Previous Volunteers of the Month
Nate McCay has been a dedicated volunteer of DMCC for many years; in fact, he is a past president of the DMCC Board of Directors and was named Volunteer of the Year in 2017. However, Nate’s most recent work as a volunteer driver, Gala Committee member, and host of DMCC Happy Hour has earned him the title of December’s Volunteer of the Month. Nate is the “roll up your sleeves” type of volunteer. He is always willing to take on the difficult tasks, assist with the heavy lifting for events, and jump in to help out at the last minute when a volunteer is needed in a pinch.
Originally from Ames, Iowa, Nate earned a Mathematics Education degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a J.D from Drake University. Upon receiving his degree, he worked for a small well-established law firm in a rural county in Iowa. It was a community environment where people were willing to help anyone they saw in need. Nate continues close relationships with this family which includes his wife and daughter, as well as his two sisters and brother. After short stints in Fallbrook and Carmel Valley, Nate moved to Del Mar in 1997 and currently lives here with his wife Jackie and their dog Atticus.
Nate is always willing to step in at the last minute when a unique or difficult volunteer task arises. Nate says, “getting acquainted with people is both enlightening and pleasant.” He finds great satisfaction in doing things that others will appreciate.
DMCC volunteer drivers take senior and disabled passengers to medical and essential appointments and report loving the flexible schedule and the quality time they spend with the senior passengers. Nate says, “DMCC gives me a chance to volunteer in an easy and satisfying way. Everyone around here is pulling in the same direction.”
Thank You Nate!
Phyllis Mirsky has been volunteering for DMCC for quite some time now; in the summer of 2020 she retired from the DMCC Board of Directors after a 6-year stint as secretary. Her dedication to DMCC didn’t stop there. For years, she has been working hard on the Tuesday Lunch Connections volunteer team, a carefully choreographed dance of serving beverages and food to Del Mar’s most mature seniors and doing the cleanup afterward. Phyllis has also served many times on the Annual Benefit Gala planning committee. This year, she oversaw the public communications and print materials, an essential job in the age of Covid-19.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Phyllis achieved a Bachelor of Science in Social Welfare from Ohio State University and later a Master’s in Librarianship from the University of Michigan. Phyllis’s career as a librarian spanned forty years, working in distinguished libraries such as the UCLA Biomedical Library and the National Library of Medicine. She became one of the most influential health sciences librarians in the world, culminating in being honored as one of the Medical Library Association’s “100 Most Notable.” Phyllis retired from UC San Diego in 2005 as the Deputy University Librarian. Phyllis and her husband Ed have lived in Del Mar for four decades.
Phyllis and Ed are the elbow grease types. They can always be counted on to show up early to an event to help with the setup and stay late to help with the cleanup.
Phyllis says she volunteers because she has a “desire to help where and when needed,” which is why she initially believed she would have a career as a social worker. She still works as a volunteer at UCSD, mentoring first generation students.
DMCC has a variety of committees on which to serve, as committee members meet to share their ideas and expertise in a particular area in order to forward DMCC’s goals in the community. Phyllis says, “it’s the people that DMCC serves that make it all worthwhile.”
Thank You Phyllis!!!
Carly Michaels has been dedicating herself to volunteer work for DMCC for years and years now; in fact, she already won DMCC’s Volunteer of the Year award in 2016. Lately though, her volunteer work has undeniably earned her further recognition. DMCC Board Member Nicole Holliday commended Carly for her beautiful design of the decorations for DMCC’s Annual Benefit Gala. In addition to her work on that committee, Carly serves on the Social and Good Times committee, drives seniors to medical appointments, and hosts group van grocery shopping trips. Carly even taught her “Sweet Hour” dessert preparation class over Zoom for months over the course of the pandemic and distributed the resulting sweet treats to seniors in the community.
Originally from Upper Saddle River, New Jersey (“Last exit off the parkway before you hit New York!”), Carly went to fine arts school and later cosmetology school and worked in entertainment, fashion, hair design, and makeup artistry. She married her “soul mate” husband Hal in 2008, and they have called Del Mar home since 2011. Carly also has an adult daughter named Holly who lives in Los Angeles and works as a professional competitive tennis player with plans to go into private coaching. Carly’s other child is of the furry variety: a tiny and adorable Havana silk dog named Gladys. Carly likes to spend her free time cooking, listening to music, gardening, taking photos, playing pickleball – and she’ll be the first to admit that she spends a substantial amount of time shopping!
Carly says she volunteers because she feels like it’s a gift for her: “Helping people feels so fulfilling. To make someone happy, to make them feel important, or to help them achieve something is very rewarding. I really enjoy hearing the seniors’ life stories and experiences. You learn a lot if you listen.”
DMCC shopping van hosts spend four hours on an occasional Wednesday and provide physical assistance to seniors boarding and disembarking from the van, help carry shopping bags, and help keep the conversation flowing. Carly says, “DMCC is run really well and they are always open to hear new ideas or how to improve the programs. The people included are amazing.”
Thank You Carly!!!
Alison Jayne is one of DMCC’s newest volunteers; in fact, she started volunteering for DMCC during the pandemic. Though not a resident of Del Mar, she has spent a lot of time in our community and has strong ties here with local family and friends. When an opportunity to volunteer for DMCC over Zoom presented itself, she jumped at the chance to use her expertise in Qigong; a health-system of coordinated body-posture, movement, breathing, and meditation, to teach a monthly class to Del Mar seniors.
Originally from New Jersey, Ali earned an MBA in international business and finance and worked in sales. She met her partner Dena 23 years ago and they established their home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ali spends a lot of quality time with her nephews, cousins, and God-children, who fill up her life with love. When she was feeling unfulfilled in her career, she searched for her ikigai, the Japanese concept of finding one’s life purpose, which lead her to Tai Chi and Qigong in 2007. When she’s not teaching these ancient healing arts, she’s developing new skills in areas like Ho’oponopono, Longevity, breath-work, and Ayurveda. Her hobbies include hiking, mountain biking, playing the Native American flute and drums, guitar, Japanese calligraphy, meditation, and gemstones.
Ali says she volunteers because she is always trying to become a better version of herself: “It feels so good to know that I’m giving back to the community and sharing this ancient healing art which improves lives; physically, mentally, and spiritually. Maya Angelou once said, ‘When you learn, teach, when you get, give.’ I follow her advice.”
DMCC program leaders and teachers use their expertise to help seniors to learn something new or participate in an activity that enriches their quality of life and the feeling of community. Program leaders enjoy being in charge of their corner of the DMCC calendar of activities. (To view DMCC’s calendar of activities, visit dmcc.cc/ calendar) Ali says, “I love how the DMCC community are so appreciative for every class I teach. They give me wonderful feedback and compliments. They also ask the most thoughtful questions after class.”
Thank You Ali!!!
Chrissy Fried is very kind and caring and has been a volunteer driver for DMCC since 2012. In that time, she has driven more than 4,000 miles in 500 trips, developing close friendships with many Del Martians in their 90s. In the past year, she has been delivering homemade desserts prepared by Carly Michaels during DMCC’s Sweet Hour program, brightening the day of seniors who didn’t get to leave the house very much.
Originally from Belgium, Chrissy attended college and started her career in marketing in Brussels. She met her husband Bob there and married in 1985, and they started their family, eventually moving to Boston with their two kids. After too many cold winters, they moved to Del Mar in 2003, and they’ve been here ever since. Their now-adult kids are both settled nearby in Los Angeles.
Chrissy’s grandmother taught her the value of volunteering when she was young, helping her to knit sweaters for the less fortunate, and even donate a portion of her allowance. Chrissy describes volunteering as a “win-win,” talking of friends she’s made through DMCC with deep adoration. She says, “Some of these people will be in your heart forever – when I visit my friend Marjorie and ask her how she’s doing, she tells me ‘I’m behaving and I HATE it,’ which always brightens my day!”
DMCC volunteer drivers take senior and disabled passengers to medical and essential appointments and report loving the flexible schedule and the quality time they spend with the senior passengers. Chrissy says, “If you ask me what I like about volunteering, it’s a smile, a hug (now that we can hug again), a feeling that perhaps you made a person feel special today!”
Thank You Chrissy!!!
Ellen Buzawa is dedicated to her volunteer work with DMCC, and very humble! Though she has served as a volunteer driver for a few years now, her service became especially invaluable during the pandemic, when she was able to remotely help staff with some time-consuming tasks. Of note, she called every senior who needed grocery delivery but was unable to email their own grocery list. She would take their shopping list, have a nice chat, and then email the list to the DMCC staff. Her phone calls kept our machine well-oiled. She has also done the not-so-glamorous job of helping us to prepare countless mailings – and then asks for more, because she just wants to do more to help!
Originally from north of Boston, Ellen moved to Silicon Valley as a young adult and lived there with her husband and two children until 2018, when they moved to San Diego. Ellen worked as a Physical Education teacher for over 30 years at YMCAs and grade schools. Her children are now grown and married; one local, one living in Oregon, and Ellen and her husband are proud grandparents to two grandsons.
Ellen feels she was called to work with DMCC, because she had role models in a mother and grandmother who worked heavily with senior citizens and the homebound. She says that her work with DMCC brings her “joy in my life in ways I did not expect. Each of my riders have quickly become friends and I’ve found it so easy to talk, share, explore, and laugh with each of them.”
DMCC volunteer drivers take senior and disabled passengers to medical and essential appointments and report loving the flexible schedule and the quality time they spend with the senior passengers. Ellen says “DMCC volunteer transportation is a win-win for all in this magnificent community – I don’t know who gets more out of it, me or the riders!”
Thank You Ellen!!!
Carol Steblay is so cheerful! She dedicates herself to a task and she does it with a big smile. Carol performs many volunteer tasks for DMCC, including driving seniors to medical and essential appointments, but board member and Program Committee Chair Pat JaCoby nominated Carol for volunteer of the month because of the special work she does on DMCC’s program committee. Carol is DMCC’s point person whenever we work with the Alzheimer’s Association, which makes her work incredibly valuable!
Born in Montreal, Canada, Carol moved to California in the mid-1960s, then Del Mar in the early 1990s, and has lived here ever since. Making her living in real estate, Carol felt especially rewarded in her job when she frequently worked with first time home buyers, who needed to put their confidence in someone who could help them navigate a confusing and high stakes process. Carol loves to travel, hike, play tennis, cook, and walk the beach every day.
DMCC isn’t the only organization to benefit from Carol’s hard work and cheerfulness. Carol has been a member of the Del Mar Garden Club for many years, and she oversaw the landscaping redesign project in front DMCC’s headquarters at the Del Mar Community Building, as well as the landscaping at the Del Mar branch library. She has additionally volunteered for the Parks and Recreation committee, the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, and Scripps Green Hospital. It was at Scripps Green where Carol learned how important it is that “a few words of comfort can impact another person’s day.”
DMCC has a variety of committees to promote a variety of interests. Our Programs Committee meets regularly to share ideas they anticipate will be of interest and informative for senior Del Mar community members. Carol says “Volunteering has given me an opportunity to get acquainted with some of our Del Mar seniors and I especially enjoy hearing about their earlier lives in Del Mar.”
Thank You Carol!!!
Denise O’Neil’s initial involvement with DMCC was as co-founder of the Adapting to Life Transitions support group for issues related to aging. She has since found a comfortable home on the Health and Wellness team, doing her part to help organize the Premier Speaker Series and lend her expertise to promote holistic connection. DMCC board members and Health and Wellness Team co-chairs Nicole Holliday and Dr. Mark Kalina nominated Denise because in Mark’s words, she is “strong, real, clear and a great advocate for the psychosocial and psychospiritual part of all people.”
Originally from Boston, Denise has called Del Mar home for 11 years. With a background in public health, Denise spent a couple of decades in clinical research focused on the treatment of autoimmune disorders and cancer. When her scientific interests shifted towards the mind-body connection, Denise returned to school to earn her Master’s degree in counseling, and has now been working as a therapist in private practice for five years.
Denise’s adventures in volunteering began in college, having been challenged by a professor to do community service. She describes the uplifting feeling she experienced when she would visit a local nursing home to spend time with the residents; “It feels good to do things for others with no expectation or need for getting anything in return.”
DMCC committee members participate in meetings and contribute ideas and work to support their committees’ projects. Committees are overseen by our Board of Directors, and committee members enjoy the teamwork. Denise says, “I feel I’ve been blessed to interact with Del Mar’s seniors. They have had a transformational impact on my life, continuing to remind me each day is a gift from God.”
Thank You Denise!!!
Lauren Wright designs gorgeous things. If you’ve received an invitation to a DMCC Annual Benefit Gala in the past several years, you’ve seen her work. Most recently, she was tapped to take heart health tips and self-care tips and turn them into a beautiful Love Your Heart/Love Yourself valentine for DMCC to distribute as a physical and electronic postcard. That valentine spurred DMCC board member Joanne Sharp (no stranger to graphic design herself!) to nominate Lauren as DMCC’s
volunteer of the month.
Originally from Agoura Hills, Lauren has lived in the San Diego area and worked in Del Mar for over a decade. She earned a degree in mass communications from UCLA and uses it while working as a branding strategist and graphic designer for JR
Resources, a national promotional products and marketing company based in Del Mar. She lives in Ocean Beach with her husband and two-year-old son, and enjoys gardening, surfing, and yoga.
Growing up, Lauren had an amazing grandmother who taught her needlepoint, a love for the Dodgers, and the importance of being active and independent. Her grandmother relied on a network of family, friends, and senior transportation programs to remain active, so when Lauren spotted a flyer advertising DMCC’s volunteer driver program, she saw an opportunity to give back. Though her professional schedule made it difficult to remain a volunteer driver for long, Lauren found a way to contribute to DMCC nonetheless, and she has been involved in
special projects ever since. “I am motivated by the folks that volunteer and are associated with DMCC – they are doing caring, thoughtful and wonderful work.”
As a small organization, DMCC relies on volunteers that use their special expertise to help us expand our capabilities. Lauren says, “I am always happy to help with the creative projects that showcase the wonderful ideas and programs that DMCC offers
to keep seniors engaged and independent.”
Thank You Lauren!!!
Nina Wright is a great teammate and enthusiastically gets involved wherever she spots an opportunity for a cause she believes in. Nina has been an active volunteer driver since 2017, but DMCC staff nominated her for volunteer of the month because she’s also always willing to try out new volunteer tasks. Nina additionally served on the Gala planning committee in 2019. She’s the type of person who shows up to a volunteer appreciation event at which she is one of the honorees, and chips in with the cleanup work.
Nina has called San Diego home since she moved here from Cupertino in order to help convert a 1920s motel in La Jolla into a timeshare property. In 1993 she settled into former military housing that has since been absorbed by UCSD. Nina grew into a career in residential real estate, first working in lending. She’s now a local realtor focused on the Del Mar market.
Nina says, “Volunteering is the best part of my day and life.” Nina’s mother, alive and thriving at 98, instilled in her the importance of being involved as a member of the community. “Others are now donating time to preserve my mother's independence and this program allows me to pay it forward if I'm not able to be there for mom due to the distance between our homes.” Nina is also a member of Rotary of Del Mar.
DMCC volunteer drivers help seniors who no longer drive due to vision or mobility challenges, using their own vehicles and working on a flexible volunteer schedule. They report immense satisfaction from the relationships with the individual seniors that they help; Nina says that for her, “I really love each and every one involved in this program. The care and compassion to support each other with respect, joy and laughter makes happy memories of these times in our lives.”
Thank You Nina!!!
Larry Brooks always comes through in a pinch, makes it look easy, and cracks a joke while doing it. As the president of the Del Mar Historical Society, Larry has been a regular presenter at DMCC’s Tuesday Lunch Connections program. When COVID shut down DMCC’s in-person programming, the DMCC program committee was looking for something interesting to fill an hour on the remote activity calendar. We asked Larry to do a one-time Zoom program about Del Mar myths and legends; when the program was even better than we could have hoped, we saw an opportunity and entreated Larry to do a monthly program. Remarkable Del Mar History with Larry Brooks is always fascinating and is presented by Larry with proper citations and a full slideshow of photos.
Larry and his wife Martha are relative newcomers to Del Mar, having lived here for only a quarter century. Born in Pasadena and raised in Avalon and Long Beach, Larry joined the Coast Guard as a young man, retiring with the rank of Captain after 24 years of service. He then worked for Chevron for 21 years as an arctic environmental research scientist. He notes that in his long academic career, the lowest grade he ever received was a D in history!
In addition to his extensive duties as president of the Historical Society and work for DMCC, Larry serves as a block captain for Del Mar Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). When asked what drives him to volunteer, Larry says “free donuts and a desire to give back to the community.”
DMCC program leaders help seniors to learn something new or participate in an activity that enriches their quality of life and the feeling of community. Program leaders enjoy being in charge of their corner of the DMCC calendar of activities. Larry says that when you volunteer for DMCC, “there are no free donuts, but it is a group of good people doing good things.”
Thank You Larry!!!
Jane Garrison is the type of volunteer who always goes the extra mile. A DMCC Green Thumb, Jane waters the plants as expected, but since she’s already there, she sweeps the patio floor. Or, she knows she won’t be able to water the plants for a week or two, so she appoints her own substitute. Jane takes ownership over her volunteer tasks and takes them seriously, but she never seems to be looking for recognition, just the satisfaction of a job well done.
Jane was a born a local, growing up in various neighborhoods of Del Mar and Solana Beach. After marrying her husband Bill, they lived all around the US. Jane was a nurse for 22 years, working in the maternity ward and the nursery. Jane has been back in Del Mar for five years, having moved here to be closer to family.
Jane is also a volunteer for the Del Mar Historical Society, because she likes to help out and meet new people. Jane says, “It has been my pleasure getting to know the people at DMCC.”
Green Thumbs help DMCC staff maintain the gorgeous modular succulent garden in the rear of the Del Mar Community Building that was created by volunteers in 2016 and funded by a San Diego County grant. Green thumbs enjoy literally getting their hands dirty; Jane says, “I volunteer to learn new things.”
Thank you Jane!
Marriage and Family Therapist Katie Militello does it all. Originally joining Del Mar Community Connections as a volunteer so that she could lead the Adapting to Life Transitions (ALT) group that supports seniors and their loved ones as they adjust to issues presented by aging, Katie could never just stop there. Katie and ALT co-leader Emily Gilmore were asked by DMCC’s Program Committee this past July to respond to pandemic circumstances with special program Learning to Live with Uncertainty: The New Normal, and they responded with enthusiasm and hard work. Last year, Katie recognized an opportunity in her neighbors’ lack of knowledge of DMCC and she organized a coffee event at her home so that DMCC’s Outreach Committee could make those connections. Whatever DMCC needs, Katie is there, and that’s why DMCC’s Outreach Co-chair Tema Halpern nominated her for Volunteer of the Month.
Katie grew up with the military brat experience, moving with her Air Force father from Germany to Florida, Texas, and beyond. She settled in Buffalo, NY when she got a job with Fisher-Price, got married, and built her family, eventually having three (now adult) children. She was working as a marketing consultant at the time but found that her skills in helping others improve their communication could lead to a different type of career. When Katie and her husband moved to California in 2011 to be closer to family, she determined to earn her Masters to become a Marriage and Family Therapist, and has now been practicing for five years. For Katie, a bonus of living in such a beautiful coastal community is enjoying her outdoor hobbies of running and boogie boarding.
Katie says that she volunteers because “Knowing neighbors is important and helping out where I can and with the skills I have is important,” because she wants the sense of community she never had the opportunity to develop as a child of the military. “I want everyone in Del Mar to know about DMCC and understand its capabilities. We all can one day benefit from the services DMCC provides. It is the definition of ‘Pay it forward.’”
DMCC program leaders help seniors to learn something new or participate in an activity that enriches their quality of life and the feeling of community. Program leaders enjoy being in charge of their corner of the DMCC calendar of activities; Katie says, “DMCC is a wonderful organization because it is volunteer driven. It has a very clear mission and it serves my neighborhood.”
Thank You Katie!!!
Jeanne Waite recently ventured far outside of her comfort zone when tapped by the other members of the DMCC Health and Wellness Team to be the moderator of a COVID-19 Q&A with local prominent virologists. Jeanne’s professional background is in public health, but she was not accustomed to playing talk show host. However, she was so indispensable that Health & Wellness Chair Nicole Holliday nominated Jeanne for Volunteer of the Month. Jeanne also serves as a DMCC volunteer driver.
Born in Boston, Jeanne has called California home since she was a toddler, when her family moved to Los Angeles for her father’s academic work at the UCLA School of Medicine. Jeanne spent a couple of decades in the public and private sectors working in health education and promotion, eventually leaving her professional career to care for daughters Catherine and Julianne. She cared for others’ children as well, serving eight years as a DMUSD trustee and volunteering for various other local educational programs.
For Jeanne, volunteering is just something that people do, “offer gifts, talents, and time in contribution to others.” She recalls accompanying her father to a blood drive as a kid, and that it taught her that you are supposed to offer support to help others. She recognizes that it can be difficult for all of us to ask for help, but that “the world is a better place when we join together to support one another.”
DMCC committee members participate in meetings and contribute ideas and work to support their committees’ projects, and they usually enjoy the teamwork; Jeanne says she likes “sharing a smile and making a difference, even if only a small difference.” DMCC volunteer drivers help seniors who no longer drive due to vision or mobility challenges, using their own vehicles and working on a flexible volunteer schedule. They report immense satisfaction from the relationships with the individual seniors that they help; Jeanne says that for her, it’s about “making new friends, hearing their stories, and learning about life in Del Mar before my time.”
Thank You Jeanne!!!
Jeff Barnouw makes a lot of phone calls to DMCC’s seniors. As part of the Tuesday Lunch Connections (TLC) volunteer team, Jeff regularly phones 25 senior households to check and see how they’re doing and invite them to participate in an upcoming luncheon. Jeff also leads the Retired Old Men Eating Out program (ROMEO), and is a former board member of DMCC. DMCC Secretary (and fellow TLC volunteer) Pat JaCoby nominated Jeff because he fervently tackles any task he agrees to do.
A native of New York City, Jeff comes from an academic family. He completed his BA and PhD at Yale University, which makes him the family exception; both Jeff’s father and grandfather were professors at Columbia University (where his grandson will soon be a sophomore!) Jeff and his late wife Dagmar moved to Del Mar in 1970 to teach at UCSD. Though he also spent 25 years teaching literature and philosophy at UT Austin, Jeff’s heart never left this community.
Serving the Del Mar community is what has kept Jeff happy in retirement. In addition to his volunteer work for DMCC, Jeff is active with the San Dieguito River Park, the City of Del Mar Lagoon Committee, the Del Mar Historical Society, the Del Mar Foundation, the Sandpiper, Camarada, and Bach Collegium San Diego.
DMCC friendly callers check in on their senior neighbors, who are sometimes isolated or vulnerable, in order to provide some social interaction and alert the DMCC staff to any unmet needs. Jeff says, “Working with DMCC is a continual source of pleasure and satisfaction.”
Thank You Jeff!!!
Dianne Reppucci-Bierman is a generous volunteer driver for DMCC, always willing to pick up the phone when the DMCC staff is in a pinch with a last-minute request to help a senior get to a medical appointment. Dianne says “I am a firm believer in being supportive and assisting our aging community as much as possible so that they can continue to live more easily in their long-time, well loved homes.”
A lifelong Californian, Dianne is originally from Los Angeles, but has spent the last 12 years enjoying the beaches, restaurants, and climate of Del Mar. Professionally, Dianne works as a real estate broker who specializes in helping seniors find their perfect home. Dianne’s other “pet” cause is supporting animal rescue organizations; she advocates for local shelters, and she and her husband Steve Bierman, MD have three rescue pugs of their own “that we love spoiling.”
DMCC volunteer drivers help seniors who no longer drive due to vision or mobility challenges. Volunteers pick up seniors at their homes, take them to medical, essential, or grocery appointments, then return the seniors to their homes. Volunteers use their own vehicles and have a flexible volunteer schedule. They report immense satisfaction from the relationships with the individual seniors that they help; Dianne says “I love interacting and getting to know the people who I have helped along the way. All of the DMCC clients are incredibly appreciative of the volunteers, so it is a wonderful and positive experience for everyone. I also enjoy the stories shared; they bring me so much joy.”
Thank You Dianne!!!
Jenny Meiselman has lived in Del Mar for eight short years, but has spent much of her time here contributing to the community. Originally from Charlotte, NC, Jenny is a psychologist who has specialized in working with children and volunteered in community mental health and disaster relief, but now spends much of her time volunteering to make life better for older adults.
Jenny is known as a contributor of good ideas, a kind and hardworking helper, and a writer of stellar thank you notes. She serves on three DMCC committees: the Health and Wellness committee (which plans our expert presentations and panels focused on medical science and health information), the Salon committee (which plans our popular Sunday Salon series of educational/social gatherings), and the Outreach committee (which engages people in the community that might enjoy getting more involved with DMCC). In addition to her work with DMCC, Jenny volunteers on the board and committees of the Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS). Jenny says she spends so much time volunteering because when she was young her father taught her that “Volunteering is that wonderful space where you can express your gratitude knowing if you can give even just a little, you can help a lot.”
DMCC committee members participate in meetings and contribute ideas and work to support their committees’ projects. Committees are overseen by our Board of Directors, and committee members enjoy the teamwork. Jenny says, “No matter who you meet or where you go in Del Mar, there’s the opportunity to have a conversation with someone about the many and sometimes divergent ways in which residents strive to improve the community. To me, DMCC represents the best of this Del Mar tradition by addressing the needs of its aging population and providing services, programs, and support to the people who need it most.”
Thank You Jenny!!!
Marilyn Carpenter has lived in Del Mar for 23 years and has a background in nursing and business administration. Marilyn is originally from Three Forks, Montana, and returns as often as possible.
Marilyn is a former business owner, and running marathons is one of her hobbies, so it may not be surprising that when she agrees to a task, she truly dedicates herself to doing it well. Marilyn is a bus host for DMCC’s Sassy Chassis, and she immediately developed close connections with the seniors who ride the van to get their groceries. She often brings them small treats and makes it her business to ensure that all their needs are met. Since DMCC pandemic response efforts have begun, she has been regularly calling the riders to check in on them. A short version of Marilyn’s volunteer resume includes medical work for homeless, Hospice, American Cancer Society, and Voices for Children. Currently, she also volunteers for the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) in emergency response. Marilyn says, “I am a fortunate person and as such feel a responsibility to ‘give back’ in some small manner as a thank-you for all the blessings and opportunities that have come my way.”
DMCC bus hosts help non-driving seniors to get on and off the Sassy Chassis, help to organize and carry purchases, and assist the driver in finding directions and wrangling the passengers. Bus hosts are an essential part of DMCC transportation services, and they enjoy the conversation and group setting on the van. Marilyn says she enjoys “the amazing people I have met and continue to encounter in this wonderful community of Del Mar. I'm so happy to be a part of the DMCC team!”
Thank You Marilyn!!!
Klaus Gubernator, organic chemist and founder of eMolecules, has been DMCC's volunteer Computer Tutor since the fall of 2017. Originally from Germany, then Belgium and Switzerland, Klaus came to Del Mar 23 years ago.
Klaus is known for his extensive knowledge of computers and the Internet, and his enthusiasm for people to use it to improve their lives at any age. He has always been generous with his time, both in leading a class for DMCC and in providing one-on-one instruction for those who need personalized help. Recently in dealing with the pandemic crisis, he has augmented his service to DMCC by remotely leading a class once a day in order to teach people how to use videoconferencing platform Zoom. He's also working behind the scenes to make long-term plans to help connect those in the community that are tech-averse, because "Communication is so important for seniors in such difficult times."
DMCC program leaders help seniors to learn something new or participate in an activity that enriches their quality of life and the feeling of community. Program leaders enjoy being in charge of their corner of the DMCC calendar of activities; Klaus says, "At this stage of my career, helping others is my only priority; service above self, in the spirit of Rotary."
Thank you Klaus!!!
Tom Cleworth, a retired mail carrier who worked for the Del Mar post office for 30 years, has worked as a volunteer driver for DMCC since 2012, and has been driving several times a week since his retirement from the postal service in April 2018.
Tom is renowned for his patience, and likely developed it as a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs. He approaches every challenge with a calm cheeriness that is invaluable during the long grocery shopping appointments that he typically signs himself up to do.
In his time volunteering for DMCC, Tom has driven 2000 miles, over 342 hours, completing 435 trips.
DMCC volunteer drivers help seniors who no longer drive due to vision or mobility challenges. Volunteers pick up seniors at their homes, take them to medical, essential, or grocery appointments, then return the seniors to their homes. Volunteers use their own vehicles and have a flexible volunteer schedule. They report immense satisfaction from the relationships with the individual seniors that they help; Tom says “I get just as much out of this as the people I’m able to help.”
Thank You Tom!!!