March 26, 2013
Recognition Vital For Volunteers
Senior volunteers give more of their time than those from any other age group, and recognizing their contributions is crucial to ensure volunteers know they are valued and important. Seniors who provide exemplary service within the CRD are recognized by the University of Victoria’s Centre on Aging through the annual Valued Elder Recognition Award (VERA) program.
“This award is a well-deserved honour for individuals who offer exceptional service and never look for anything in return,” says Dr. Holly Tuokko, director of the Centre on Aging. “Volunteers improve our community in many, many ways and these outstanding contributions warrant recognition and high praise.”
The award recognizes seniors who have given exemplary service for at least 10 years in the Capital Regional District, and will be presented on Oct. 1, 2013, which is the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.
VERA nominations opened this month, as part of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation’s Embrace Aging Month.
Nominations can be made by completing an online form at www.coag.uvic.ca or available through volunteer agencies. The VERA nomination form must be completed in full and nominators must also provide letters of support from three people in the community. Nomination packages can be dropped off at, or mailed to, the Centre on Aging or faxed to 250-721-6499.
The VERA program was an idea put forward by Doreen Burrows, the founding president of the Friends of the Centre on Aging, (COAG) in 1998. The first VERAs were awarded in 2000 to Bob Appleton, Helen Simpson and John Tomczak.
“The award is intended to recognize the value of elders’ contribution to society in diverse fields of voluntary activities within the community,” says Tomczak, a current member of the Friends of the COAG and on the COAG advisory board. “I was privileged and honoured along with two others to receive the first VERA. Through my years of volunteering at Victoria Hospice, I always felt supported by the Centre on Aging.”
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UVic is celebrating its 50th anniversary from Sept. 2012 to June 2013. Visit www.uvic.ca/anniversary for more info.