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December 24, 2010 > LIFE ElderCare celebrates 35 years of community commitment

LIFE ElderCare celebrates 35 years of community commitment

Submitted By Rachael Vander Martin

Every year in December, LIFE ElderCare hosts a grand party at the Fremont/Newark Hilton to honor and appreciate their volunteers. This year's theme, "Come Rain or Come Shine," acknowledged the heartfelt commitment each volunteer makes to ensure that meals, transportation, exercise and companionship, are available to every homebound senior in the Tri-City area. During the past year, over 500 volunteers gave 35,500 hours to the organization.

The celebration filled the ballroom to capacity with close to 300 guests that included Mayors Bob Wasserman of Fremont, David Smith of Newark and Mark Green of Union City. David Smith proclaimed the luncheon to be the one he looks forward to the most during the year. "Despite exceeding their contracted agreements every year, this organization has never put people on a waiting list to receive meals, he said. Janice Futch-Claridge, the event sponsor said, "Never in my long years of doing community work have I found more generosity, commitment and love than in LIFE ElderCare."

Some of the volunteers shared their stories with each other during lunch. Jane Lotz and her husband Stewart have been volunteering with Meals On Wheels for twenty years. "I have delivered meals to 426 different people, she said. "I keep doing it because the people are so wonderful and the need is so great." A group of four volunteers from the Dawn Breakers Lion's Club talked about how they have enjoyed alternating first and third Friday meal deliveries for the past five years.

Mary M. Anderson, LIFE ElderCare's Executive Director presented Gabrielle Chow, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Valley Care Hospital and Bill Stewart, CEO of RGW Construction the organization's Friends for LIFE Award. Chow was acknowledged as a model partner for keeping food costs down and for working collaboratively with seniors in the Meals On Wheels program to create delicious, healthy meals. Stewart was commended for his company's longtime dedication to the organization. "RGW is truly the wind beneath our wings," said Anderson. "For the past fifteen years the annual RGW Golf Tournament has raised $40,000 - $50,000 to help Tri-City seniors."

This year marks the 35th year of operation for LIFE ElderCare. In 1975 the organization delivered 350 meals a year. Last year they delivered over 95,000 meals. During the past six years, they have expanded services to include senior transportation, in-home exercise and a friendly visitor program. For more information, or to volunteer, visit their website at http://lifeeldercare.org.

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