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Fall River, MA
Nominated by Trish Robertson
February 12, 2014
Yvette says "I don't like to be idle, I am out every day, and volunteering is the best thing to do because I am helping someone. I feel good about it."
At 96 years young, Yvette volunteers in her home, in her church, and in her community at large. Helping others is just part of who Yvette is; she retired as an LPN in 1977 after working at hospitals, nursing facilities, and businesses, as well doing rural health and private duty nursing. When she retired, however, she did not slow down
Yvette has served on Bristol Elder Services' Board of Directors for two years and is an active member of the Planning & Services Committee. As a Board member, she has fiduciary responsibility for the agency that provides services throughout 23 cities and towns. Her thoughtful insight and suggestions are instrumental as Bristol plans its annual fundraiser to help low-income elders during times of crisis. Yvette was appointed to Bristol's Board by the Fall River Council on Aging, and she has served on their Board for the past seven years, including two years as Vice Chairperson.
Yvette is an active member of the Shepherd's Center, a local faith and community based organization that empowers older adults to be of service to their peers. As a volunteer through Shepherd's Center Yvette leads a low impact, 40 minute exercise class twice each week in her apartment complex. Yvette has been active her whole life, teaching aerobics, participating in the Relay for Life for the past 11 years, and moving every day. As a former LPN, Yvette knows the value of staying active and feels that helping her neighbors move every muscle and joint in their body, to help them avoid and lessen the pain of arthritis and other ailments, is one of the most important things she can do. She is involved in her apartment complex in many other ways too; she serves as the Treasurer of the Borden East Tenant Council and is in charge of planning monthly entertainment. Two years ago, she initiated the request for a pedestrian light to be installed on a main road outside of her building for the safety of the residents. After obtaining over 100 signatures and diligently advocating and attending countless meetings with city and state officials, the request was granted.
In 2003 and 2004, Yvette was a contestant in the Ms Senior Sweetheart Pageant of America, a Fall River tradition since 1978 that attracts contestants from across the United States and the world. Yvette was so impressed with the event that she began volunteering. Between 2004 and 2013 Yvette and the committee would spend two to three hours each week, all year long, to prepare for this event. In October after this year's pageant, Yvette stepped into the role of consultant and will help to train new leaders to continue the Miss Senior Sweetheart Pageant She continues to be the primary contact for contestants as they apply and will stay with them for nine days, arranging tours, "meet and greet" sessions, entertaining residents of local nursing homes, and conducting rehearsals in preparation for the two days of pageantry. Yvette also solicits support from the community for this nonprofit organization by selling, receiving payments, and coordinating program ads.
In addition, Yvette serves as the St. Mary's Cathedral Seniors' Tour Secretary, attending weekly meetings and coordinating reservations and payments for monthly day trips and an annual three-day trip; she is also past President. Yvette serves as a greeter at the 10 a.m. weekly mass.
Yvette's husband passed away in 1996. She is very proud of her two sons, Richard and Raymond, her four grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, and five great, great grandchildren. She speaks about her family's involvement in the community with great pride, including the many boards that her daughter-in-law sits on and the mission work her son does, using his engineering skills to build schools and medical centers in Honduras, as well as a manager of the Greater Fall River Community Food Bank. Through several different organizations Yvette volunteers about 35 to 40 hours each month. Her service has helped hundreds of people in many different ways over the years, and is carried on through her family as well.
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