To read detailed biographies of all the 2009 senior hall of fame awardees scroll down the page
Margaret “Maggie” Cary’s tireless combination of compassion and dedication have led her to be described by St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care employees as “faithful, loyal, devoted, reliable, and trustworthy.”
A St. Ann client explains that Maggie is “more than a volunteer,” but also “a friend, a tutor, and confidant.”
After retiring from her career as a social worker, teacher, and legal assistant, Maggie has generously volunteered her time to numerous organizations. Spending four days a week at St. Ann Center, she is active in fundraising, greeting and socializing with clients, advocating for effective intergenerational care at the Center and in the community, and even traveling to Cameroon and China to support the same mission. Additionally, Maggie tutors special education students at Honey Creek Elementary School, prepares teens with special needs for sacraments at ARISE, and participates on the parish council and other ministries at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
Maggie’s remarkable contributions have led her to be awarded a Faithful Citizenship Award from the Christian Stewardship Foundation in 2005 and to be interviewed about her service on Milwaukee Public Radio (WUWM.) However, one of her supporters notes that, “it is the little things Maggie does for clients with great love and compassion that make her an invaluable volunteer.”
Oscar Kornblum is the sort of person that any community would be lucky to have. A dedicated resident of Brown Deer for over forty years, one supporter notes that he “exemplifies volunteerism in all aspects.” Oscar has contributed countless hours to numerous organizations as well as making himself available to individuals who may need assistance with home repairs. “He is always willing to lend a helping hand.”
Oscar’s contributions to his community include: 29 years as a volunteer fire fighter; helping to develop the Wisconsin Burn Camp; actively participating in the Brown Deer Senior Citizen Club; conducting woodworking classes for seniors and youth; assisting the Brown Deer School District in dismantling and installing new bleachers; volunteering with the North Shore Health Department; assisting with and managing the food box distribution program for the Brown Deer dining site; making Our Lady of Good Hope church more wheelchair accessible; volunteering with the Senior Tax Exchange Program; and, serving on the Brown Deer Water Commission and School District Facilities Study Committee.
Oscar is a graduate of the Brown Deer Citizen’s Police Academy and the Senior Statesmen Program. In 2004, he was honored as the Brown Deer Citizen of the Year. The Brown Deer Village Board noted that his “amazing zest for life and eagerness to take on new challenges make him a positive role model for peers.”
Grace Ogle’s positive attitude, sense of humor, and cheerfulness are infectious to everyone she encounters. One supporter noted about her work at the Kelly Senior Center, “she always has a smile and something cheerful to say to anyone who walks in the Center’s doors.”
Grace has selflessly given her time to numerous organizations and projects, including: the Milwaukee County Department on Aging Nutrition Council, where she served as Vice President for six years; Interfaith Retired Senior Volunteer Program, through which she provided telephone reassurance; Aurora Shoo the Flu Clinics, for which she has been an area captain; Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups; St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church; Women’s Lutheran Services; and Kelly Senior Center, where she has had multiple roles. She is a 2007 graduate of the Milwaukee County Senior Statesmen Program and spends any extra time crocheting for those in need, corresponding with wounded service women, and supporting veteran’s groups.
Grace was honored in 2008 for her service to Kelly Senior Center and received Recognition for Civic Participation in 2007 by the USA Freedom Corps. A supporter notes, “the countless deeds that she carries out at the Kelly Center and throughout the community have made measurable improvements in the basic well-being and quality of life of seniors and other residents of Milwaukee County.”
Agnes Reinhard’s energetic and passionate service has enriched the lives of countless Milwaukee County residents. Described by one supporter as “an extraordinary woman who has a multitude of gifts and talents” and “a shining example of the best qualities that older Americans could aspire to,” Agnes is truly deserving of this honor.
Agnes is committed to promoting “a healthy lifestyle for seniors.” She has served on the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Senior Olympics for 16 years and is active in promoting and fundraising for this important event. In 2001, she was inducted into the Wisconsin Senior Olympics Inaugural Hall of Fame and this year she will receive the Wisconsin Senior Olympics Service Award. She also gives her time to the YMCA, working as a fitness instructor; several fairs and festivals; the Great American Clean-Up; runs held throughout the community; Dave and Carol’s Miracle Marathon phone bank; Badger Trails, Inc. hikes; and, the Milwaukee Turner’s women’s exercise class. Additionally, Agnes has been active for years in both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, through which she has “touched thousands of lives.”
Beyond being a remarkable volunteer, Agnes is an inspirational athlete. She has won over 500 medals in competition, run the Boston Marathon four times, and carried the 1996 Olympic Torch in one leg of its journey through Milwaukee.
Shirley Spelt has used her many talents to make her community a better place for all of its residents. A supporter notes, “she sets a very high standard of accomplishment for herself,” which she meets time and again, and, “no job is too big or too small for Shirley.”
Shirley had begun as a volunteer with the Shorewood Senior Center in the 1960’s and is currently active with the Elder Services Advisory Board. When the original center disbanded, she was instrumental in creating the current Shorewood Resource Center in 2000 and has since held leadership roles in overseeing it. Shirley is also active with the Coalition for Wisconsin Aging Groups, Shoo the Flu clinics, Connecting Caring Communities-Shorewood, Plymouth Church, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Broadway Theater Center, the Federated Library System, the Urban Ecology Center, the Association of University Women, the Mortar Board-Alumni Club, and the Shorewood Historical Society. For the latter, Shirley used her skills to help the group publish two books on Shorewood history and to collect oral histories from residents. She is also a poll worker and a graduate of the Milwaukee County Senior Statesmen Program.
Shirley cites her mother as her inspiration and role model. However, one supporter notes that Shirley is now inspiring others: “You can see why Shirley is a role model and friend for many of us who know and admire her.”
Century of Service Award
Belle Garfinkel is a remarkable example of service to her community and is a true blessing for Milwaukee County, where she has lived her entire life. After a career as a secretary, she began volunteering at the Jewish Home and Care Center in 1969, at the age of 66, and continued to do so for over forty years. At the Jewish Home, Belle acted as a “day hostess” and friendly visitor, pouring tea for residents and visiting them in their rooms. Isolated residents especially looked forward to her “cheery and comforting visits.”
Belle has also been active with the Milwaukee Chapter of Hadassah, which she originally joined in 1943. “Since then, she has held just about every volunteer position in the organization.” Her tireless work led her to be awarded the Kesselman Senior Service Award grand prize from the Milwaukee Jewish Federation in 2005, at the age of 103.
Belle’s concern for others and warm presence over the years have brought “smiles and comfort to many of the residents who have come and gone” through the Jewish Home. One of her supporters rightfully states, “Her unselfish giving of her time is an example for younger generations to follow.”