City’s senior center relies on a healthy helping of volunteers

9:46 am | April 10, 2013

Look behind the programs and activities at the Elizabethton Senior Citizens Center and you’ll find a steady crew of Photo by Brandon Hicks<br />
Millardvolunteers whose work makes those programs possible.

Volunteers like Millard Fitzsimmons.

And Calvin Caldwell.

And Barbara Fox.

“I love to do that,” longtime volunteer Fitzsimmons said of the center’s fall apple butter-making event, which he labeled his favorite center activity.

“It takes so many people to do it. It gets a lot of people involved in it. It is a team effort really. From 6:30 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, you have to keep that going. It is a good fundraiser for the senior center. We make the real apple butter.”

Fitzsimmons has volunteered at the center for about 40 years. Now 88, he started coming to the center in the early 1970s with his mother Florence to take part in the different trips that were offered.

“Back years ago, they used to have trips every Saturday so we got into that,” he said. “We went a lot of places and did a lot of tours. We took bus trips.”

After he started coming regularly to the center, Fitzsimmons began volunteering with different activities. He first started working with the apple butter in the fall, then started to help with the breakfast buffet fundraisers. He is also a member of the center’s advisory board and is involved on that side of the center’s operations.
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“I like working the breakfast buffets,” Fitzsimmons said. “I get back there and make eggs and pancakes, different things. I like to cook.”

Caldwell, another longtime volunteer at the senior citizens center, has been involved for more than 30 years and works with Fitzsimmons making apple butter and cooking for the breakfast buffets.

He said he and his wife came to the center years ago and talked with former director Ruth Goodwin about becoming a volunteer.

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