Wednesday will be Les Groth Appreciation Day at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center.
Groth will be recognized and honored for his hours of dedication to seeing that improvements, programs and projects are completed -- at least while he has something to say and do about it.
The Carson City native has logged more than 4,000 hours as a volunteer at the center since 1990. If you were to add his time on the center advisory board, the number would easily double.
But the hours aren't what Groth, 79, considers when thinking about what will happen Wednesday. It's the hard work and rewards he has seen that make him happy.
"This came as a surprise to me. I feel very humbled," Groth said. "I always tried to give my most to whatever I did. This appreciation day, I guess, is my reward."
Groth said he's done just about everything, from waiting on tables and setting up the dining room to cleaning tables and maintaining the facility.
As a former Carson City fire chief, Groth also devised a fire evacuation procedure at the center. He is working on other emergency procedures, which will make people aware of what needs to be done.
"I was the first paid fire chief in Carson City," Groth said. "That was in 1964. Then I retired in 1978, and went to work for the U.S. Forest Service for eight years.
"My wife, Margie, and I had heard of the center and decided to come check it out."
The rest, as they say, is history.
Groth said one of the highlights of his involvement is seeing the expansion of the building at 911 Beverly Drive. He began volunteering when the center was at 901, which is now the Thrift Shop and Gift Shop.
"It's a dream I had, to be part of the expansion. If everything goes right, we'll start in March."
Director Janice McIntosh said she wanted to honor Groth because of his lengthy years of service, not just as an advisory board member.
"There's nothing he will not help with," McIntosh said. "He gives counsel, listens, he's a worker bee, and will tell somebody no or yes for whatever the situation is. He is a team player and very honest. He doesn't just tell us what we want to hear."
Groth is a member-at-large on the advisory council so he can continue to be involved in the completion of the center's expansion.
"We wanted him to realize how much he is appreciated. We're doing this because we love him," McIntosh said.
A plaque recognizing Groth will be placed in the garden area of the expansion.
The Groths recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary.
Groth joined Warren Engine Co. as a volunteer in 1946. He figured after starting his backyard on fire as a young boy, he'd be better off trying to put fires out.
"I have no regrets of anything I've done in my life," Groth said. "I've gotten a great deal of satisfaction from volunteering at the center and fire department. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't hesitate to do it.
"The fire department is the most rewarding job I've ever been in. I had a wonderful crew and couldn't have worked for better guys. There was great camaraderie there."
Groth also gave kudos to the volunteers of the senior center.
"Without them, we wouldn't be able to stay open. For the most part, the volunteers do a fantastic job of keeping things going and making everyone happy.
"I never expected anything like this, and I'm not real sure how to accept it. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the staff here. It takes a lot of work to make the center run."
IF YOU GO
What: Les Groth Appreciation Day
When: 12:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Carson City Senior Citizens Center, 911 Beverly Drive