George Houtchens joined the Senior Center in August of 2001. He became a life member in December of 2003. In 4 short years, George has become an invaluable member of their essential group of regular volunteers.
Houtchens began his involvement with the Senior Center by donating jams, jellies and home canned fruits to our annual Homecoming fundraiser. Next he started coming to the Center to visit, share an occasional lunch and play pinochle and bridge. Then he agreed to begin working on the Wednesday Kitchen Crew and make the “from scratch” vegetable beef soup served on that day. The final step was when Houtchens agreed to substitute for the volunteer who coordinated and purchased all of the food supplies for the kitchen. This is an enormous job. The kitchen serves at least 60-80 people each lunchtime and is staffed by 5 different crews of 4-5 volunteers each. All of whom have varying opinions about almost everything. This position requires diplomacy, organization, attention to detail – and a crystal ball. The vacationing volunteer decided he would not return to the purchasing position and Houtchens graciously said he would “give it a try”. Since that time his involvement has grown and grown – as has his importance to the Senior Center.
Houtchens has become one of their most active members. He is the Vice President of their Board of Directors, a member of the Finance, Program and the Homecoming Fund Raising committees, is a member of the Wednesday kitchen crew, an ad hoc member of several other day’s kitchen crews and he is still the chief coordination and purchasing agent for their lunch program. During the last year he has volunteered an average of 90 hours each month –not including his coming in before dawn to put the roast on because the meat needs to be cooked slowly to be tender by 11:30 a.m.; or the time he spends making the strawberry syrup and the fresh applesauce for the pancake supper night or the hours spent selling raffle tickets at local stores. These are just three examples of the many “extras” Houtchens routinely performs.
Houtchens willingly shares his time, his energy, and his humor. He is unfailingly supportive and devoted to the Center, its goals and its members. Without him they would be diminished because he has added so much in so many ways to the Center.