Bert Benedick

Daily Point of Light # 3701 Apr 10, 2008

The Albuquerque Reads is a volunteer program which is sponsored by the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and the Albuquerque School System. This program was formed four years ago to improve the reading grade level of kindergarten school children. Prior to the start of the program, only 30% of the children going into first grade in the three programmed elementary schools tested at a first grade reading level. In 2007 this level reached 70% in the programmed schools. Bert has been a volunteer tutor working with these children to improve their reading, writing, and comprehension levels for the past three years. The ABQ Reads program is partially responsible for this reading level improvement; and the volunteer tutors, such as Bert, shine in this achievement.

The RSVP (Retired Seniors and Volunteers Program) Advisory Council works with the City of Albuquerque to facilitate volunteer programs, which serve seniors and others in the need. Bert was President of the council for three years and presently serves as an active member of the RSVP Team. He is also a volunteer serving the community in many capacities. The RSVP Advisory Council is involved in Senior Volunteer Appreciation Programs as well as securing monetary gifts for food and other necessary items during the holidays for the needy.

The Albuquerque AARP Community Council and the Albuquerque AARP Information Center were formed to help seniors find information and create action to solve senior's problems. Bert has been the volunteer President of the Council for several years. This Council provides a discussion platform for the various working groups within AARP New Mexico. Bert has worked in the Information Center for the past six-seven years as a volunteer representative answering senior questions involving: Parenting of small children by grandparents, Social Security, Reverse Mortgages, Caregivers, Medicare, Prescription Drug coverage, Consumer Protection etc. Bert also is active in representing AARP at the State Fair and Health Fairs throughout the City.

The American Cancer Society has operated a fund raising event called The Relay for Life for the past twenty-plus years in the United States and in the State of New Mexico since 1994. Bert served as the first Relay for Life salaried director for the State and later as volunteer chairperson, Team captain, and Team member for consecutive years to the present time. He was involved with the first relay in this State as Volunteer Team Coordinator, and continues to this date to manage a Relay Team. Today the Relay is the major Team fund dollar event in the State and serves as a valued monetary and awareness program for the American Cancer Society throughout the United States. The money through this event has benefited untold thousands of cancer patients and cancer survivors throughout this State and the United States. It is of particular value because it provides an avenue for cancer survivors to celebrate their life.

Bert's involvement in each of the above programs encourages others in the community to work on the various program goals and join him in a Team for achievement. He successfully serves as an example of action management and action membership.