Our Volunteer Dinner was a lovely evening- for some, it was the best we’ve had!
We had day managers in attendance, servers, morning crew, deliveries, volunteers past and present, old and new! 10 employees of Bank of America came to help with service and clean up- “serving the servers” so to speak. They made everything go much more smoothly and were a huge help to the cooking team.
Space for the meal was graciously provided by the New Hartford Methodist Church, which allowed us to use their entry space (narthex) to gather and enjoy refreshments before the meal. The tables were set and decorated, with the finishing touch being centerpieces donated for the evening by Chester’s Flowers. Board President Kelly Falk opened up the evening, welcoming our volunteers and expressing our gratitude for their year of hard work. Sister Lisa Cirillo led us into the meal with a thoughtful grace, challenging us to remember our guests and others as we enjoyed the meal. The Newman Center spent the day making the meal- lasagna, salad and garlic breadsticks with ice cream sundaes for dessert. Joe Falk, a faithful Tuesday morning crew member and JoElyn Wake-field-Wright, Tuesday Day Manager, led us in a sing-a-long after dinner with some classics. One of our founding members, Rev. Kirk Hudson sent us on our way with a fervent blessing.
We honored Jan Blunt with the Pat Sanduk “Volunteer of the Year” Award, for the dedication, compassion and creativity she has shown in making Hope House hospitable to our guests and fun for our volunteers. She has also been known to whip up baked goods from scratch, often recruiting and teaching those in the kitchen how to make new desserts.
We want to thank those whose hard work and donations made the dinner possible: Roma’s, Olive Garden, Chanatry’s, Zimowski’s Food Services, Price Chopper and the Newman Center all donated items for the meal. Chester’s Flowers donated use of the centerpieces. The Volunteer Dinner Committee and the Newman Center put in all the hard work to make this happen and we are very grateful to them as well.
We were glad to see each volunteer who made it and to see them enjoy the evening. For all of our volunteers who could not make it- we missed you and hope to see you next year!