Bonnell named Volunteer of the Year at MASS

Congratulating Allen Bonnell, right, at the MASS volunteer recognition luncheon is Rayanne Sester, Mendota Area Senior Services executive director. (Reporter photo by Bonnie Morris)

MENDOTA - Allen Bonnell was recognized as the 2019 MASS Volunteer of the Year during the Mendota Area Senior Services volunteer recognition luncheon and annual meeting on Jan. 29.

Bonnell volunteered 185 hours of time in service to Mendota Area Senior Services (MASS) in 2019. In addition to serving as a MASS board member and board president, Bonnell donates time as a volunteer driver, with many of his hours logged on the road taking clients to medical appointments. He has also helped with most of the fundraisers held by MASS over the past year.

Rayanne Sester, MASS executive director, said Bonnell also takes it upon himself to help keep the transportation building and the volunteer vehicles clean. “And because he can’t get enough of all of us, most days he can be found playing cards at the senior center, so he is an easy target when something needs to be done,” Sester noted. “Because he is always ready and willing to help, we never hesitate to ask!”

Bonnell and the other 131 volunteers who helped MASS during the past year were honored at the luncheon. In total, MASS volunteers donated 1,321 hours last year.

Runner-up in volunteer hours served in 2019 was Darice Childs with 154.5 service hours. Childs calls Bingo on Wednesday mornings and Friday afternoons, helps with newsletters and fundraisers and serves on the MASS board. Other top volunteers were Susan Hochstatter who helps with income tax assistance during tax season, Carol Kern who helps with income tax, garage sales and other activities, and Mary Louise Ambrose who serves on the MASS board, signs checks and helps with many MASS fundraisers.

Sester said MASS volunteers come from all types of backgrounds and experiences. Some volunteers offer many hours of service while others can only give an hour or two. “Whatever you were able to give us last year, we appreciate every single minute,” Sester emphasized. “We would never make it without you.”

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