One hundred and twenty-five volunteers gathered on Tuesday afternoon, June 19th at Sacred Heart-St. Francis de Sales parish hall in Bennington to celebrate 40 years of volunteer work in Bennington County. The group enjoyed hundreds of cookies made by volunteer Estelle Schwartz from Bondville and delicious cakes donated by Price Chopper and Hannaford’s. Donna Baker, CEO of Green Mountain Community Network (fiscal agent of GMRSVP), presented a power point showing 40 years of photos of RSVP volunteers doing good deeds from Manchester to Pownal. Pat Palencsar, RSVP Executive Director, Susan Armstrong, Program Manager, Leitha Cipriano, Executive Director of Center for Restorative Justice and Bill Brown, Case Manager at CRJ entertained the volunteers with a dance to the song We Are Family, the theme of the event.
The highlight of the day was a presentation from Rep. Mary Morrissey presented a Proclamation from the Vermont Legislature signed by Governor Peter Shumlin commemorating the 40th Anniversary of RSVP. She also read letters of congratulations from Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch. Senator Leahy also gave a United States flag to Green Mountain RSVP that had been flown over the US Capitol. At the end of the afternoon, Pat Palencsar challenged the group to guess how many volunteer hours had been logged since 1972. The answer was an astounding 2,100,057. Green Mountain RSVP – getting good things accomplished each and every day.