Pine Crest volunteer, Richard LeDuc, received the National Association of Activity Professionals Volunteer of the Year Award on April 21 in Dallas, Tex. at the NAAP Conference.
Richard participates in many volunteer duties at Pine Crest such as helping during the resident salad bar, assisting on resident picnics, assisting residents with computer training and issues, doing all the flower beds on the main patio, and helping with special events such as Oktoberfest, patio parties and the Ice Cream Social.
Prior to retiring five years ago, LeDuc worked as the maintenance supervisor at Pine Crest for 31 years. About 16 years ago, he started assisting Pine Crest Recreation Director Jean Curtis with taking residents on outings away from the facility.
“Jean asked me to help with the picnics and we do that twice a month every summer,” LeDuc said.
LeDuc found he enjoyed working with the residents in a more personal way than his maintenance job allowed. After he retired, it was a natural transition for him to start volunteering at the facility.
“I already knew a lot of the residents and the staff, so it was a good fit for me,” he said. “I had been here, and the things I continue doing are things I was doing when I was working here.”
The reward for his volunteer work is knowing he makes a difference for the residents.
“I’m here to make them smile,” he said. “That makes me believe that what I’m doing has an impact on them. It brings me joy. If I can help enrich their lives somehow, I’m happy with that.”
LeDuc takes pride in the outdoor patio, where he works three days a week watering, weeding and caring for the plants. The patio is a popular place for residents and their families and LeDuc wants it looking its best.
“It gets them outside,” he said. “It gives them a place to rest, and a quiet place to sit with their families.”
LeDuc was nominated for the award by Curtis, with input from the residents. LeDuc received Pine Crest’s Volunteer of the Year award last year. Curtis then nominated him for the state NAAP Volunteer award, which he also won. From among state winners, LeDuc was selected as the national winner.
“I felt he really does a lot here,” Curtis said. “He’s always there when you need him.”