Good Life

Rose Cologne Volunteer Recognition Dinner honors community service

Carol Little
Carol Little

Thirty four volunteers from area agencies will be honored Tuesday during the 44th Annual Rose Cologne Volunteer Recognition Dinner at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. Named in honor of the first recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award, the dinner is hosted by the Centre County Council for Human Services and will pay tribute to those in the community who work to further the missions of CCCHS’ member agencies.

All of the agencies of the CCCHS nominated at least one volunteer, who are featured below.

Del and Steve Scott

Agency: AAUW American Association of University Women

Length of service: 3 years

Roles: Used Book Sale volunteers

Why do you volunteer: “Since 1981 we have filled our house with books from the AAUW book sales, never giving much thought to where all the money went. Now we know how many organizations benefit from the sale and it seems appropriate that we help make this wonderful event possible.”

Linda Brown

Agency: State College Food Bank

Length of service: 8 years

Roles: board member and chairwoman of the Development and Community Relations Committee. Brown also organizes the Food Bank’s Toys for Tots distribution and dedicates every Monday to working with the Food Bank clients.

Why do you volunteer: “The Food Bank is important to me because food isn’t a want but a basic need. As a Food Bank volunteer, I have learned how great it is to give back to the community and pass it forward.”

JungJu Sung

Agency: State College Area School District

Length of service: 2 years

Roles: assists with the SCASD daytime parenting programs held at Schlow Centre Region Library. She helps with setting up, on-site registration of participants, distributing materials, managing supplies and making sure that newcomers feel welcome.

Why do you volunteer: “I enjoy interacting with parents from various backgrounds. We share our family stories and parenting experiences in positive ways. I like listening to others and helping when needed. This motivates me to volunteer. It has been a privilege for me to be part of the SCASD ‘Brown Bag’ parenting program.”

Rosita Derstine

Agency: Global Connections

Length of service: 4 years

Roles: volunteers as an English as a second language teacher , leading two 90-minute classes each week. One class is beginner level in English conversation, while the other is beginner level, with a focus on reading/writing.

Why do you volunteer: “International people in our community are grateful for the free English classes offered by Global Connections. I enjoy building bridges between people, and it is rewarding to lead classes that allow people from around the world to meet and learn about one another’s cultures.”

Natalie Urban

Agency: Schlow Centre Region Library

Length of service: 30 years

Roles: She started helping in the children’s department shelving materials that were returned. She also helped checking materials in and out at the front desk, prior to the first computers. Eventually she would work for the circulation department of the library for a few years before returning to her volunteer role of shelving materials in the children’s department. During her times in the children department, she has also worked on various other projects such as helping prepare for storytimes or the Summer Reading Program.

Why do you volunteer: “Books and libraries have always been a part of my life. My mother would take me with her to work at the library when I was young and in my stroller. Volunteering at the library allows me to combine my lifelong love of books and children all in one place.”

Carol Little

Agency: Centre Crest Nursing Home

Length of service: 3 years

Roles: President, Centre Crest Auxiliary, 2015-2016; vice president, Centre Crest Auxiliary, 2013-15; Comfort and Love Coordinator 2016; Comfort and Love volunteer, 2013-16; member Centre Crest Auxiliary Advisory Board; member, Office of Aging Advisory Board.

Why do you volunteer: “What I have to offer the residents is my love, my attention and my time. When I walk into Centre Crest and am greeted by a resident I feel such overwhelming joy in my heart. I feel extremely blessed having them in my life.”

Jo Nutter

Agency: Child Development and Family Council of Centre County Inc.

Length of service: 3 years

Roles: helps with data analysis and the creation of graphic information to showcase outcome measurement results for the children and parent/caregivers that the CDFC serves in child care and education programs. She is a spokesperson in the community for the organization and its services to families and children.

Why do you volunteer: “I believe in CDFC and their commitment to our community. Each day the bright and dedicated staff works hard to make sure that hundreds of children in Centre County have a safe and caring place to develop intellectually and socially. I’m grateful to be able to help support their work.”

Kathleen Pratt-Schwartz

Agency: MidPenn Legal Services

Length of service: 1  1/2 years

Roles: master organizer, clerical office support volunteer, file maintenance/storage expert, staff cheerleader extraordinaire

Why do you volunteer: “I volunteer at MidPenn because they were there for me through a major transition in my life, a difficult and unsettling time. I received so much more that sound legal advice — emotional support, peace of mind and further legal direction, all within a safe and nonjudgmental atmosphere! They’re an awesome team!”

Peter Rohrer

Agency: SCORE

Length of service: 10 years

Roles: mentor for clients starting a new business; secretary for two years; mentor to two new SCORE members.

Why do you volunteer: “Newly retired when my wife and I moved to this area, Jim Meister befriended us and got us involved in the community. With my business background, Jim thought that volunteering for SCORE would be an appropriate fit for me. Having mentored over 40 clients has been a very rewarding experience.”

Jason Maas

Agency: State College Community Land Trust

Length of service: 10 years

Roles: webmaster and technical support for the SCCLT office.

Why do you volunteer: “Our family was incredibly blessed by the SCCLT, and I wanted to give back to help other low-income families like ours. A decade ago, the website needed a lot of love, and I was excited to make it more useful for future homeowners!”

Kay McClellan

Agency: CentrePeace Inc.

Length of service: 3 years

Roles: works on sorting, cleaning, pricing and displaying household goods and kitchen wares. She also helps to organize work and delegate tasks. She likes to take unique and interesting donated items home to research their purpose and worth.

Why do you volunteer: “I have never volunteered with a group of people so dedicated and caring, working tirelessly with the young men and women and helping them to make a fresh start. Every day is a new adventure. I am grateful that I am in a place where I can make a difference.”

Janet Lybarger

Agency: Interfaith Human Services

Length of service: 1 1/2 years

Roles: answers phones at the office and serves as the board development committee chair on the IHS board of directors. She also asked businesses to hold small wishing wells in their stores during the holiday season, which helped IHS reach its fundraising goal.

Why do you volunteer: “I learned about the needs that are so pressing to many in Centre County by answering the phones at IHS. I found that folks who live paycheck to paycheck only have to have one hiccup and they are desperate. We, as a community, are blessed to be able to help.”

Dorothy “Dotty” Houtz

Agency: Penn State Extension — Centre County

Length of service: 25 years as a 4-H leader; 6 years as a board member

Roles: as a 4 -H leader, she was a Benner Community 4-H club project and organizational leader and worked to establish the 4-H Sausage Stuffers (a swine project club). She has volunteered as a 4-H Roundup judge for more than 20 years and served six years on the Penn State Extension — Centre County board of directors as treasurer.

Why do you volunteer: “It is very satisfying to see the 4-H members I have worked with receiving college degrees, having good jobs, teaching, or running their own businesses. All have a can-do attitude! I am proud to be representing Penn State Extension, which has been in existence for over 100 years.”

Carolyn Tothero

Agency: Village at Penn State

Length of service: 12 years

Roles: Liberty Lutheran Recognition Committee; Clothesline Committee; Good Neighbor Program Represents VPS at Penn State, State College Presbyterian Church and in the community.

Why do you volunteer: “One of the most exciting parts of living at ‘The Village’ is the varied volunteer opportunities both within The Village and at Penn State. My favorite Penn State activity is the two hours I spend each week with the children at The Hort Woods Day Care Center.”

Cecil Trueblood

Agency: Foxdale Village

Length of service: 3 years

Roles: shares his gardening expertise with Foxdale by caring for the greenhouse plants in the Personal Care Facility — watering, repotting, pruning, separating plants, starting new plants, caring for plants that are then donated to the Foxdale garage sale.

Why do you volunteer: “With my experience as a gardener, being able to care for plants in the greenhouse is an opportunity for me to share my talent and interests with others.”

Charli O’Neill

Agency: American Red Cross

Length of service: 10 years

Roles: supported Hurricane Katrina relief operations in Alabama as staff relations manager; current board member with the Mid Central Chapter serving central Pa.; lead volunteer for the Red Cross’ Home Fire Preparedness Campaign in Centre County; DAT volunteer; whole blood and platelet donor.

Why do you volunteer: “After volunteering for the Katrina operation, I wanted to continue helping others when they find themselves faced with an unexpected need. Continuing with the local Red Cross was the perfect opportunity. I first volunteered on the Disaster Action Team and then joined the board. I can’t imagine not being part of the Red Cross.”

Susan Barron

Agency: Juniper Village at Brookline

Length of service: 1 year

Roles: donated original CDs of her songs for residents to listen and relax to; comes once a week to share personal/original song lyrics in the form of a dramatic and inspirational reading to discuss their meaning before she plays the melodies on the piano for all to hear.

Why do you volunteer: “(I volunteer) to share the peace of knowing God with people who may be afraid and in need of a loving friend.”

Joel Weidner

Agency: Park Forest Preschool

Length of service: 19 years

Roles: board treasurer and the head of the budget and finance committee. He volunteers in the classrooms, helps in the kitchen and provides technical support to the director.

Why do you volunteer: “I volunteer at the Park Forest Preschool because the organization serves at-risk children — some of our community’s most vulnerable members. Serving the young children and their families is one way I can live out my faith, providing encouragement and hope to those in need who are often marginalized by society.”

Frank Dankanich

Agency: Centre Volunteers in Medicine

Length of service: 11 years

Roles: volunteer member of the dental clinic staff, Give Kids a Smile dentist and member of the Centre County Dental Task Force.

Why do you volunteer: “CVIM has given me an opportunity to give back to our local community in a way that is much more satisfying than treating patients in private practice. Patient gratitude and appreciation is so very genuine, that it is priceless. And it is fun!”

Karen “KC” Sheeler

Agency: Home Nursing Agency

Length of service: 18 years

Roles: provides compassionate care to patients and to families in hospice in the State College area; provides emotional support to both patients and caregivers; provides caregiver relief; and dedicates her time in companioning patients experiencing life-limiting illnesses. She is active in both hospice and bereavement programs.

Why do you volunteer: “I have a passion for striving to make people’s lives better. Offering companionship to hospice patients is a way to accomplish that.”

Judy Henry

Agency: Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of Centre County

Length of service: 2 years

Roles: schedules drivers to transport Centre County veterans to medical appointments in Altoona. In addition, she takes on data entry and editing tasks in behind-the-scenes projects, and participates with Toys for Tots.

Why do you volunteer: “Because RSVP is the umbrella agency working with all the human services in the county, I knew I’d have a better chance of finding good matches. I can use my editing, writing and computer skills and more. I love the people and the way they treat volunteers.”

Leslie Jones

Agency: Housing Transitions

Length of service: 4 years

Roles: completes the food shopping for Centre House homeless shelter. She picks up the list at the shelter and goes to the store to purchase all of the items requested. She then delivers and unloads all of the bags at the house. She does it every week, year-round and often donates an order during the holidays.

Why do you volunteer: “I just think food is a basic need for people, and it gives me great pleasure to help a place that does such great things to help people.”

Garry Dunkle

Agency: FaithCentre

Length of service: 4 years

Roles: provides assistance in unloading and loading donations to the Thrift Store; hangs and sorts clothing; helps customers by answering questions and sharing information about the store and the FaithCentre’s programming and services; helps clients and other volunteers at the Food Bank.

Why do you volunteer: “I originally came to the FaithCentre to receive food from the Food Bank. I enjoy being around others and helping in my community, so I started volunteering at the FaithCentre. I like the social aspect of FaithCentre and being around a great group of people.”

Kathy Detwiler

Agency: Central Intermediate Unit 10 – DCA

Length of service: 14 years

Roles: Math tutor

Why do you volunteer: “Volunteering as a math tutor in the GED classroom at CPI is an honor. Our students are interested in success; my volunteer efforts help students achieve their goal.”

Eric Tricou

Agency: Community Help Centre

Length of service: 1 year

Roles: hotline counselor who provides short-term counseling, emotional support, crisis support, information and referral, drug and alcohol education and financial assistance.

Why do you volunteer: “I chose to volunteer at CHC because I found it to be the best way I could have a positive impact on the State College community.”

Tracy Warren

Agency: Center for Alternatives in Community Justice

Length of service: 5 years

Roles: Youth Aid Panel monitor

Why do you volunteer: “It’s a challenge and a privilege to work with the youth that come through the Youth Aid Panel. And it’s gratifying to help turn what began as a negative experience into a positive one for the youth, their families and the community.”

Qian Zhang

Agency: Centre County Women’s Resource Center

Length of service: 2 1/2 years

Roles: provides support to victims and their children during group meetings, on the hotline and in person at the hospital. Most recently, she has acted as translator for victims who do not speak English as a first language.

Why do you volunteer: “I value the idea of contributing to society through volunteer work, and I have always been deeply committed to helping address the special challenges facing women today. Working as a volunteer at the Women’s Resource Center is a great opportunity to support people suffering from profound challenges.”

Josh DeMarco

Agency: Youth Service Bureau

Length of service: 3 years

Roles: leads youth council; coordinates meetings and provides reminders to all members about various tasks; does odd jobs at the shelter; assists with outreach to youth in the community.

Why do you volunteer: “I love volunteering with YSB because they make kids come first ... The skills I help younger kids with I also use in my own life.”

Rachel Griel

Agency: Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA

Length of service: 10 years

Roles: Girl Scout Troop Leader; Troop Product Sales Manager; Troop Support Volunteer; Community Product Sales Manager; Volunteer Cookie Cupboard Manager

Why do you volunteer: “I volunteer for Girl Scouts because someone volunteered for me. Girl Scouting was an important part in shaping me into the woman I am today. I volunteer because I want to help empower the next generation of women leaders of this country and the world.”

Judy Bourne

Agency: Pregnancy Resource Clinic

Length of service: 3 years serving, more than 10 years as donor

Roles: co-leader of Pregnancy Resource Clinic’s Pregnancy and Parenting Connections support group. She mentors and guides young mothers through their pregnancy and first two years of motherhood. She faithfully gives of her time and financially supports Pregnancy Resource Clinic.

Why do you volunteer: “I volunteer with PRC because I was asked to and because I believe that God wants me to step out of my comfort zone. I also wanted to show the love of Christ to young mothers in need. Volunteering has been a blessing to me, my family and my church.”

Sally Best

Agency: Tides Inc.

Length of service: 7 years

Roles: She has facilitated one of the spouse loss groups. She has also served as an audition judge for Happy Valley’s Got Talent since its inception 6 years ago.

Pieter Ouwehand

Agency: State College Area Meals on Wheels

Length of service: 22 years

Roles: Every Wednesday he is the first volunteer driver to show up, eager to be on his way delivering meals and checking in with clients on his delivery route in the Park Forest neighborhood.

Why do you volunteer: “I want to help people in need — it is in my heart to do so.”

Nate Cattell

Agency: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County

Length of service: 9 years

Roles: odd jobs at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Why do you volunteer: “I like the idea of providing affordable housing to some residents of Centre County. Also, at the ReStore I can help keep materials from going to the landfill. I don’t like wasting anything and the ReStore gives many people a chance to reuse or repurpose items.”

Agency: Mount Nittany Health

“In 2015, 687 volunteers contributed 59,328 hours of service to the patients at Mount Nittany Health. Each one of our volunteers is unique, representing a variety of ages and ethnicities. Whether they are helping a patient get to his or her destination, or striking up a friendly conversation, our volunteers help fulfill our mission of making people healthier every day. It’s our honor to offer a heartfelt thank you to all of our volunteers for making a difference in the lives of our patients.”