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55VLP Graduates Work To Solve County’s On-going Challenges

Post Date:06/17/2019 2:52 PM

June 17, 2019                  

55VLP 2019 2 

ELKTON, MD. – The second class of the 55+ Volunteer Leadership Program (55VLP) presented their ideas and proudly received official pins and certificates of recognition at a ceremony held at the Cecil County Administration Building on Friday.

This 7-week call-to-action course charges 55VLP team members with synergistically designing programs and proposing solutions to issues that are preventing many Cecil County residents from achieving their best. The program, for adults ages 55 or older, is intended to encourage mature leaders to address on-going challenges in Cecil County such as opioid and substance abuse and economic opportunity.

Orchestrated by Krista Gilmore, Volunteer/Community Resource Coordinator from the County's Department of Community Services, along with Facilitator Cole McMahon of the McMahon Consulting Group, volunteers participated in an innovation lab where they discussed current challenges and how they are currently being handled in Cecil County.

Local experts presented each week and offered training on assessment, project planning and implementation. Participants formed groups and used their knowledge to formulate local solutions and community-based responses. Some of the group project themes included implementing the game of chess into classrooms to help change problem-solving thought processes, and applying a more technology-focused curriculum for students of all ages.

“It is truly wonderful that each and every one of you took time from your lives to participate in this program,” said County Executive Alan McCarthy at the ceremony. “This program is designed not only to better your volunteer skills, but to better Cecil County as a whole and it is with your hard work and dedication that Cecil County can continue to move forward."

This year's 55VLP participants include: Judy Bennett, Janice Booker, Sharon Crowder, Bill De Freitas, Glenda Frederick, Becky Guerrero, David Guerrero, Sally Haberl, Bob Lusk, Kathi Lusk, Robin Peck, Ed Phillips, Clare Sautter, Mary Ann Schmook, Mike Schmook, Mike Stecher, Rebecca Stecher.

“Your dedication to your communities and your commitment to volunteering does not go unnoticed, rather it is very much appreciated,” added McCarthy.

55VLP was funded by the Corporation for National and Community Services through the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) grant. Betsy Southall, State Program Director, swore in the new graduates and many of last year’s grads by having them recite the Senior Corps Pledge:

I will get things done for America – to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.

When faced with a pressing challenge, I will bring Americans of all generations together to strengthen our communities.

When faced with children at risk, I will help them stay in school and on track for a brighter future.

When faced with older adults in need, I will provide support and compassion so they may age with grace and dignity.

Working for the greatest good, I will use my lifetime of experiences to improve my country, my community, and myself through service.

I am a Senior Corps RSVP volunteer, and I will get things done.

“The power of volunteerism never ceases to amaze me,” said David Trolio, Director of Community Services. “Watching both the current VLP class and past alumni stand side-by-side reminds me of the impact a volunteer can have on a community. What is currently a program is quickly becoming a tradition.”

For more information about upcoming 55VLP classes, or to inquire about other volunteer opportunities in the Cecil County, please contact Krista Gilmore, at or 410-996-8416, or visit


Back row, left to right: Betsy Southall, Krista Gilmore, Cole McMahon, Ed Phillips, Robin Peck, Bob Lusk, Mike Schmook, David Guerrero, Janice Booker, Bill De Freitas, County Executive Alan McCarthy
Front row, left to right: Clare Sautter, Mary Ann Schmook, Kathi Lusk, Sally Haberl, Becky Guerrero, Glenda Frederick, Judy Bennett

Media Contact:
Jennifer Lyall
Public Information Officer
Cecil County Government

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