Commissioners thank volunteers

Commissioner Holly Stacy (from left) and Commissioner Mike Kerschner (right) recognized countywide volunteers during their meeting Thursday. Volunteers present at the meeting were Dani Gebauer, Dennis Hanlon and Bob Farrell representing Seneca County EMS; Executive Director Tracie Cress, Challie Briihl and Wendy Norris representing Court Appointed Special Advocates; Director Tonia Hoffert, Mark Steinmetz, Dorothy Steinmetz, Brian Courtney, Allison Blythe and Paula Crum of Seneca County Museum; Greg Glover, who leads Bible study at the Youth Center; and Shirley Smith of the League of Women Voters.

Seneca County commissioners gave the volunteers of Seneca County a blanket thank-you during their meeting Thursday.

Commissioner Mike Kerschner read a proclamation designating April as April as Volunteer Appreciation Month.

“It’s really the fiber, in my opinion, that holds the community together,” he said.

EMS Director Ken Majors said EMTs and other volunteers in the emergency services system are some of the volunteers to recognize. With him at the meeting were Dani Gebauer, Bob Farrell and Dennis Hanlon.

“I don’t know an exact number, but there’s a lot of them,” Majors said. “They do the work we couldn’t possibly put a number on.”

He said most of them work in the background and don’t like a lot of attention.

“When the call comes, these people answer it,” he said. “They love the community. “You can’t replace that.”

Tracie Cress, executive director of Court Appointed Special Advocates, said there are several “every-day, normal people” who put in a lot of time representing the best interests of children. They become certified through the national program and judges appoint them to meet with the people in a child’s life — parents, caregivers, doctors, case workers, teachers — and make recommendations.

“They’re looking out for the best interests of the child,” she said.

Seneca County Museum Director Tonia Hoffert said the museum wouldn’t operate without its volunteers.

“Without them the museum would not be open and a lot of events would not go on,” she said.

Greg Glover said he started visiting the Youth Center through an addiction recovery service, but he had continued weekly visits to conduct Bible study classes.

Shirley Smith, representing the League of Women Voters, said the organization is celebrating 100 years of women having the right to vote in August, and next year will be 100 years for the nation.

The group has been active in Seneca County since 1970.

“We don’t support nor oppose any parties or candidates, but we do study issues and take positions and then work on action,” she said.

The county’s new Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program through Ohio State University Extension also was represented.