April 14 marked the beginning of ECHO Meals on Wheels' 40th year of service to the western suburbs. In celebration of the milestone and the dedicated volunteers who made it possible, the organization held a dinner at the Camillus Municipal Building.
About 125 people attended the event to recognize participants and mark the occasion. Edith Olson, one of the original founders and early coordinators, delivered the keynote address, which focused on the early days of the program. Olson also read a poem titled, "Intersect," which she had written about her relationship to MoW.
Special recognition was given to Bernadette Bondoni and Suzanne Powell for their many years of service; appreciation was also expressed for outgoing board members LaVerne Powell, Jeff Pelletier and Suzanne Fernandez.
ECHO started with a few people cooking food in their homes and delivering meals to three clients. Over the past 40 years the kitchen has moved from volunteers' homes to the Fairmount Community Church to it's present location at the Camillus Municipal Building. More than 90 meals are prepared Monday through Friday by a staff of three cook-coordinators and more than 75 volunteers who work in the kitchen or deliver meals to one of the nine routes throughout Camillus, Geddes, Marcellus, Onondaga and Solvay.
Anyone interested in learning more about the services of ECHO Meals on Wheels or about volunteering can call 487-2878 for information.