Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 27, 2012

Volunteers are special at Fair Park

By Tina Taylor
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — Most of us stay busy all our lives with work and our families that at times it seems impossible to have extra time to give more of yourself and your time to others. But giving of yourself to help others can be just as rewarding as anything you can do. The more you do for others, the more you are blessed.

Being a retirement area, a lot of seniors enjoy donating their time and talents in helping others in the community. Recently, the 2012 Senior Volunteer of the Year was held, with many different organizations nominating their favorite helper. Fair Park Senior Center's nominee was Alice Bravo-Collazo.

Alice is single with two daughters who live in California and Oklahoma and one son who lives in Florida as well as six grandchildren. She enjoys interacting with people from all walks of life and finds she learns a lot about each and every one of them when she does. Alice enjoys dancing, window-shopping, taking trips by driving or flying and enjoys the outside joys of life.

She works with her church’s gift shop at St. Alphonsus in sales, setup, pricing and cleaning up whatever they need her to do. She also drives people that are unable to drive to buy food and medicine as well as do shopping for them.

She also volunteers for the Elks Lodge wherever they need her, working to setup for the meals, serving and cleaning up. She also helps with the mailing lists. Every two months, she goes to visit those in the veterans affairs hospital to take books and cakes. Alice tries to fit as much as she can into each day and eagerly awaits the next day to come so that she can do what she can to help others.

After living in many places all over the USA, Alice arrived in Tennessee in 2007. She began volunteering at Fair Park, working the front desk, helping set up the building for holidays, special events and whatever she was asked to do

Fair Park was so impressed with her dedication and drive that she was hired as volunteer coordinator. As volunteer coordinator, Alice meets all kinds of people from all walks of life and she is adept at learning their likes and dislikes, which assists her in determining which volunteer duties at the senior center they might be most suited for. Fair Park really appreciates having Alice at the center.

"To me, there is no such thing as retirement,” she said, "because this is the time to help and do everything you can and be happy!"

There are a lot of wonderful people at the Fair Park Senior Center. Feel free to stop by any weekday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to make new friends and see some you may know. The center is at 1433 Livingston Rd. across from the fairgrounds. Check out their website at www.fairparkseniorcenter.org or call 484-7416.