counties.
Arnold thanked the "incredible team" of the local RSVP, which in addition to Gampolo, who is the RSVP program manager in Columbiana County as well as Jefferson County, includes Karen Sweitzer, administrative assistant; Patty Saccoccia, volunteer support; and Don Grim, transportation.
The RSVP has a van available to drive volunteers to the different volunteer stations so lack of transportation need not be an issue to stop potential volunteers from coming on board with the program.
"Thank you for your service," Arnold said. "It's an honor to celebrate your gifts of talents and time, taking care of our most vulnerable citizens and resources."
The RSVP office is located in suite 11 of the Gallery building at 2700 Sunset Blvd, Steubenville.
For information, call (740) 346.0771 or e-mail email@example.com.