September 24, 20178 

Contact: Lindsay Bennett-Jacobs:, (413)-387-4558 x2

Eight local senior volunteers receive lifetime achievement award

RSVP of the Pioneer Valley is honoring a record number of volunteers with The President’s Volunteer Service Award for Lifetime Achievement this year. The awards are given to those who have served over 4,000 volunteer hours throughout their lives.

On Thursday, September 27 from 11:30am to 2pm, the annual RSVP volunteer recognition luncheon will host several hundred volunteers, volunteer managers, and community supporters at the Log Cabin in Holyoke to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of over 600 volunteers who have served nearly 100,000 volunteer hours throughout the past year.

“RSVP volunteers are passionately dedicated to giving their time and effort where it is needed,” says Lindsay Bennett-Jacobs, director, RSVP of the Pioneer Valley. “Their service helps local nonprofits, hospitals, and senior centers maximize their positive impact on the community.”

Elinor Adamowicz of Florence and O. B. Clifford of Amherst are essential longtime volunteers at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, where Ellie serves in the coffee shop, and O.B. staffs the reception desk and helps escort patients.

Beatrice Thomas of South Hadley and Carleen LaBonte of Granby spend their days volunteering together at the South Hadley Senior Center, where they produce knitted and crocheted items to donate to a variety of organizations in need. Together they make blankets for Project Linus, a national organization that distributes them to children in hospitals, shelters, and social service agencies. They contribute their projects to Rays of Hope walk to end breast cancer and Project Amigo, among others.

“The work that Bea and Carleen do for the charitable organizations through their knitting projects supports the idea that a senior center is not only a place where one is on the receiving end of services,” says Leslie Hennessey, director, South Hadley Council on Aging. “A senior center is also a conduit for our seniors to discover significant opportunities to remain a vital part of the fabric of our community. It can be a reciprocal relationship between community partners.”

“Carleen and Bea are ready with their knitting needles to tackle any project we ask of them,” says Nancy Yesu, activity/volunteer coordinator, South Hadley COA. “They are enthusiastic, talented and always willing to knit for charity. We are lucky to have them.”

Belchertown residents Lois Smith, Elizabeth Dowling, Loretta Adams, and Anita Patullo help raise essential funds for the Belchertown Senior Center’s programs. They assist by volunteering their time and services instructing and organizing arts and crafts projects and fairs, staffing the thrift shop, and working with the Center’s association.

Media is encouraged to attend the event for interviews and photo opportunities.

About us 

RSVP of the Pioneer Valley, a program of HCG, coordinates over 600 volunteers, age 55 and over, providing critical support to more than 60 area nonprofit organizations and enriching community life throughout the region. RSVP is a Senior Corps Program funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service and is locally sponsored and funded by HCG. To learn more about RSVP and the many volunteer opportunities available, call 413-387-4558 or visit