“I became a volunteer in the program through my membership with a local church.”
More than 35 years later, Jack Colling’s investment in CAREGIVERS: Volunteers Assisting the Elderly is now his legacy. Next year, he will witness volunteer caregiving celebrate 40 years of demonstrated success throughout the nation, knowing that he had a small role in helping launch one of the original pilot programs in his hometown.
Here’s one volunteer who started making his imprint on CAREGIVERS from the moment he arrived on the scene. Sister Veronica of the order St. Joseph of Carondelet, who helped to establish the organization, welcomed Jack in the second year of operations when volunteers were serving 105 seniors. Within the year, Jack was leading presentations for the Interfaith Retreat Day, which was fostering participation from congregations throughout the community. He volunteered with seniors, he picked up manicotti for the volunteer recognition dinner, and eventually he was invited to serve on the board of directors serving alongside Mary Braitman, Harry Walsh and Wayne Dugan and he supported the rummage sale to help raise money for operations.
“I am 30 years old, an owner of a small business. I became a volunteer in the program through my membership with a local church. After experiencing the need in my own family, I chose to work with the elderly. I see this as a very positive means of channeling my energy,” Jack wrote in 1987 further describing the transportation, grocery shopping and errands he provided for an 86-year young woman.
In 1991, Norm Weitzel joined the CAREGIVERS’ Board, and together Norm and Jack launched the Wearin’ o’ the Green golf tournament, one of CAREGIVERS’ signature fundraising events that has since been adopted by the McGrath Family Clan—cousins Berry, Borchard, Coultas, Doud, Dunbar, Haynes, Laubacher, McCormick and Morris families—who have helped to set new heights surpassing recent years’ high gross of well more than $50,000 last month.
“From a decade of close observation, I can attest that our CAREGIVERS leadership team runs an extremely efficient organization, with a commitment to quality,” said Honorary Director Dan McGrath. “Jack Collings has been instrumental in setting that standard.”
Jack will be the first person to tell you that he never thought the tournament would be a major force of friends and funds more than 30 years later. “We were so happy to make a profit the first year,” Jack said, adding that it was always important to both Norm and him that the tournament be open for golfers of all skill levels to play. Upon Norm’s passing, it was Jack’s suggestion to name the tournament “The Norm Weitzel Open.”
Jack’s leadership continues to set the bar higher and higher as he remains an active advisor and Honorary Director—even returning to serve on the Board of Directors once again this last year.
With his wife Wendy, Jack is among the most avid and generous supporters of volunteer caregiving in Ventura County, ensuring the advancement and ability of the organization to reach and serve seniors in every city.