Ellen Voran to Receive Volunteer of the Year Award

TOPEKA – LeadingAge Kansas will honor Ellen Voran with the Volunteer of the Year Award for her service to the Schowalter Villa Community in Hesston, KS. The award will be presented to Voran as part of the Association’s Quality First Awards of Excellence program during their Policy and Leadership Conference on September 27, 2016 in Junction City, KS.

This award is presented to a LeadingAge Kansas member’s volunteer whose achievements have made a difference to the lives of the people working and living in member organizations.

Voran’s nomination showcased an entire body of volunteer service to the staff and residents of Schowalter Villa. Some of her talents include cooking, singing, quilting and cataloging. Her most impactful work is with the Villa’s innovative Music and Memory Program. The program helps those with a wide range of cognitive and physical difficulties find renewed meaning and connection in their lives through the gift of personalized music. Residents listen to their personalized playlist through iPods.

Voran catalogs and organizes hundreds of donated albums for the program so a song can be found quickly and loaded onto an iPod. She had to learn how to use a laptop and Microsoft Excel to catalog the albums. It was an excellent learning experience for her.

According to Marian Zook Heidner, Social Worker and Team Leader for Music and Memory, “Working with volunteers is not always the easiest, but working with Ellen has been exceedingly easy and part of that is because Ellen accepts this as a position. When she says that she is going to come, she always comes and works the full amount. She works hard like this is her job. She is always punctual and takes responsibility. She finds things to add to make it work better, just like if we’re paying her”

“Ellen is extremely deserving of this honor”, states Debra Zehr, LeadingAge Kansas president and CEO. “Her passion and dedication to helping others helps her live out the mission of nonprofit aging services providers.”

The LeadingAge Kansas Quality First Awards of Excellence has honored outstanding volunteers, caregivers and innovative aging services providers for 26 years through a partnership with Central National Bank.