Private Industry Council’s (PIC) second annual Foster Grandparent Program Recognition Event and was held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Southpointe, PA on Friday, May 20, 2016. The event recognized, honored, and expressed gratitude to the many Foster Grandparent Volunteers for their effort, loyalty, and dedication to the Foster Grandparent program (FGP). The theme this year was “A Helping Hand Volunteers Make the Difference.
The recognition luncheon played background music from the 60’s & 70’s while a PowerPoint presentation showed photos of the Foster Grandparent volunteers serving the children they foster. A testimonial by volunteers on the impact the children have on them was highlighted. A performance from Pittsburgh’s Family Magician, Al Mazing took place prior to the awards ceremony. Awards were given to Foster Grandparent Volunteers in 4 categories:
The Apple Award was given to the volunteer who has accrued the most volunteer hours for the 2015-2016 year. Lexi McLeod was presented this award having volunteered a total of 1,146 hours at Clairton Elementary School.
The Community Advisory Group Award was presented to Angela Greco based on the teacher testimonials of the volunteer’s effort and dedication in the Foster Grandparent Program. Mrs. Kimberly A. Long a teacher at Ringgold Elementary School said: “She (Angela Greco) is not only a valuable asset to our classroom academically, she is a ‘Grandma’ to our kids who have none and a caring ear when a child needs someone to listen and hear!”
The Keep Moving Award was inspired by Ms. Virginia McLaurin, who is a 107 year old volunteer serving in Virginia. The recipient of this award is the oldest serving volunteer in the Foster Grandparent Program of Southwestern PA, Susan Hunter. She volunteers at Ringgold Elementary School South.
The Senior Corps of Southwestern PA Legacy Award was presented to Jayce Catt. Catt was nominated by her volunteer station, Children’s Creative Learning Center at Butler County Community College for her passion for public service, helping others and a demonstrated commitment toward enhancing the community and others. Judy Zuzack, her supervisor was quoted: “Joyce has been our Foster Grandparent for 6 years now. When she enters the classroom, all the children stop what they are doing and greet her in unison, “Good morning, Grandma Catt”! She often wears cat jewelry or wears cats on her clothing, which shows her sense of humor.” Zuzack observes Catt encouraging the children to try new food and to be healthy eaters and engages them in conversation about their families and interests. Catt has been seen laughing at their jokes and lets each child know that they are very special.
Certificates of appreciation were also presented by local elected officials. Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughn presented certificates of appreciation to the volunteers who reside in Washington County. Certificates were presented to volunteers who reside in the city of Butler from the Office of Mayor Thomas P. Donaldson. On behalf of Mayor Dwan Walker, the Aliquippa City Manager, Sam Gill presented “One Aliquippa” certificates to the volunteers who reside in Aliquippa.
The event ended with an array of door prizes.