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Midvale Journal

Bring on the Rain – and the Gratitude – At Volunteer Dinner

Sep 29, 2015 02:19PM ● By Rhett Wilkinson

Rori Andreason, Midvale City Human Resource Director, was glad that the city’s new senior center meant that the annual volunteer dinner could take place indoors. Photo courtesy Midvale City

By Rhett Wilkinson

Rori Andreason finds a particular benefit of Midvale City’s annual volunteer benefit moving to Midvale Senior Citizens Center.

“Gosh, it’s good this year because it’s indoors,” the event planner said.

Previously, the dinner, in its 11th year, took place at the city park. Salt Lake County offered the new location for the Oct. 1 function.

“It’s a nice meeting area,” Andreason, the city’s human resource director, said.

Perhaps it incentivized attendance. The greatest challenge to putting on the dinners is “getting everybody all out at the same place at one time,” Andreason said. About 150 volunteers attend each year.

The city council wants the volunteers to be recognized. They are given a volunteer gift. While a barbecue-style function is the norm, the city has cooked for volunteers themselves, Andreason said.

Shelly Reed, Midvale City administrative assistant, did “the legwork behind the scenes,” including sending invitations and managing the RSVP list, Reed said. She expressed appreciation for the senior center, its director Ken Donarski and Kim Robertson, who is cooking and serving the food.

“The cafeteria in the senior center has helped out a lot and made my job quite easy this year,” Reed said.

Jesse Valenzuela, the emergency manager, went beyond the call for Community Emergency Response Team volunteers, Andreason said.

An increasing number of CERT volunteers helped with Park Safety patrols during Harvest Days and Cinco Di Mayo festivities. They also volunteered to serve breakfast at the annual Harvest Days 5K run and serve as members on the Community Council, Valenzuela said.

“I look forward to see many of the volunteer’s I have worked alongside throughout this past year,” Valenzuela said. “The heart of a volunteer is unmatched in their courage to make a difference within our community.”

City Manager Kane Loader expressed appreciation for working with and getting to know volunteers during his 26-year Midvale City career, which has included roles as operations superintendent and director of public works.

Loader pointed volunteers’ help during severe snow storms of 1992, when they cleared many sidewalks and rooftops and on many occasions in assisting in hauling sandbags during flood situations. He expressed gratitude for volunteers’ helping with functions of the planning and zoning commission, arts council, historical society, Harvest Days committee, Communities Building Communities, Cinco De Mayo committee and more.

Volunteers for the city were invited to attend the dinner at 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at the senior center at 7550 S. Main Street in Midvale.