T he Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Sullivan County held their 50th Anniversary Luncheon at the Villa Roma Clubhouse on Wednesday, September 20. To mark the special day, volunteers came …
The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Sullivan County held their 50th Anniversary Luncheon at the Villa Roma Clubhouse on Wednesday, September 20. To mark the special day, volunteers came together in celebration of the success the program has seen over their 50 years of existence.
“Today, we gather to celebrate a remarkable milestone, the 50th anniversary of the Sullivan County Retired Senior Volunteer Program,” Lise-Anne Deoul, director of the Office for the Aging, said in the opening, “RSVP is dedicated to enriching the lives of our beloved seniors. Over the past five decades, this program has not only provided essential support but has also woven a tapestry of compassion, companionship and community spirit.”
Deoul noted how over the past 50 years, volunteers from all walks of life have come together to ensure that the seniors of the county never have to feel alone or abandoned.
“Your commitment has shown that age is just a number,” she said, “and that the bonds of friendship can transcend generations.”
RSVP Coordinator, Keven Salavarria, said that he felt the spirit of camaraderie looking out at everyone in attendance at the luncheon. He talked about the Sullivan County motto being “Mountains of Opportunities” and how important those who have the courage and strength to climb those mountains are.
Salavarria said that, over the past year, RSVP has volunteered thousands of hours across dozens of sites, doing a number of important things for the community.
“If a senior needed a warm meal and couldn’t drive to do their shopping, you were there,” Salavarria said. “If they needed a friend or to hear a friendly voice over the phone, you were there.”
He continued on to say that he has spoken to senior citizens who have said they were struggling, feeling lonely and didn’t know what to do. Salavarria said that once they came to RSVP, they found their place within the community within a matter of months.
“So today, we gather together for 50 years in celebration,” he said, “because there may always be another mountain waiting ahead.”
All the volunteers enjoyed a three-course meal - soup, salad and the main course - following the speeches, and then ended with an apple dessert. Everyone was also invited to stand in front of the 50th Anniversary banner in the back of the room to pose for pictures. There was also a 50-50 raffle which volunteers could enter throughout the luncheon.
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