THAYER -- Three Thayer Fun and Friends volunteers have been awarded the President's Volunteer Service Award by President George Bush. The three are Roberta Lee Gaines, Jessie Mae Burkhead and Linda McGhee.
The awards were presented on behalf of members of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. Darrell Green is the chairman of the committee. In a letter presented to each volunteer he said the award recognizes their dedication to volunteer service over the last 12 months and signifies they have served their community and country with distinction.
President Bush has called for every American to complete 4,000 or more hours of volunteer service in the course of a lifetime
Gaines, 71, lives in Thayer and has been an active volunteer at Fun and Friends Senior Citizen Center since the fall of 1999. Gaines said she became involved in the center after she was out of town and her husband Clayton started coming to the center while she was gone. She said when she got home she also got involved.
She volunteers at the center most every day and drives the meal route on the north side of Thayer and to Koshkonong. "I deliver about 21 to 27 meals a day," Gaines said.
Clayton accompanies his wife on her route most days. She delivers frozen meals on Wednesday. "The volunteer work has been a blessing. It makes me feel good," Gaines said.
Burkhead, 77, began her volunteer work at the center in 1987. She drives Route 2, which is west Thayer, Thayer housing and Highway west of Thayer. She delivers 31 meals every day. Burkhead takes her frozen meals on Thursday. She also helps out at the center with most fund-raisers.
"I feel good that I can do this. It is an enjoyment to help others," she said.
Both ladies eat their noon meal at the center nearly every day. They said they were not expecting the award and think it is quite an honor.
McGhee was not available the day of the interviews. Fun and Friends Director Shelia Smith said McGhee has volunteered at the Fun and Friends about two years. "She knows all the routes and goes wherever we need her. She teaches art class and helps every month with the bulletin board," she said. Smith said McGhee she also serves on the Fun and Friends Senior Citizen Center Board of Directors.
Smith said she appreciates the volunteer efforts displayed by not only the three volunteers that were honored but all the volunteers who have made the senior center such a success.