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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Carl Kanefsky, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager

Date: April 30, 2010


95 year old Claymont woman wins special honor

Wilmington, DE - Governor and Mrs. Markell joined DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf in honoring members of the New Castle County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) today. The recognition took place at a luncheon at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington.

RSVP is part of the Corporation for National & Community Service. Members are part of a corps of 500,000 RSVP volunteers serving in every state and territory in the U.S. Participants in the New Castle County RSVP have shared their talent and expertise with the community for over 35 years. In 2009 1,144 NCC RSVP volunteers provided 232,583 hours of service. Volunteers served in 82 different nonprofit and state agencies performing 231 unique jobs.

In thanking the approximately 500 volunteers in attendance, Governor Jack Markell told the audience they should be proud of not only their work, but the legacy they're creating. "Our young people model what they see, and at the end of the day, I hope that you not only feel good about your volunteer efforts, but feel even more special because you've laid the foundation for the next generation of volunteers in Delaware."

First Lady Carla Markell echoed the Governor's thoughts. "The number of hours you've spent and the number of things that you've done is astonishing and simply awe inspiring. It truly makes me proud to work alongside of you as I try to help others join us in the mission and the passion of service to our fellow Delawareans."

Molly Cohen of Claymont was the winner of this year's Outstanding Senior Service Award presented by Wilmington Trust. Molly has been an RSVP member for almost 35 years and has provided over 18,000 hours of service to the community. At 95 years old she still serves at Riverside Health Care and Jewish Family Services.

Volunteers also received honors for 5,000, 10,000 and 15,000 hours of service.

"DHSS strives to improve the quality of life for Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations," Secretary Landgraf told the audience. "And while that represents the MISSION of our organization, those similar goals represent your PASSION as volunteers."

Mary Dupont, Director of DHSS Division of State Service Centers which oversees the Office of Volunteerism and RSVP said, "Volunteers provide a range of services to their fellow Delawareans, from driving people to doctor's appointments, delivering meals to the homebound, and mentoring children."

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.