PORT HENRY - The Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Essex County does more than provide services to non-profit organizations.
"RSVP is changing the world by one kind act, one decision to help another, at a time," Sister Donna Franklin, director of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Ogdensburg, said. "I'm overwhelmed by the beauty and graciousness of the organization."
For its work, RSVP was presented with the Caritas Award during its 35th annual volunteer recognition luncheon Oct. 7 in Port Henry.
The award is given annually by Catholic Charities, which sponsors RSVP, to recognize a group or person dedicated to service and justice.
"RSVP is the very definition of the Caritas Award," Franklin said. "The quality and strength of the program is extraordinary. It obviously provides much-needed services and it works for justice by promoting the dignity of senior citizens."
Patsy McCaughin, RSVP director, accepted the award.
"It shows what RSVP is all about - people helping people," McCaughin said. "It's a great testament to all the volunteers in the program over the years."
Joe Provoncha, Essex County clerk, and a member of the RSVP Community Advisory Group, with Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava, served as masters of ceremonies at the event that paid tribute to the 472 enrolled volunteers who logged 62,009 hours of service at 95 stations within Essex County in 2008.
Provoncha calculated the economic impact of RSVP's volunteer work to be more than $19 million.
State Sen. Betty Little and Assemblywoman Theresa Sayward also attended, praising RSVP volunteers for their contributions to their communities.
Members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors also attended along with other long-time officials and dignitaries, all lauding the work of RSVP.
Highlighting the event was the presentation of Very Important Volunteer Awards to seven RSVP participants. Cited were Sandra Kudie of Port Henry, Jerry Peeters of Ticonderoga, Jane Rovito of Saranac Lake, William Dolbeck of Ticonderoga, Leah Jaquish of Jay, Betty LaMoria of Moriah and Thomas Wood of Mineville.