Fond reflections of a volunteer

Edna Stiefel - Guest columnist

I may have been awarded the Miami County Senior Citizen Award, but I didn’t do it alone. There were always wonderful, caring individuals that made it possible for me to attend all the volunteer opportunities and to work with these groups. I want to thank the many people that called, sent a text or card and those who saw me and said congratulations. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Most of all, I want to show my appreciation to my family and friends for being my taxi service. Thanks to Gretchen Roeth and my daughter Cheryl Stiefel-Francis for nominating me.

Memories of my volunteer work go back a lot of years. I have fond memories like helping once a month head cook Bernice Lewis serve lunch to the students at Piqua Catholic School. We all worked hard, but it was always a joy. My son Craig worked for Lehman Catholic High School and asked for help. The most gratifying was working with the late and beloved Nancy Wiford. A few nights each year, we would get on the phone and sell tickets for the school’s Harvest Auction. Who could say no to Nancy?

Former Police Chief Wayne Willcox enlisted my late husband Paul and me to help form a neighborhood organization. The North Parks volunteers were some of the hardest-working people I know. We prepared homes to paint and painted them. We mowed grass at abandoned houses, installed roofs on city park shelters, sold mulch and used the proceeds to purchase playground improvements for Das and Kiwanis parks. God bless each one of these hard workers. Unfortunately age, relocations and deaths have reduced our membership and projects. If there are residents that want to revive our efforts, call the City of Piqua Parks department at 778-2051 and they’ll get in touch with me. It is very rewarding; come join us.

Ruth Koon offered me the chance to help form Friends of the Piqua Parks. We were able to secure the 501 (c)(3) for the group, then raise funds to erect the statue of William Pitsenbarger and improve the McKinley Avenue park entrance. We are currently adding more trees and aiding the Four Seasons Garden Club to beautify Das Park. Thank you, Ruth, it continues to be a “labor of love.”

I always enjoy the City Wide Clean-Up, but being 81 years old with some leg problems has made it necessary to bow out of helping this year.

The YWCA is another love of mine. Leesa Baker makes it possible to help in so many ways. I always say the YW is Piqua’s best-kept secret. It is great for youngsters and women of all ages and membership is affordable. Visit the YW, you might like it. I sure do.

The Piqua Chamber of Commerce, United Way, different City of Piqua committees, Piqua Catholic School’s Dollars for our Scholars, Taste of the Arts, youth and school sports teams, etc., have filled my life with much pleasure.

My late husband Paul and I had many joy-filled years volunteering for youth and high school baseball teams with unbelievable volunteers, memories and friends that will last a lifetime.

Family, friends, sorority sisters, card club gals, Russ Fashner, Cathy Oda and Ruth Koon are just a few that deserve my gratitude. They are great taxi drivers who make it possible for me to help so many groups and people.

It is from the bottom of my heart that I thank the award sponsors and my numerous volunteer friends who I have served with over the years. God bless all volunteers. Keep up the great work!

Edna Stiefel

Guest columnist

Edna Stiefel of Piqua is a longtime community volunteer and the 2017 Outstanding Senior Citizen for Miami County.

Edna Stiefel of Piqua is a longtime community volunteer and the 2017 Outstanding Senior Citizen for Miami County.