Reaching back into the archives, CAREGIVERS (Volunteers Assisting the Elderly) team stumbled upon an interesting fact. Volunteer John Baker, thought to have begun volunteering in 2007 after his retirement, actually came to CAREGIVERS as early as 1986. Baker’s volunteer service to seniors spans more than 30 years, and that’s one of the first criteria CAREGIVERS reviews in making the Norm Weitzel Award.
“With all the talk about fake news, we wanted to set the record straight when it comes to John Baker,” said Executive Director Tammy Glenn. “Previous articles about John had his start date in 2007, but that was after a relatively short hiatus he enjoyed in between serving seniors. John Baker’s original file was started more than 30 years ago, and we’ve got the paper to prove it.”
Senior after senior, assignment after assignment, John’s volunteer file filled up with notes over the years. “He is one of CAREGIVERS’ most trusted volunteers and a model of community service,” Tammy said.
Longevity is important, but it’s not the only criteria for the award. The nomination of John Baker was forwarded by the CAREGIVERS Board of Directors to Norm Weitzel’s brothers at the Masonic Lodge of Ventura. The Mason’s work closely to develop the award in Norm’s memory and were delighted to join CAREGIVERS in bestowing the honor which is now a centerpiece of CAREGIVERS’ Annual Evening of Gratitude, presented this year by SCAN Health Plan.
Norm Weitzel set a high bar, not only as a volunteer, but also as a donor. Doing good without self-advertising, influencing everyone towards right conduct. Norm also was concerned about the sustainability of the organization which is why he worked with Jack Collings to establish the annual Wearin’ o’ the Green golf tournament, which is now lovingly known as the Norm Weitzel Open in his memory.
John Baker has clearly developed as a champion in the community. While his volunteer time might not be visible to most, he is a humble representative exhibiting the fine qualities found in individuals who choose to spend their time as volunteers.
Interested in working with like-minded folks to make an investment in the community? Give CAREGIVERS a call 658-8530 or visit their website at www.vccaregivers.org.