Senior center volunteer is longtime go-getter - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Senior center volunteer is longtime go-getter

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Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2008 5:54 pm | Updated: 8:36 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

For the past 13 years, Gladys Olson has volunteered thousands of hours assisting the elderly at Scottsdale's senior centers.

She has committed 3,379 hours of service at the Granite Reef Senior Center in the lunch program, pen-pal program, and the bridge club.

Olson came to the senior center with a friend and found the staff needed some help during the lunch hour. She has been assisting them ever since. Before she moved to Arizona from her native Nebraska, Olson was a teacher and a nanny.

"I wasn't working, and I needed something to do with my time," she said.

Since she gave up her vehicle, Olson now volunteers on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. She mostly volunteers in the lunchroom, helping the staff prepare tables. Afterward, she plays bridge.

Human services specialist Kristy Hahn-McDonald has worked with Olson at the senior center for the past nine years. She said Olson always has a positive attitude.

"She's a go-getter. She's spunky and has an energetic attitude," Hahn-McDonald said.

Donna Brower, human services coordinator at the senior center, has known Olson since she began volunteering.

"She's kind and caring to those around her," she said.

Olson also encourages seniors to be active in the community and city politics.

"As long as I have a breath of life, I will continue volunteering because I thoroughly enjoy it," Olson said.

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