Posted Jul 31, 2013 by
Now in its second year, the Salute to Seniors Service Awards is a project of the Home Instead Senior Care, a non-medical seniors in-home care provider that operates in Canada, the United States, and thirteen other countries throughout the world. In the Tri-Cities, our local Home Instead office is located in Port Coquitlam.
This year, the Salute to Seniors Service Volunteer of the Year Award went to Sylvia Dubickas. A volunteer at both Eagle Ridge Auxiliary and Eagle Ridge United Church, Sylvia is one of 23 BC seniors volunteers nominated for the award, which recognizes outstanding senior volunteers in Canada and the United States.
In front of colleagues, friends, and family members, Sylvia accepted her award at a ceremony held on July 15 at the Eagle Ridge Hospital; where she has been volunteering for the past 18 years. As she looked back at her volunteer life, she described how she began as a volunteer at Brownies, Guides, swimming, and at her children’s schools where she was always known as “Rhoda’s mom.”
“When I was told I had to write a speech for today, I started thinking about how long ago it was since I started to volunteer. It went back quite a ways! 35 years! The reason I know it was exactly that long ago is because 40 years ago today I gave birth to my daughter, and five years after that she volunteered me for work at her school.”
At Eagle Ridge Auxiliary, Sylvia is a key volunteer during coffee duty but her contribution does not end after the coffee pot is full. On weekends, Eagle Ridge Hospital’s cafeteria is closed, and the Auxiliary’s coffee service is the only place for patients and visitors to get coffee, tea and snacks. The coffee service is one of the Auxiliary’s biggest fundraisers, and requires all-day staffing. To find more volunteers, Sylvia uses her connections with the local high schools to recruit students in need of their 40 hours of community service. However, even after completing the mandatory 40 hours, many students continue to volunteer and move on to become Junior Members of the Auxiliary.
With her charm and smile, Sylvia also makes new members of the Eagle Ridge United Church feel welcome. According to Reverend Dave Anderson, “When the Church surveys its newest members to find out why they stayed, Sylvia is mentioned by name. Her kindness and hospitality makes people feel like they belong, and that is no small thing.”
In addition to the recognition of her service, Sylvia also received donations of $250 for the Auxiliary and $250 for the United Church, courtesy of Home Instead Senior Care. To find out more about Sylvia Dubickas, you can visit her award-winning entry at http://www.salutetoseniorservice.ca/volunteer-contest/entries/sylvia-d/.
The Salute to Seniors Service Volunteer of the Year
Other Tri-Cities volunteers nominated for the 2013 Salute to Seniors Service Award include:
Nominations for 2014 will start in April, so mark your calendars if you know a senior who deserves recognition for their contributions to community.