Volunteer Appreciation at the VillageBy Susan Kujawa
Recently, Pasadena Village celebrated Volunteer Appreciation Month with a lunch and awards program to honor the many volunteers that make our Village a supportive community. And, naturally, the event owed its success to – our volunteers!
With the support of Altadena Rotary, we secured the use of the historic Davies Building at Farnsworth Park. More than 60 Village members and volunteers gathered on a mild spring day to enjoy a delicious lunch of salads, roast beef from Stonefire Grill, and carrot cake for dessert. Altadena Rotary and Rotary volunteers donated the cost of the food and supplies. Rotary members Doug Colliflower and Tom Polenzani, who are also members of the Village, cheerfully served up heaping amounts of food to our hungry guests.
After lunch, Awards of Exceptional Service were given to volunteers who have gone above and beyond. The awards stated:
“You have embodied our mission and contributed to Pasadena Village's spirit of mutual support, enrichment and inclusiveness. Members of the village and the greater community have benefited immensely from your service, dedication, creativity, leadership, and compassion.”
They were presented to members Dick Myers, Paula Rao, Bruce Christensen, Jeff Gutstadt, and Nancy Goodell for their volunteer work in the areas of communication, website development, member recruitment and engagement. Awards of Exceptional Service were also bestowed on non-member volunteers JuliAnne DeChaine, Gabriel Pizzaro, and Veronica Jones for their help supporting members and the broader community.
One of our dedicated volunteers remarked “I think the concept and reality of Pasadena Village and the village movement is incredible and much needed. We can't age alone...we need each other!”
Sue Kujawa, President of the Board of Directors, shared her views on the rewards of getting involved through volunteer work with these closing remarks. “People who know me well have heard me say, many times, that 'we all have something to give, and we all have something we need.' It’s one of my core beliefs. And today’s event reinforces everything that I know about giving and receiving. All of you who volunteer, and all of you here DO volunteer – give so much to the Village, to its members, and to its very existence and ability to thrive. And each one of you also knows, I believe, that you also have received – in the very act of volunteering. You have my deep gratitude and appreciation for all that you do.”
One of our newer members shared what the Village has meant to her: “I have found joy in meeting the friendly members and staff of the Village. I appreciate the warmth with which I was received when I first joined the Village and in the many events and activities that I attended. I am looking forward to more opportunities where I can do my share to contribute to the Village mission.”
With members and friends like this, we know Pasadena Village is in good hands.