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Foster Grandparent Program Annual Recognition

April 22, 2010
Billings, Montana, - St. Vincent Healthcare and Governor Brian Schweitzer are publicly recognizing the tremendous efforts and services the St. Vincent Healthcare Foster Grandparents bring to our Montana children and communities. Celebrating 39 years of service, the St. Vincent Healthcare Foster Grandparent Program Annual Recognition will take place Friday, April 23, 2010 from 10:30am–12:30pm at the Hilton Garden Inn (near Dos Machos) in Billings.

This year, Governor Brian Schweitzer will recognize the St. Vincent Healthcare Foster Grandparent Program for celebrating 39 years of service. The program serves seven counties and three reservations that include: Ft. Belknap, Crow, and the Northern Cheyenne Reservations. The counties served include: Yellowstone, Blaine, Big Horn, Carbon, Musselshell, Golden Valley, and Rosebud. SVH Foster Grandparents serve the communities of: Billings, Chinook, Ft. Belknap Agency, Hays, Lodge Pole, Roundup, Lavina, Hardin, Belfry, Bridger, and Lame Deer.

All St. Vincent Healthcare Foster Grandparent Volunteers will be recognized for their service.

Milestone Awards:

26 years: Molly Mangold

25 years: Philomene Hawley

17 Years: Bobbie Nall

15 Years: Rosemary Peak

10 Years: Wilbur Johnson, Katie Nafts & Hazel Schaff

5 Years: Carole Allison, Gaye Lauree Anderson & Mary Huff

3 Years: Margaret Gorman, Mary Herden, Barb Kautz, Karen Larson, Sharon McHenry, Barb Olson, Donna Peterson & Kathy Sticka

Presidential Lifetime Achievement Awards: Jeanette Hofer, Mary Huff (also getting 5 year award) , Lorraine Lachenmeier, Jessie Morlan, Bobbie Nall & Mary Russell

There are 5 Foster Grandparent Programs in the State of Montana. The program is a Senior Corps Program that is federally funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service. The other two Senior Programs are Senior Companion Program and RSVP.

This week (National Volunteer Week), we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve Act, the Congressional bill that updated our National Service programs and ushered in the most sweeping expansion of national service in a generation, mobilizing more Americans to serve.

Nationally, the Foster Grandparent Program is celebrating 45 years of service. There are more than 300 Foster Grandparent Programs throughout the country.

Foster Grandparent volunteers serve 15 – 40 hours each week. If income eligible, volunteers receive a small tax-free stipend for their service ($2.65/hour)

The St. Vincent Healthcare Foster Grandparent Program has 57 volunteers who this past year, collectively served more than 55,000 hours of service.

  • Volunteers are a diverse group.
  • Ranging from age 55 to 90, they come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common is that they are all in the program to help children.
  • Volunteers serve as mentors to children who are at risk, or who need extra assistance in the classroom.
  • Our program serves schools, Head Start Centers, non-profit day care centers, and summer/after school programs.
  • Volunteers work directly with the teachers on staff-assigned tasks that are designed to help the students, academically, socially, or developmentally.
  • Many of the students served are in Foster Care or have an incarcerated parent.
  • Volunteers work directly with the students, one-on-one or in small groups, providing individual attention and encouragement.

In February 2010 one of our volunteers, Myrna Burgess, won a ServeMontana Award for service.

The St. Vincent Healthcare Foster Grandparent Program is staffed by two highly dedicated individuals: Barb Brady, program director, and Laurie Purcell, program assistant.