Tisbury honors volunteers

Ray and Doris Billings and Joyce Stiles Tucker
(From left) Doris Billings, treasurer of the Friends of the Council on Aging, and her husband Ray, a member of the board of the Tisbury Senior Center, receive their volunteer appreciation gifts with Joyce Stiles Tucker. Photo by Ralph Stewart

By Eleni Collins - May 3, 2007

From answering phones a couple of hours once a week to helping in the kitchen every day, volunteers are a staple at the Tisbury Senior Center, and this past Sunday, they were honored at a luncheon.

"They save the town a lot of money," says Joyce Stiles Tucker, center director. "A job like answering the phone, - without them, we would have to pay another position."

Lillian Cylik, one of the 35 volunteers, is just one of a few who helps out five days a week. She works during the lunches, cleaning the tables and helping in the kitchen.

Alan Wilder is the "Jack of all trades," and does "anything they ask. If they need a hand, they call," says Mr. Wilder.

Husband and wife Ed and Lil Colligan earned an invitation to the luncheon for delivering holiday meals to the elderly. Lunch was catered by Doug and Leslie Hewson of the Mediterranean restaurant.

The longest serving volunteer is Amanda Duarte, who has served the center for 12 years. Most recently, she has helped sign up seniors so they can receive food. "Today, they (the senior center) didn't need any help," Ms. Duarte says. "This is our day."

One of the center's newest programs is the tax assistance program, with which Dorothy Dropick helped. The group she is a part of provides informative sessions at all of the senior centers on the Island. This year, they happily filled many of the time slots, and they hope to reach even more Islanders next year.

At the end of the lunch, the volunteers were awarded a certificate, gift, and purple corsage from Ms. Stiles Tucker, who noted that without volunteers, the center and the Island would be a different place.

"You help us in many, many ways. Even though you think it's nothing, it means a lot to me, the staff, and board members. The people who call and deliver holiday meals, most people don't have contact with anyone except one of us. You make that happen."