Florence A.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Nominated by Reisa Mukamal

Volunteered for:

Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center

Length of Service:

40 hours per month for 5 years

Volunteered for:

Broward Health Imperial Point Medical Center

Length of Service:

25 hours per month for 5 years

Volunteered for:

Museum of Art, Ft. Lauderdale

Length of Service:

20 hours per month for 3 years

February 16, 2014

After a lifetime in the hosiery and dancewear business, Ms. Appel reluctantly sold her shop because of eyesight problems due to Grave's disease. The next few years, she spent caring for her partner who had Alzheimer's. When he died, she got good advice from a doctor: Volunteer! No stranger to hard work, she soon had multiple gigs going, all of which turned out to be blessings in this new phase of her life.

The Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center was in danger of being closed due to lack of funding when the volunteers made a concerted effort to take action. At a Broward County Commissioner's meeting downtown three years ago, Ms. Appel took the microphone and said, "This library is the heart of the community." The volunteers prevailed. Ms. Appel is currently Vice President of the Friends of the Reading Center, which has won the Broward County Library's annual programming award for four years in a row. Along with this and her regular volunteer duties, she also co-chairs the Reading Center's quarterly book sales and co-chairs the annual membership drive. Her business background and love of patrons definitely come into play at the library.

At Imperial Point Medical Center, Ms. Appel began in the very active Same Day Surgery unit, and later moved to the Scanning Division. She loves prepping patients before their procedures, letting them know what to expect to calm them down, and kidding around with the technicians."We have a good time," she said.

The Museum of Art in Ft. Lauderdale no longer uses community volunteers, but Ms. Appel was a loyal worker for three years. She could be found giving out headphones for special exhibits, patrolling the galleries, or perhaps taking inventory in the kitchen. Being at the museum, surrounded by fabulous art, was a wonderful learning experience for her.

"Believe me, I have gotten far more than I've given," Ms. Appel said. "Volunteering keeps me vibrant."

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Nominations - 1,060

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Prize Description

The National Winner’s designated non-profit charity will receive a $5,000 donation, courtesy of Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network. Each Local Winner’s designated non-profit charity will receive a $500 donation. All Winners will receive a certificate and a spot in the Contest’s “Wall of Fame” here on SaluteToSeniorService.com in recognition of their outstanding service.

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