Achievers: Couple's Lunch for Seniors program garners award
CHINO VALLEY - The town government ended lunches at the senior center on Fridays in 2009 as a budget-cutting measure that also included closing town offices on Fridays.
As a member of the senior center advisory board at the time, Harvey Jones said he saw a need to fill the gap. He launched the Chino Valley Foundation for Seniors Inc. in June 2009.
He heads the foundation board, and his wife, Kay, serves on it.
Jones, 80, said he recruited 16 restaurants to supply food for the lunches, which cost $5.
The hot meals draw an average of 60 people on Fridays, Jones said. Since November 2009, volunteers have served more than 5,000 meals.
The Joneses received the Reid-Kaecker Volunteer of the Year Award Dec. 14 from the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce in appreciation for their involvement with the foundation. The award, which started in 2005, is named in honor of two past chamber presidents: Virginia Reid, a former Town Council member, and the late Bob Kaecker, former president of the governing board of the Chino Valley Unified School District.
An eight-member committee from the chamber reviewed the Joneses and nine other nominees, said Ab Jackson, president and chief executive officer of the chamber, which has more than 300 members.
The Joneses deserve the award because they are caring, "particularly of the seniors," said Marilyn Subach, a former member of the foundation board who has known them for five years.
Subach, who serves on the senior center advisory board, said the lunches provide more than meals for seniors.
"It provides companionship, socializing, and if a senior needs something, they find a way to provide," Subach said.
Kay Jones, 75, concurred, saying, "It is often the only socializing seniors get along with a hot meal. We have actually witnessed personalities change. People become more outgoing. They are so grateful."
Harvey Jones said, "We love to pamper the seniors and see the smiles on their faces."
The Joneses have been active in the community since moving from Tempe 11 years ago. Kay has been president of the Chino Valley Historical Society for four years and is treasurer of the chamber board.
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