BROOKVILLE — “Follow your dreams and keep on dreaming” was the advice a magician gave to a group of retirees at a luncheon honoring their service as volunteers.

Mike Gigliotti of Punxsutawney, better known as renowned master magician Michaelango, performed at the annual RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) luncheon held recently at Chateau d’Argy in Brookville to recognize Jefferson County volunteers.

Assisted by several volunteers from the audience, Michaelango entertained with a variety of magic acts.

The program began with a salute to veterans, recognizing all veterans attending the luncheon.

Before the luncheon, Samantha Schrecengost, Senior Corps RSVP director for Community Action, thanked the volunteers for their many hours of service the past year.

During the past year, she said, “Jefferson County’s 104 volunteers served 41,219 hours at the Brockwayville Depot, Toys for Tots, Department of Veterans Affairs, Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging” and other places where needed. “We thank you for your continued support of the RSVP program,” she said.

Carol Knarr, a member of the RSVP advisory council, read a poem honoring this year’s volunteers.

An awards ceremony followed the lunch, beginning with this year’s members of the RSVP 500 Club, comprised of volunteers who have donated 500 or more hours of their time during the past year. Included in the 500 Club this year are Tom Brandon, 1,222.5 hours; Alice Himes, 989.75 hours; Maxine Youngdahl, 932 hours; Linda Kaizer, 693 hours; Karen Deemer, 621 hours; Mary Cribbs, 618 hours; and Faith Bryon, 562 hours.

Recognized as this year’s new RSVP volunteers were Dennis Bonavita, Jeannie Bowdish, Albert Bowdish, April Deering, Sandy Holben, Linda Kaizer, Diana Manfroni, Herb McConnell, Pearl Pence, Rose Ann Smith, Dorothy Spangler, David Strohm, Carla Sweitzer, Anita Tapper and Donald Tapper.

Certificates were also presented to volunteers who have reached milestones in their service:

  • 20 years — Rose Marie Cook.
  • 15 years — Roberta Dinsmore, Carole Hoeh, Charles Hoeh, Carol Knarr, Sandra McGuire and Donald Shaver.
  • 10 years — Harriet Gene Beer, Judith Brady, Mary Cribbs, Janet Donlin, Sonia Gets, Nancy House, Dennis Kinol, Dorothy Reed, Cynthia Russell, William Russell, Kathleen Toven and Maxine Youngdahl.
  • 5 years — Terry Borden, Barbara Endress, Nora Jean Nall, Eva Palmer, Patricia Rougeux, Catherine Sinclair and Nancy Yates.

The theme for this year’s luncheon was “Alice in Wonderland” tea party. “It was released in 1951 and I knew it would be a recognized fun film from the volunteers’ childhood,” Schrecengost said.

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