Rita Baresh, Volunteer Extraordinaire
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At 71 years old, Rita Baresh isn’t slowing down. Instead, she is picking up speed. Her energy and drive as a volunteer have touched the lives of people of all ages in her small town of Moose Lake.
Moose Lake KIDS PLUS and AGE to age
volunteer Rita Baresh, left, shares her
time and talents generously.
Among the grateful recipients of her time and talents are the Moose Lake KIDS PLUS and AGE to age initiatives, which were established by the Northland Foundation in collaboration with Moose Lake community members. Rita shared that, after the sudden loss of her husband a few years ago, becoming involved in KIDS PLUS helped her find a renewed sense of purpose.
“Rita always has a smile on her face and provides young people with the caring and nurturing they need to become healthy, productive adults,” said Vicki Radzak, the Community Education and AGE to age site coordinator in Moose Lake.
Rita presents a $3,000 check to
AGE to age coordinator Vicki Radzak.
When the community decided to tackle a major project through AGE to age – the construction of a Community Pavilion – Rita went right to work. She engaged her Autumn Voices senior choir to hold a benefit concert. With Rita’s inspiration and finesse, nearly $3,000 was raised from concert proceeds, CD sales, and an intergenerational bake sale.
Rita contributes more than 130 volunteer hours per month to Moose Lake AGE to age, KIDS PLUS, Autumn Voices, and other activities such as writing for the local newspaper. She has also played a key role in creating a local genealogy program and spends many hours helping community members delve into their family history.
“When I see a child from KIDS PLUS or AGE to age Gener-Reader at the super market or in the school halls, and they run up for that extra hug or say, ‘When am I going to see you next?’ – wow, it is beyond words,” explained Rita.
To honor Rita's incredible contributions to KIDS PLUS and her community, Lynn Haglin, Northland Foundation Vice President/KIDS PLUS Director, nominated Rita for the Salute To Senior Service Award. Rita was selected as the state winner and will move on to compete with others from across the United States.
“I will never stop doing what I am doing when I see what difference it has made for others and for me,” she said.
The people of Moose Lake are very lucky indeed.