Meals on Wheels celebrates volunteers

« Austintown Neighbors


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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Meals on Wheels President Kathy Esseniyi honored volunteer Gay Smith during the annual Volunteer Breakfast March 9.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Meals on Wheels of Youngstown and Mahoning County President Kathy Esseniyi addressed volunteer drivers and board members at the third annual Volunteer Breakfast on March 9.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Meals on Wheels volunteers and employees enjoyed a free breakfast March 9 at the organizations annual Volunteer Breakfast.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Patricia Clinkscales, Meals on Wheels office manager, thanked drivers at the third annual Volunteer Breakfast on March 9.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Volunteer drivers were treated to a potluck style breakfast organized by Meals on Wheels board members on March 9 at the third annual Volunteer Breakfast.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.President Kathy Esseniyi awarded Meals on Wheels volunteer Gay Smith with the honored volunteer award at the organizations annual Volunteer Breakfast March 9.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

Meals on Wheels of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley hosted the third annual volunteer breakfast.

President Kathy Esseniyi said that the event began three years ago when driver Art Harris came up with the idea.

“It’s great because our drivers donate their time every year and this is our way of saying thank you,” Esseniyi said.

Board members all cooked food to bring to the event to feed 45 of the 60 volunteers who attended.

Chick-Fil-A also donated food, including chips, chicken sandwiches and fruit cups.

“This is such an important event because the drivers have to deal with all kinds of people and in all kinds of weather,” said Patricia Clinkscales, Meals on Wheels office manager.

After breakfast, Esseniyi awarded an outstanding volunteer with a trophy.

This years outstanding volunteer was Gay Smith, who has volunteered with Meals on Wheels since 2003.

“Gay’s enthusiasm and dedication to Meals on Wheels has been inspiring,” Esseniyi said. “She has served in many different capacities during her time with us.”

Esseniyi said Smith is personally responsible for 16 new volunteers with the organization.

She previously served as a board member, a driver and continues to recruit volunteers.

“She is very persuasive, she is hard to turn down,” Esseniyi said.

In honor of Smith and her husband, Burt, all veterans who received Meals on Wheels get a free meal on veterans day.

“Gay has been a good friend to me for many years and I appreciate her friendship, her words of encouragement and her passion for Meals on Wheels,” Esseniyi said.

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