On Monday Feb. 14, Mr. Bernhard Kramarsky treated over 20 CRIS-CAT volunteers to a luncheon at the Lincklaen House to show his appreciation for them, and the development of the program.
Shortly before Christmas, Kramarsky called CRIS-CAT Coordinator Steve Burrell, in hopes of recognizing the volunteers that were doing such honorable work with no place to meet.
"I think I would like to give a lunch for the volunteers on Valentine's Day so they would be able to know each other." Kramarsky said.
Burrell agreed, and together they arranged for the luncheon. Beverly Thorp stamped a decorative valentines and RSVP provided a treat for each attendee.
The volunteer drivers met and talked about their experiences. One volunteer driver said she is glad to be driving, as there may be a time in the future when she needs the service and she would like to know it is available. One resident was unable to drive while recovering from arm surgery. Her short-term need was met by CRIS-CAT volunteer drivers.
Kramarsky used to love driving and taking rides to enjoy the countryside, but is no longer able to because of vision problems. He said having CRIS-CAT available has enabled him to stay in his home and go to appointments as well as shop for the special items he needs.
Many volunteers talked about how they enjoyed getting to know the people they've taken for rides. Currently there are over 30 volunteers. Five to seven rides per week are provided with requests increasing each month.
In 2009, the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce commissioned the Senior Housing Feasibility Study with area resident donations. Focus groups and surveys were completed by residents; in addition to the need for senior housing options, they identified the need for supportive services in the community to help people live in their homes as long as possible. Access to transportation was the most often mentioned need in these forums.