Apex PRD Community Recreation Center volunteer honored at countywide "Senior Hero" celebration

Each year, the Jefferson County Council on Aging and the Seniors’ Resource Center team up to honor eight Jefferson County seniors for outstanding volunteerism. On May 12, Gail Hussin was recognized as a 2016 Senior Hero.

Gail has donated 5889 hours of volunteer time at the Apex PRD Community Recreation Center (CRC) since 2004. She volunteers in three different areas of the Center, receptionist at the Front Desk, a clerk in the Craft Carousel Gift Shop, and as a cook/baker with the Apple Dumpling Gang.

At the front desk, Gail is willing to substitute for those who can’t cover their shift, call participants if a class is cancelled, fill in the activities calendar, or whatever else the Center needs accomplished.

The Craft Carousel Gift Shop, where Gail volunteers as a clerk, is a consignment store located in the Community Recreation Center, featuring handmade gifts primarily crafted by seniors. Over 100 artisans have items consigned in the shop. Gail weekly works at least one 3-hour shift each week to sell crafts to shoppers, help crafters consign their wares, and to help organize and inventory the displays. 80% of the shop’s sales go back to the consigner, with the remaining 20% used for the shop’s overhead, with the majority being donated back to the Community Recreation Center for facility improvements and to support activities like the summer concert series or the Easter Bunny Breakfast.

As a cook/baker with the Apple Dumpling Gang, Gail makes cakes for a card group that meets at the Center, and chops, mixes, cooks and bakes for special events. Many times, long after everyone else leaves, Gail is faithfully there until every dish and pan is washed, dried, and put away.

“Gail is a quiet person but don’t let that fool you,” said Nancy Wellnitz, manager of adult and senior programs at the CRC. “She is friendly, witty, and loves volunteering. For Gail it is all about the people she is serving. She volunteers in order to help others and to be helpful to the center.”

Nancy and other Apex PRD staff were on hand to applaud Gail and the other honorees at the Senior Heroes Celebration reception on May 12 at Mountain Vista Retirement Community. “Gail is truly a hero in our eyes, giving so generously of her time and talents,” said Apex PRD Volunteer Coordinator Pat Stoehr, who attended the recent celebration.

Gail is one of a vital and active volunteer community at the Community Recreation Center. About 120 strong, the group keeps the Center running strong in hundreds of ways.