By Holly Crocco
A total of 370 senior citizens volunteered more than 34,000 hours of community service at 40 different Putnam SeniorCorps sites across the county last year, equating to about $1.2 million worth of services that would otherwise not have been provided or need to be funded.
Those volunteers were honored May 23 at an annual recognition ceremony at the Putnam County Golf Course.
“All of you here today have made such a positive impact through your volunteer service,” said Irene Pawliczko, volunteer coordinator. “Your commitment to volunteerism reflects the true mission of our SeniorCorps program.”
Seniors volunteer their services at libraries, food pantries, thrift shops, literacy programs, schools, county offices, nonprofit organizations and other sites. They drive fellow seniors and those with disabilities to appointments, knit items for people experiencing a hospital stay, run social clubs and provide many other valuable means of support.
“You are the helping hands across Putnam County,” said Pawliczko. “Your years of wisdom, experience and enthusiasm to help build a better community are priceless.”
The 2023 Senior Citizen of the Year is Barbara Hitchcock. Born in 1941 in Peekskill, she moved to Mahopac in 1969. Hitchcock has volunteered more than 15,000 hours at Putnam Hospital in Carmel.
Honored with the 2023 Community Service Awards were Rosemary Flynn and Martin Chmura, and honored with the 2023 Humanitarian Awards were Rosaline Deigh, Jaime Hustis and Margaret Ryan.
Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne thanked all the seniors at the breakfast for their commitment to the community. “Our seniors are providing a tremendous service by volunteering,” he said.