Ginny Dugan describes her work as a Churchill County Senior Center volunteer a fulfilling experience.
Now, the longtime Fallon resident is a contender to receive recognition as Nevada’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer, part of the annual Salute to Senior Service program which honors the contributions of area seniors who donate time and talents to their community.
The program honors the contributions of adults 65 and older who give at least 15 hours a month of volunteer service to their favorite causes. Online voting will take place at SalutetoSeniorService.com through April 30.
Jamie Lee, the senior center’s executive director, calls Dugan a “behind the scenes superstar” for the Senior Center in Fallon.
“We were so blessed to have Ginny enter our lives,” Lee wrote in the nomination letter. “Ginny not only volunteers to fill a need within our community, but is instrumental in finding and determining areas of interest and concern for our seniors. It really makes a difference in a person’s day to be greeted with a smile and a treat, to help them forget all their pains and problems.”
Dugan considered helping at Fallon’s senior center in the fall of 2011 after she retired from Western Nevada College.
“When I retired, I looked forward to volunteering within the community,” Dugan said. “My good friend, Frances Atkinson, who has been a volunteer at the senior center for the past 21 years, encouraged me to talk with Jamie about publishing a monthly newsletter.”
Dugan now publishes a six-page newsletter called “Senior News and Views” as part of her volunteer efforts.
“This sounds so simple, however it takes many hours and phone calls and appointments to fulfill,” Lee noted. “She is careful to consider the seniors wishes and desires.”
The newsletter is a vital communication link for the Senior Center and for home-bound residents in Churchill County.
“It’s fun for me, especially the newsletters,” said Dugan, who publishes the newsletter and also delivers it throughout the community. “I just enjoy writing, meeting people and photography, and the seniors are really a kick.
“You get to know some of those seniors and they’re just a joyful group. I don’t know if it’s that with age comes wisdom and contentment, but they just have such a positive outlook on life.”
In addition to helping at the senior center, Dugan serves as recorder for the Restore Our College Campus Committee (ROCCC) plus she is active with the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church group that prepares and serves meals for Fallon Daily Bread the fourth Monday each month.
She also compiles a monthly newsletter for St. Patrick’s.
Dugan retired from WNC in July of 2011 after 21 years working as an administrative assistant. Her last position was as administrative assistant to Bus Scharmann, dean of the WNC Fallon Campus.
“I feel blessed and honored to be nominated,” Dugan said of the Outstanding Senior Volunteer award. “Doing what I do is a joy, and there are many seniors who volunteer their time and efforts on behalf of the Senior Center who are deserving of recognition.”
The leading vote-getter will be recognized as Nevada’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer. From those state winners, a panel of senior care experts will pick the national Salute to Senior Service honoree.
Home Instead, Inc. donates $500 to favorite nonprofit organizations of each state winner and their stories will be posted on the Salute to Senior Service Wall of Fame. In addition, $5,000 will be donated to the national winner’s nonprofit charity of choice.