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What's New & Noteworthy from R etired & Senior Volunteer Program  (RSVP) of Dane County
December 2019


  Happiest of Holidays 
from all of us at RSVP
to All of You! 
 Giving Tuesday Exceeds Goal
 Thanks to Generous Donors!
RSVP Reaching Far & Wide in Dane County

We Did It: Our Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign was a success! Thank you!

Due to your generous donations, RSVP was able to raise more than $12,800 to help RSVP engage and support seniors who volunteer to assist people of all ages throughout Dane County. Thank you to all who donated to our campaign!

Still want to help in the community? Please visit our website,, 
to find the many volunteer opportunities in Dane County.

  Fall Events Galore for RSVP

The 17th RSVP/Triad of Dane County/Triad of Wisconsin's Crime Prevention and Safety Conference on September 27, 2019 was a rousing success with more than 350 attendees from 29 counties participating in the day at American Family Insurance headquarters.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, kicked off the day with comments about the Elder Abuse Initiatives and other programs for older adults in Wisconsin related to crime prevention and safety. Workshops were well attended and addressed topics including  Human Trafficking, Travel Safety, Current Drug Trends, Responding to Abuse  in Later Life, 'Is it Dementia or Not,' Loneliness and Social Isolation, Good Neighbor Project, Aging in Place, and Triad Program Development.  

A big note of thanks for American Family for hosting the event in their headquarters.  Major sponsors are AARP of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Police Foundation, Old National Bank, RSVP of Dane County, Dane County Human Services and the Corporation for National and Community Service. 

And finally, a bow of gratitude to the planning committee made up of members of RSVP, Dane County Sheriff's Office, local law enforcement and fire departments, and volunteers from the general public committed to safety -- this conference would not be the great event it is without their help!

sandy-beach-scene.jpg A Tropical Island Paradise was the theme for RSVP's Annual Volunteer Appreciation event held at The Heights in Verona. Participants embraced the chance to dress for the tropics with many sporting Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts, flip flops and leis!

 The crowd was treated to music from Madison Area Ukulele Initiative volunteers and tropical themed decorations throughout.
Board President Jim Jenkins emceed and guest speaker Sally Jo Spaeni, Senior Center and Senior Services Manager for the City of Madison, addressed both the importance of volunteering and number of hours RSVP volunteers serve each year.

Recognizing Dane County RSVP volunteers for their outstanding service is the highlight of the event:


The President's Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring those who volunteer 4000 hours, was given to Peggy Ahlgren, Fred Appleton, Mary Breuch, Sharon Mahoney and Gregg Williard.


The RSVP's Length of Service Award, honoring those who volunteer 20 consecutive years, was given to Melvern L. Bankes, Lynne S. Diebel, Dorothy I Handrick, Dorothy Karls, Doris Koster, Elizabeth Rewey, Judy Tegtman, Jeanne Topel, and Lois B. Tyler.

RSVP celebrated Veterans Day with a luncheon celebration for RSVP volunteers who are veterans to honor their service to our nation, both past and present.  

The crowd of  43 was entertained by a local band made up of veterans called 'Vets on Frets,' who treated their audience to favorites across the decades.  To honor our veterans, representatives of Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Sen. Ron Johnson, and Rep. Mark Pocan attended, as well as Madison Alder Keith Furman.  Hats off to all our veterans -- thank you for your service!
  Group Projects 'Spirit of Giving'
  Tree in Governor's Mansion 

April Bird and Sue Morrison decking the halls with baby hats.
If you take a holiday tour of the Governor's Mansion this holiday season, you will be in for a real treat! RSVP's Group Projects Program will be trimming a SPIRIT OF GIVING TREE there, adorned with volunteer-crafted baby hats (which will be donated accordingly after this exciting opportunity). We are honored to enhance joy and festivity in our community!
And, as usual, the Group Projects and Homeworkers Program is always seeking new recruits to join our efforts in keeping our community warm and comforted (via handcrafted quilts, hats, mittens, etc.). Please share our mission with your friends, neighbors and family! Contact Kate Seal, Group Projects Coordinator, for more information about becoming a volunteer or donating quilting material and yarn: or 608-310-7280.

  A Natural Dose of Feeling
  Younger and Happier:
  Volunteering with Children!   
Foster Grandparent Judy Rubiel Perez.
Part of my job as the Intergenerational/ Foster Grandparent Volunteer Coordinator is to recruit new volunteers by going out into the community to spread our mission's message:Volunteers can make a difference. 

During my recruiting, many people tell me that they are too old to volunteer, and I share the the inspirational example of a past volunteer who was 102 years old, still riding his bike with his walker in his side cart, to tutor at a school!

When you volunteer with students they bring laughter, unending energy, and silliness to your day -- a natural dose of feeling younger and happier. There is always a need for volunteers in Dane County schools if you are interested in feeling young again, contact Laura Mikkelson at 608-441-7894 or .
 Thanks to our major Sponsors
MGE and Ho-Chunk Nation

Shared Solar for Your Home or Business:
A Clean Energy Option
From Madison Gas and Electric Company

Nearly 300 local households are part of MGE's Shared Solar community. Now, the program's prepared to welcome small- and medium-size businesses. MGE is expanding our community solar program, Shared Solar, with a second solar installation. Customers who subscribe to Shared Solar receive up to half of their annual electric use through the program, which offers customers locally generated solar energy. Previously, the program was open only to residential customers.

"Shared Solar is a great option for business owners who want to fuel their business with clean energy but cannot or choose not to install solar themselves, " said Cheri Salmon, MGE's Manager New Products and Services. The Great Dane Pub and Brewing Company is one of the local businesses that has signed up for Shared Solar. "We do take the extra step, when we can, to try and make the world a little greener," said Eliot Butler, Great Dane President.

First Shared Solar Project- MGE's Shared Solar program launched in early 2017. The City of Middleton and MGE partnered to place a 500-kilowatt array on the roof of the City's Municipal Operations Center, or MOC. The program sold out quickly. Homeowners Ross and Penny DePaola subscribed under the original program. The couple said they have two trees in their backyard that made installing solar panels on their home not feasible. "This program came along and it was perfect," Penny said.

An expansion of the program with a second, large-scale solar installation gives more customers the opportunity to participate and to help advance shared energy goals for our community. The solar project will be built in partnership with the City of Middleton at the Middleton Municipal Airport, also known as Morey Field. "Shared Solar offers customers solar energy at minimal up-front cost, and it is clean energy generated right here in the communities we serve," said Salmon. It also will power facilities for the Village of Shorewood Hills, which signed up in August 2019. The Village's participation in Shared Solar, combined with its longtime support for MGE's Green Power Tomorrow program, is helping the Village reach 100% renewable energy for its operations.

Sign up Today! Visit to access our FAQs and to enroll. Participation is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Shared Solar makes it easy to power your home or business with renewable energy. Subscribers pay a one-time up-front fee to participate and a $0.109 rate per kilowatt-hour for up to half of their annual electricity use.
Shared Solar, Shared Goals: By supporting Shared Solar, you're also helping MGE advance our goal of reducing carbon emissions. MGE is targeting net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. If we can go further faster by working with our customers, we will.
'Gil's Corner' Coming in RSVP News Notes
Look for a new feature in our print newsletter, called 'Gil's Corner,' which will highlight volunteers out in the field.  

Volunteer Gil Helland will be travelling around the county exploring the many ways our volunteers are at work to make life better in Dane County. 

Important Dates

RSVP Office Closed:

Tues., December 24
Christmas Eve

Wed., December 25
Christmas Day

Tues., December 31
New Year's Eve

Wed., January 1
New Year's Day

Mon., January 20
Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Thank You Volunteer Appreciation Event Sponsors and Donors!
Diamond Level Sponsors  
MGE, The Ho-Chunk Nation and UW Health/UnityPoint Health Meriter/Quartz 

Silver Level Sponsors 
Custer Plumb Financial Services, and Oakwood Lutheran Senior Ministry.

Door prize donors:  

Rayovac, Saco Foods, Culver's, Jones Dairy Farm, Fireside Theater, Madison Mallards, Uniek, Spectrum Brands, Fiskars, Pat Osborne, and
Mike Plautz for securing the prize donations.


Walgreen's Employees: 

Santa Lang, Albina Tatarkanova, Sharon Petrowski, Jacob Wilson, Jason Landro and Jennifer Barret


The RSVP Recognition Committee


TRIAD Events

West Madison:
Programs at RSVP Office, 6501 Watts Rd., #250, Madison

Burglary Prevention
Wed., January 22
 10:00 a.m.  
Speaker: TBD

Aging in Place
Wed., February 26
10:00 a.m.
Speaker: Mike Thomsen,
Stark Co. Realtors, Orchard Ridge Neighborhood Assoc.,
West Madison Triad

Safety Tips & Resources for those Living with Dementia
Wed., March 25
10:00 a.m.
Speaker: Heidi Musombawa,
Sales Mgr., Brookdale Senior
Living Solutions

Cottage Grove Triad:
Programs at Drumlin Residences, 
107 E. Reynolds St.,
Cottage Grove

Tues., January 21
10:00 a.m.
 Speaker: Jamie Durheim,
Jamie Declutters

Services Offered by the Dane County Library Service
Tues., February 18
10:00 a.m.
Speaker: Mary Driscoll,
Dane County Library Service

 Avoiding Financial Exploitation
Tues., March 17
10:00 a.m.
 Speaker: John Hendrick,
Financial Empowerment Dir.,
Coalition of WI Aging & Health Groups

Verona Triad:
Programs at Verona Senior Center, 108 Paoli St., Verona

Coffee with a Cop
Mon., January 13
9:00 a.m.
Speaker: Deputy Chris Kauer,
Dane County Sheriff Dept.

Wellness Program Demonstrating Rendeavor Vitual Reality
Date/Time/Speaker TBD

Learning Personal Safety Techniques
Date/Time TBD
Speaker: Charles Dean,
Owner & Head Instructor,
HWA Rang Do

For more information about Triad, contact 
Mary Stamstad at

Visit RSVP at Walgreens'
Senior Discount Days

RSVP distributes File of Life packets & other info at Walgreens each month. Stop by to  enjoy the senior discount!

2020 Dates/Locations
To Be Announced

Volunteer Now!
Current Opportunities

 Mary Schmelzer
DRIVERS URGENTLY NEEDED  in all Dane County communities to provide  rides for seniors (60 yrs. and older) and veterans of all ages to medical and other important appointments, or to deliver meals to seniors in communities outside of Madison.  Very flexible schedule and mileage reimbursement/extra liability insurance is provided.   Drivers are especially needed  in Madison/Monona, Marshall/Cottage Grove, Mount Horeb, Cross Plains/Black Earth/Mazomanie,  Stoughton, Sun Prairie, and Waunakee.

Jan  Karst  
441-7891 or 

ARTS FOR ALL conducts classes in visual art, music, movement, and more for people with  disabilities ages 16 and up. Volunteers are needed to assist teachers, install artwork in the
gallery, assist with events and special projects, and administrative tasks such as data entry and mailings.

ST. MARYS HOSPITAL needs volunteers who would enjoy delivering mail and flowers and  deliver the morning beverage cart to visitors in waiting areas. Volunteers also print out and  deliver e-cards to patients. Simple computer skills and the ability to walk distances needed.

CATHOLIC MULTICULTURAL CENTER needs help in their Food Pantry with sorting and  stocking on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Help guests shop and load needed groceries! 

Like to cook?  They also serve free meals every day and need help in the kitchen preparing simple foods and
serving them.

COMMUNITY ACTION COALITION GLEANERS  is looking for volunteers for a weekly  route picking up excess food at one location (stores, etc.) and delivering it to another (food  pantries and nutrition sites).

NEW BRIDGE needs Volunteer Guardians and Representative Payees. Can you spend  a few hours a month helping a senior with paying their bills and taking care of other business they
are no longer able to do alone?

You can help HABITAT RESTORE by working a shift or two as a cashier, stocker, or unloading donated materials to be sold. The profits from both stores go to help build new homes for low-income residents.

SECOND HARVEST FOODBANK needs volunteers to help sort, label, or package food into  family-friendly portions for distribution throughout their 16-county service area.

THE RIVER FOOD PANTRY needs volunteers interested in stocking shelves, helping  shoppers load groceries, and serving meals.

THE TENANT RESOURCE CENTER helps individuals with affordable housing counseling,  community outreach and education, housing law seminars for landlords and service providers,  eviction clinics and mediation services.  Volunteers receive training to help with these programs!  They also need volunteer receptionists.


Mary Stamstad
441-7897 or

Verona Triad needs committee members  to help plan educational programs for seniors on crime prevention and safety issues. 

The committee is made up of persons from the Verona Police Dept., FitchRona EMS, Verona Senior Center, Dane County Sheriff's Office, seniors and members of the general public. 

Meetings are on the second Monday of each month at the Verona Senior Center, 108 Paoli St., 10:00-11:30 am. 

If you are interested, contact
Becky Losby, ,
or Julie Larson, .

RSVP of Dane County's mission is to make a positive impact in the community by recruiting volunteers 55 and older to help deliver priority services 
to people of all ages, providing Dane County with a valuable resource.

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Dane County
6501 Watts Rd., Ste. 250
Madison WI 53719

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