Inspirational devotion to seniors
Published Wednesday, January 30, 2013 1:03PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 30, 2013 4:04PM MST
An aging population means a growing need for activities and facilities for seniors. John Sullivan is an inspired senior who sees the need and is doing something about it.
Bingo Day at the Golden Age Club in the East Village is just one of the activities where you'll find the group’s biggest booster, John Sullivan, lending a hand.
“John is the most whole-hearted, dedicated and tireless volunteer I have ever run into,” say volunteer administrator Kate Merkowsky.
“I see a great need there for seniors,” explains John Sullivan. “A lot of them need encouragement and it's too bad that more people in our community do not share their time with the seniors.”
Much of Sullivan's effort goes into fundraising to help the Golden Age Club, a place where seniors can socialize and participate in activities.
His biggest effort was a fundraising walk last fall and those who worked with him are amazed by his energy.
“He put in so much effort,” says The Event Group’s David Howard. “He was downtown, at the malls, doing whatever he could to raise money for the seniors walk which supports the Golden Age Club.”
Jane Hastings, the chair of the Golden Age Club, is overwhelmed by Sullivan’s contributions.
“Thank you John, so much for all your fundraising and your volunteer work,” says Hastings. “We appreciate all of your hard work.”
John lost one of his legs to cancer in 1985. He's been in a chair or scooter for nearly three decades but it has not slowed him down in the least.
Since getting involved with the Golden Age Club in 2008, he's averaged over 1,700 volunteer hours per year.
Recently, Sullivan was presented with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal by Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethel. Sullivan was nominated for the award by MLA Wayne Cao.
John’s fundraising and volunteerism have also been recognized by the Golden Age Club during a presentation this January.
Sullivan appreciates the honours but his reward lies in seeing seniors enjoying their lives.
“Golden Age and everyone else that's involved in the east village is trying hard to get these people out into the community here.”
Kate Merkowsky says she could use more volunteers like Sullivan.
“I think it would make an incredible difference in educating the world of the plight and the needs and the abilities of seniors in this community.”
For all he does to make life better for his fellow seniors, John Sullivan is this week's Inspiring Albertan.