Volunteers celebrated at Coon Rapids Senior Center event

Proclaiming “our volunteers are up, up and away the best,” Coon Rapids Senior Center staff celebrated their crew of volunteers with an appreciation event April 22.

Nearly 200 of the center’s 398 volunteers settled in for some silly skits, a few songs and a noontime meal at the senior center.

CRSrVol1: With a hidden person’s arms doing the dirty work, Nancy Shaw and Diane Knutson got made up for a day of volunteer work during a silly skit presented during the April 22 volunteer appreciation event at the Coon Rapids Senior Center. Shaw and Knutson are coordinator of Chores & More and Senior Companion programs and former Senior Center staff member, respectively. Photo by Sue Austreng

With a hidden person’s arms doing the dirty work, Nancy Shaw and Diane Knutson got made up for a day of volunteer work during a silly skit presented during the April 22 volunteer appreciation event at the Coon Rapids Senior Center. Shaw and Knutson are coordinator of Chores & More and Senior Companion programs and former Senior Center staff member, respectively. Photo by Sue Austreng

Honored guests for the event included Coon Rapids Senior King and Queen Roger and Jeanne Wolfgram and Coon Rapids City Council members and city staff.

“We just really appreciate all you do, and don’t stop – it’s what makes Coon Rapids great,” Councilmember Bruce Sanders said to the volunteers.

According to Coon Rapids Senior Services Program Specialist Kris Niebler, 398 volunteers (most seniors but not all) donate 32,000 senior center hours valued at $586,171 in service to the city each year. (That number is based on the federally recognized volunteer value of $18.01 per hour.)

The Coon Rapids Senior Center has 32 groups that meet on a regular basis, including card groups, craft groups, and book clubs. Each of those groups has one or two volunteer leaders, Niebler said.

Other senior center volunteer positions are many and varied and include bus drivers, receptionists, kitchen helpers, and the Good Neighbors (a group that does projects for city hall and local non-profit organizations).

“What you do is so valuable to the city. We thank you very, very much,” City Manager Steve Gatlin said to assembled volunteers before lunch was served by Coon Rapids police and fire department staff and Northwest Passage High School students.

To learn more about Coon Rapids Senior Services and programs offered there visit www.ci.coon-rapids.mn.us/senior/index.htm or call 763-767-6473.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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