The power to change

As of 2007 more than 35 million baby boomers were retired; the statistics on 2007 will not be available until January.

According to the U.S. Department of Census, since 2006 the number of people turning 60 each day is 7,918 or 330 every hour. Those indomitable individuals born between 1946 and 1964 are doing it again. Just as they have changed the face of parenthood, exercise, gender roles, lifestyles and just about everything else they are now changing the face of retirement.

The new trend among baby boomers is to have what is being dubbed "encore careers"; unlike their first careers these new jobs have a civic minded tint. They are volunteering in record numbers at non profits, charities and other civic organizations that are community based.

The idea is not to "make money" but to change the world. Three individuals who represent this new trend-Dick Gurney, George Cook and Elise Beane-each has come from a different area of business but still chosen to start second careers as volunteers.

Dick Gurney is typical of the new face of volunteerism. After spending over 30 years as an employee and then supervisor at General Electric's Rutland plant he retired.

An avid golfer at a healthy age 60, Dick Gurney could have very easily retired to a life of leisure. Instead he has chosen to give something back to the community and volunteer at Rutland Regional Medical Center. Today, Dick is a volunteer Surgical Patient Advocate at RRMC.

In his new job he acts at the liaison between the hospital's surgical staff and patient's family. Who hasn't been alone in a hospital waiting for word on a beloved family or friend's condition?

At RRMC Dick is the person that advocates for those people. On a recent visit he had a clip board with names of families and friends along with the time their loved ones went into surgery. During his shift he made and received calls from the surgical unit about loved ones. In addition he offered free coffee and a smiling face to those waiting.

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