PORTHENRY-Madge Genier didn't realize how busy she was until she was named Volunteer of the Year by the Retired & Senior Program of Essex County.
Genier, a Mineville resident, logged 1,806.5 hours in 2010 knitting for the Holidays for Sharing program, which provides warm items for residents of nursing homes and Christmas gifts for ACAP-Head Start children.
"I didn't know I worked that hard," she joked. "I've always crocheted; it's something I enjoy doing, so I might as well do something people can benefit from."
RSVP has over 30 knitters and crochet artists producing warm garments for children. In 2010 they logged 6,253 hours in the Holiday for Sharing program, knitting baby hats, blankets and sweaters for needy children and senior citizens.
"Madge is dedicated to the program," said Barb Brassard, RSVP director. "Not only does she knit, she organizes all the yarn donated to the group and takes care of the program. She's a real asset to our community."
Genier and other RSVP volunteers will be honored at an appreciation luncheon April 27 at the Daisy Morton Center in Moriah.
"We appreciate all the hard work by Madge and all our volunteers," Brassard said. "The value of our volunteers' gift of time to our communities is irreplaceable and we thank each and every one of them."
Brassard noted the week of April 10 is National Volunteer Week.
"The Retired & Senior Program of Essex County would like to recognize all of our 371 volunteers who serve at 83 stations and have logged over 55,500 hours in fiscal year 2010," she said. "The RSVP staff is joined by the RSVP Advisory Group and our town and county officials in saluting our volunteers."
While Genier may be best known for her work with the Holiday for Sharing program, it's hardly her only volunteer effort. She works regularly with the Meals and Wheels program, is a member of the Moriah Senior Arts & Crafts Club and is a regular at the Moriah Nutrition Site. She also served on the Moriah 911 committee. She has been an RSVPvolunteer since 1998.
"If something needs to be done I'll help out if I can," Genier said. "Ihave time."
The "Holiday for Sharing" program is Genier's pride and joy, though.
"It really gives me a good feeling to know I'm making something someone else can needs," she said.
In naming Genier Volunteer of the Year, RSVP also cited other program participants. It gave "honorable mention" to Bernice Mayer of Port Henry, who volunteered 1,450.50 hours last year, Evelyn Mingo of Schroon Lake with 1,435.75 hours, Marilyn Cross of Ticonderoga with 1,336 hours and Evelyn Gravelle of Ticonderoga with 1,032 hours.