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CRIS-CAT volunteer drivers honored for 35,000 miles of service

CRIS volunteers, from left, Tom Long, Steve Burrell, Norma Benck and Bob and Elaine Horstmeyer enjoyed the annual CRIS luncheon on May 14.

CRIS volunteers, from left, Tom Long, Steve Burrell, Norma Benck and Bob and Elaine Horstmeyer enjoyed the annual CRIS luncheon on May 14.

— On a recent Tuesday in May, the third annual appreciation luncheon to honor CRIS-CAT volunteer drivers was held at the Lincklean House in Cazenovia. Thirty-two volunteers and several board members of Community Resources for Independent Seniors (CRIS) gathered to celebrate another successful year and share stories of “neighbors-helping-neighbors.”

CRIS-CAT is one of the services provided by Community Resources for Independent Seniors. CRIS was formed to address the needs of seniors in the greater Cazenovia area and promote “aging in place.”

CRIS-CAT coordinator, Steve Burrell, spoke about the progress that has been made since the program's inception in 2009. More than 1,100 free rides totaling more than 35,000 miles have been provided by volunteers to seniors in Cazenovia, Nelson and Fenner. These rides enable members of our community to get to crucial places such as medical offices, hospitals, grocery stores and banks. Other destinations such as the library, community center, hair salon or a friend's home are important to one's quality of life. Drivers donate their time, vehicle and fuel to provide these trips.

Jon Davidson was acknowledged for his continued work to enhance the software program that makes the scheduling of rides possible.

Experiences were shared and stories of new friendships forged between drivers and passengers. It was evident that the greater Cazenovia community is a community that really cares. Many senior members want to age in their community, with compassion and collaboration of our community groups striving for creative solutions, this makes it possible.

Those interested in becoming volunteers can contact Steve Burrell at 655-0612. Residents needing a ride, please call 655-0612 three to five days in advance.

For information about CRIS, visit callcris.org or call the CRIS office at 655-5743.

Jean Shirley is publicist for CRIS.

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