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Local seniors lauded for their service work

Nov 09, 2021 5:30 am

The New York State Office for the Aging on Mon., Nov. 8, released a presentation recognizing 90 senior honorees statewide for their volunteer service in celebration of Older New Yorkers' Day. Four community volunteers from Columbia and Greene counties were recently honored by the NYSOFA . Barbara Caldara of Earlton, Pat Collins of Chatham, Duncan MacPherson of Freehold and Shirley McThenia of Stockport were nominated by their respective county Offices for the Aging for recognition. A registered nurse, Caldara stepped up to volunteer during the COVID-19 pandemic. She created a spreadsheet of volunteers, assisted at weekly testing sites, and began contact tracing in Greene County. She spent days working in full PPE on the front lines to help public health staff. She has also recently been assisting with vaccine administration in multiple roles. Collins has been a regular volunteer for the Columbia County Office for the Aging's Meals on Wheels program since 1997, delivering meals in the Chatham area. A cancer survivor, she is also a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and has also helped patients with transportation to medical and treatment appointments. MacPherson helped his recently widowed neighbor with her daily routines, including housekeeping when she experienced health issues. He continues to help as a community volunteer while also continuing as a caregiver. In her 30-plus years of volunteerism, McThenia has been an active member of the Columbia Memorial Hospital Auxiliary since 1989, serving in all capacities, including a six-year period as president. She currently oversees the hospital’s patient/registration desk and schedules the volunteers who manage it. She also volunteers her time at "The Second Show," the Warren Street thrift store operated by the hospital auxiliary, is an active member of the Stockport Fire Department, and a key fundraiser for the Stockport Youth Program. Statewide, more than 935,000 people age 55 or older contribute roughly 495 million hours of service to their communities annually. This translates into a yearly economic output of $13.8 billion. Read more at aging [dot] ny [dot] gov.