96-year-old receives award for volunteer work

Leona 'Lee' Schwartz has served communities in Lake and Mecosta counties for decades

BIG RAPIDS — The 49th annual Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Recognition was held at the Big Rapids Eagles Lodge 2535 this week.

Long-time volunteer Leona Schwartz, who turned 96 in January, was recognized for her 26 years of service to RSVP.

Lake County commissioner Betty Dermyer presented Schwartz with a “certificate of recognition in gratitude of her years of service.”

“I am more than honored to present this award,” Dermyer said. “I have known Ms. Schwartz for over 27 years. We started the RSVP program in 1996, and she has been here for over 26 years. She just retired from the Baldwin Community Thrift Center, where everyone is going to miss her. She always came to my aid when someone needed something.”

In addition to her service as an RSVP volunteer, Schwartz has been a member of the RSVP-sponsoring agency, Mecosta County Council on Aging volunteer program for many years, was on the Lake County Council on Aging board, served as a Lake County commissioner, and is on the board of the Hollister Senior Center in Baldwin.

She recently retired as director of the Baldwin Community Thrift Center-People Helping People, after many years. 

Schwartz has attended every RSVP recognition program since enrolling with RSVP. She is an avid dancer and a “motorcycle babe.”

In addition to the certificate of recognition, Schwartz was presented with a commemorative pen, a T-shirt and a $40 gift certificate for gas.


To see more photos of Leona Schwartz receiving her award at the 49th annual Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Recognition, visit lakecountystar.com.

“This is so neat, thank you all so much,” Schwartz said.

All the RSVP volunteers were recognized for their service with a free lunch, live music and prize drawings during the event.

For information on the RSVP volunteer program or upcoming events, contact Linda Connell at 231-796-4848.