A trio of local residents will be honored at the RSVP of Dane County annual volunteer appreciation luncheon Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Heights in Verona.
Fred Appleton, of Monona, will receive the 2019 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Length of Service Awards will be presented to Elizabeth Rewey, of McFarland, and Judy Tegtman, of Cottage Grove.
Appleton has been volunteering with RSVP since 2000, racking up more than 4,000 hours of helping others. He said he volunteers about eight hours a week, and it just adds up over time. He had no idea he surpassed that many hours and was surprised by it.
Since 2002, Appleton has been volunteering at Wheels for Winners. This is an organization that provides bicycles to individuals (primarily youths) who perform community service.
When Appleton retired, he searched out places to volunteer his time, and Wheels for Winners was the one he enjoyed the most. He said all his volunteering keeps him out of his wife’s hair and that he enjoys his co-workers. Over time, he has become a board member for the organi-zation.
Wheels for Winners accepts donated bicycles, refurbishes them and then gives them to children who might not otherwise be able to afford a bike. In addition to the bicycle, Wheels for Winners provides a bicycle helmet and bike safety training.
Appleton said anyone considering volunteering with RSVP shouldn’t stress about it – just do it. He quotes boxing great Muhammed Ali when noting the rewards of volunteering.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth,” he said.
Rewey has been volunteering with RSVP for more than 20 years as a driver who takes seniors to and from their medical appoint-ments. She decided to volunteer part time, then switched to full time when her schedule opened.
Rewey also volunteers in her hometown of McFarland as a nutrition meal packer for the McFarland Senior Outreach, preparing meals each Monday to be delivered to people at their homes, and with the McFarland Lioness Club.
She has nine grandchildren, ranging in age from 9-24, and enjoys spending as much time as she can with them. Other interests include being a member of a book club, where she reads books chosen by the group and then discussing them with members. Rewey also likes walking when the weather is nice, swimming at the local pool and sewing.
She said she enjoys RSVP because it is rewarding and gives her a “feel good” feeling by giving back to the community. She’s finding personal connections with those she provides transportation for.
Tegtman has been volunteering with RSVP for more than 20 years, starting in 1999. She started out with RSVP tutoring children and did that for four or five years. Now, because her time is limited, she only helps in delivering fliers when the need arises.
Other volunteering efforts through the years for Tegtman have been in the RSVP intergenerational computer buddy program, an electronic pen pal program, Second Harvest Bank and the Food Share program, where she helps with sign-ups.
She has no one memorable moment while volunteering but said her time with tutoring children was her most rewarding.
Tegtman is now retired, but when employed, she worked as a social worker. She worked with case management for more than 20 years. Her times spent with people associated with her social work has allowed her to teach her children and 15 grandchildren that life is about giving and not just taking.
And how does RSVP impact Tegtman’s life? She said it makes her feel good by helping others. That is her reward and while this recognition award is much appreciated, she said it was not necessary.
She appreciates the diversity of RSVP by having so many choices in volunteering and encourages anyone interested to consider volunteering their time.