HEIGHTS — Volunteers brought smiles to the faces of Dearborn Heights seniors and disabled veterans on a blustery cold Nov. 10 as they performed yard work as part of Wayne County Commissioner Diane Webb’s 10th annual Make a Senior Smile Day.
In all, 39 volunteers raked leaves at 27 homes in Dearborn Heights, collecting more than 350 bags of yard waste. Volunteers came from the city police and fire departments, including recently retired Police Chief Lee Gavin and Fire Chief David Brogan, the Michigan State University Master Gardener Program and GFL Environmental Inc. which is the city’s trash handler.
Three others — Senior Director Kristen Rockensuess, and two hard-working members of Eton’s Senior Community, Linda Mahaney and Barth Bucciarelli — helped Webb’s staff manage the staging site.
“I can’t say enough good things about this year’s volunteers,” Webb said. “It wasn’t the best of days and there were a lot of leaves to rake. But there’s nothing as satisfying as making life a little better for a senior citizen or a disabled veteran.
“The veterans put on the uniform, and fought for us, risking their lives to protect our freedoms; our debt to them is eternal. The seniors, are the generation that raised us, nurturing and protecting us at home, contributing to our society through their role as parents, professionals, and in service to the community.
“I think this event is just one small way that we can give back to them. Our efforts do not only serve to beautify their homes but help make moving around their property safer for them and that’s important. If we can give them one less thing to worry about, I am all-over it, and it warms my heart that these volunteers agree and give of themselves, and their time to help us make this event happen.”
Webb (D-Livonia) also gave special thanks to Mayor Dan Paletko and Rockensuess for allowing volunteers to use the Eton Senior Center as a host site once again for this year’s event. Other groups of volunteers helped seniors and disabled veterans throughout Wayne County’s 8th District, as part of the annual event.