Volunteers spotlighted at annual banquet at U of M Crookston

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers rocked UMC’s Brown Dining Room on August 1, during the annual volunteer recognition banquet.

    Nearly 200 RSVP volunteers and station managers were honored at the event.  “Rockin around the Clock” was the appropriate theme as volunteers throughout the 7 county region tallied 65,246 hours of service during the past year.  The value of these unpaid volunteer service hours is nearly $1,600,000… a load of bread to Minnesota counties, cities and the State.

    Attendees were welcomed by the sounds of the best hits of the 1950s and enjoyed a fifties diner style meal, complete with cherry topped milkshakes in old fashioned cups.  Door prizes were distributed to those cool enough to tackle activities from that era, including hoola hoop, bubble blowing, hankee-folding and hand jive contests.

    RSVP Director Tammy Frohlich assured volunteers that they are making “Happy Days” for the 5000+ recipients of RSVP services, including Handyman, Groceries to Go, Home Delivered Meals, Food Shelves and Stay Active and Independent for Life senior programs.

    A variety of special themed awards were given, along with the presentation of the prestigious President’s Lifetime Achievement Volunteer Service Award to five outstanding volunteers.      These five have each contributed more than 4000 hours of volunteer service, exemplifying the American spirit of kindness and selflessness:

    Helen Bergland, Roseau… 4,065 hrs.
    Gertrude Hoglin, Roseau… 4,363 hrs.
    Jane Smith, Roseau… 4,436 hrs.
    Dennis Taus, Climax… 4,657 hrs.
    Elmyrna Kaupang, winger, 4,406 hrs.
    Chart-topper themed awards include:

    Pat Hanson, Middle River, the Stacked Award for the greatest number of placements and hours.

    Eleanore Hanson, Oklee, the American Bandstand Award for 27 years of RSVP service .

    Mike and Lori Sorteberg, the Fonze Award, for getting “Aaa’s” from handyman clients.

    The Golden Link, Crookston, the Dee Jay Award for keeping things running smoothly.

    Deland Swanson, Karlstad, the Hand Jive Award for 180 hours delivering meals.

    Stuart Halvorson, Roseau, the Hand Jive Award for 244 hours delivering meals.

    Irene Rosten, Oklee, Making the Scene Award for good action in the first year of service.

    Ruth Dietel, Fosston, Making the Scene Award for good action in the first year of service.

    Sharon Knutson and Ada Food Shelf, Ada, Happy Days Award for making happy days for the hungry.

    Lois Barth, Warroad, the Diamonds are Not a Girl’s Best Friend Award for creating an atmosphere of caring in her SAIL exercise class.
    Donna Malarky, Crookston, the Burnin Rubber Award for serving 4 clients and 222 hours of Groceries to Go.

    Halstad SAIL class trainers Bev Dietz, Mary Trandem, Kathy Michelson and Deb McGinty, Halstad, the Made in the Shade Award for guaranteed success with the exercise class.

    RSVP connects volunteers age 55 and over with meaningful service opportunities that impact individuals and communities.  RSVP of the Red River Valley Volunteers put their skills, talents, and life experiences into motion for others. To volunteer, please contact Tammy Frohlich at 281-281-8289 or tsykes@umn.edu.

    RSVP is a Senior Corp program, administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering, service and civic engagement.  CNCS engages millions of Americans in citizen service through its AmeriCorps and Senior Corp programs and leads the nation’s volunteer and service efforts.  For more information, visit