April 12, 2007

Mary Bennett Named Volunteer of Year by OATS Committee

In celebration of National Volunteer Week April 15-21, OATSí Scotland County Support Committee has selected Mary Bennett of Downing, as their Volunteer of the Year. A party in her honor was held April 9 at the Nutrition Center in Memphis.

Mary lives in Memphis and has lived in Scotland County all her life. She has two daughters, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She enjoys antiquing and collects porcelain dolls, elves, music boxes and bears. Mary attends the United Methodist Church in Memphis. About 15 years ago a friend told Mary about OATS and she has been riding ever since. Mary has served on the Scotland County OATS Support Committee the past two years and enjoys helping with fund-raisers. Although she has not gone on any long distance trips, she enjoys being able to go out to lunch and shopping with her friends.

OATS, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit corporation providing specialized transportation for the elderly, disabled and rural residents in 87 of Missouriís 114 counties, including Scotland. OATS has evolved from its original operation in eight counties in 1971 to the largest such enterprise in the United States.

Mary joins honorees from the other 86 counties in OATSí service area representing the entire OATS volunteer network of over 1,200. Among other duties, volunteers plan local bus schedules, dispatch rural service, serve as committee members and on the Board of Directors, and raise money toward the cost of each new vehicle.

In 2006, OATS volunteers reported $851,371 worth of volunteer hours. These hours are used to match federal and state funds obtained through contracts and grants with eight Area Agencies on Aging, including the Northeast Area Agency on Aging, and the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department.



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