Senior volunteers of the Year honored

11/9/2007 8:00:00 AM

Reno retirees Jay Palmer, 79, and Don Hunnicutt, 76, were honored as the Volunteers of the Year by Washoe County's Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) at the organization's annual recognition luncheon Nov 2.

The two have long been involved with RSVP's Senior Outreach Services (SOS) program, which visits homebound, often frail older adults who are socially isolated, perhaps disabled, and in need of caring friends.

The honorees were chosen from the approximately 700 Washoe County RSVP volunteers.

"They have been dedicated volunteers and given countless hours of companionship, and I can always count on them for last-minute urgent tasks," said Sina Ward, manager of the SOS program.

Palmer was a 32-year employee of the federal Immigration and Naturalization Service (now U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), and Hunnicutt, who was too ill to attend the luncheon, is a retired engineer.

Also at the recognition luncheon, which was held at the Atlantis Casino Resort ballroom, Sierra Pacific Power was honored with a special award for its Senior Power Program, which helps elders winterize their homes at no cost.

The guest speaker at the luncheon was longtime state Senator William Raggio.

RSVP, housed within the Sanford Center for Aging at the University of Nevada, Reno, is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service's Senior Corps division and the Nevada Division for Aging Services.

RSVP volunteers in Washoe County help out at more than 60 nonprofit and public agencies of their choice. In addition to the SOS program, which has about 100 participants, RSVP volunteers serve as Special Advocates for Elders who are declared wards of the court in the SAFE program; by assisting at libraries, homeless shelters, local senior centers, with the Reno Police Department and museums; and in many other ways.

In addition to the Washoe County program, celebrating its 34th anniversary, Nevada has RSVP organizations in Clark County and one that serves both Carson City and all of the rural areas of the state.

For more information on the event, the honorees, RSVP of Washoe County, the SOS program or the Sanford Center for Aging, contact Sandra Borrelli at 784-1808 or Ed Cohen, 327-2283.


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