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Volunteers feted at Lend A Hand anniversary celebration

Nov. 14 was recognized as Lend A Hand Day by Mayor Roger Tobler in a proclamation presented at the organization’s 24th annual dinner honoring volunteers. Peggy Leavitt, a board member and city councilwoman, made the presentation.

About 70 volunteers, spouses and staff members attended the event, which was underwritten to a generous degree by Railroad Pass Hotel, where it was held, and the Regional Transportation Commission, according to program director Christina Lodge.

The evening’s message, spoken ardently by board President Phyllis Bachhuber was one of thanks to volunteers, no matter what service they provided, for their time, talent and efforts. She told the volunteers this event was organized “to celebrate” them and all they do for the community.

Lend A Hand services are possible because of their commitment, according to Bachhuber.

She said there are many kind of volunteers: Some drive clients to medical appointments, others donate their skills, some give much-needed respite to caregivers or make in-home visits to clients, others publicize Lend A Hand and some work at fundraising.

Bachhuber acknowledged two volunteers: Larry Archuleta for his help in acquiring and installing a new computer and phone system at the office and Phil Esser for raising funds through his concert production.

“All of us as volunteers, in whatever capacity we serve in, we comprise the Lend A Hand community and we make it successful,” she said.

Some of the year’s highlights were raising more than $6,500 from the nonevent held earlier this year, the beginning of a volunteer newsletter by board member Bill Belknap, the institution by staff of a Volunteer Appreciation Week and a dunk tank fundraiser at the Damboree organized by the Boulder City United Methodist Fellowship, Bachhuber said.

Lend A Hand will focus on recruiting volunteers, obtaining grants and organizing fundraisers this next year, she said.

In 2012-13 volunteers drove 60,293 miles and made 2,108 trips, according to the organization’s annual report. That accounted for 4,865 hours donated by 74 volunteers. There were also 647 in-home respite visits, which accounted for 1,055 hours.

In her prepared remarks, Lodge thanked the volunteers.

“We could not exist without you, the volunteer. And ‘thank you’ spouses for letting us have your mates to serve the clients here in town,” she said.

“Because of you, our clients have made it to doctors, to medical treatments, picked up their medications, have been able to get to the market and bank or credit union — all things that might not be possible otherwise. If it wasn’t for the respite, the companionship, the home repairs and other in-home services that our clients face, they would not be able to remain at home.”

Lodge spoke of the pride she feels working for Lend A Hand because of its service, good work and reputation volunteers give the organization.

She thanked Greg Davis, a volunteer who is never seen but performs a variety of maintenance duties, and board members for their guidance.

“You are the heart and the soul of Lend A Hand,” Lodge said.

The evening ended with Lodge, Anita Greeley, office manager; Nancy Lyytikainen, in-home coordinator; and Eileen Olsen, transportation coordinator, presenting a tongue-in-check skit using examples of daily events that happen in the office. They used the song “They’re Coming to Take Me Away” with Lodge wearing a makeshift straight jacket.

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