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KDADS’ First Volunteer of the Month

Newton Man Named KDADS’ First Volunteer of the Month

TOPEKA – Ralph Weerts, Newton, received a surprise visit this morning at the Harvey County Courthouse. He was recognized as the first ever Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Volunteer of the Month. The 84-year-old January Volunteer of the Month was nominated by his volunteer coordinator Mary Spires.

Weerts has spent the past 16 years of his life volunteering approximately 15,000 hours of his time to help others. Spires says the highest achievement that she is aware of is the Presidential Volunteer Service Award which recognizes 4,000 hours of lifetime volunteer service. Weerts is the second volunteer on record in Harvey County’s RSVP program’s 31-year history to surpass the 15,000 hours of service mark.

“He continues to serve this county with a smile and with enthusiasm,” RSVP Director Mary Spires said. “As busy as he is, when someone calls on him to serve, he finds a way to give just a few more hours.”

RSVP is an organization that coordinates volunteers with organizations in need of help. Weerts volunteers with several groups including the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign, the American Red Cross, Asbury Park the First United Methodist Church of Newton and he helps with military funerals.

“I can think of no one more worthy of this honor,” Spires said.

The Volunteer of the Month program was created to recognize Kansans who donate their time and energy to help persons with disabilities and/or older adults.

“Ralph Weerts exemplifies what it means to be an outstanding volunteer,” KDADS Secretary Shawn Sullivan said. “We’re proud to recognize him as the first KDADS Volunteer of the Month.”

Weerts sat in the gallery at the Harvey County Commission meeting Monday morning when he was surprised to learn that he was named the Volunteer of the Month. KDADS Commissioner on Aging Craig Kaberline presented Weerts with a certificate of appreciation, a $25 Walgreens gift card and a $50 check from KDADS. Amerigroup, Sunflower State Health Plan and United Healthcare are proud sponsors of the Volunteer of the Month program.

For more information on the Volunteer of the Month program or to nominate a Volunteer of the Month, go to www.kdads.ks.gov. For additional information about the RSVP program in Harvey County, visit www.harveycounty.com/rsvp-home.html.

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