Submitted photo Melody Barnes and Tony Smith reconnect at the Mount Vernon Developmental Center retirees picnic at Memorial Park in Mount Vernon.

Submitted photo

Melody Barnes and Tony Smith reconnect at the Mount Vernon Developmental Center retirees picnic at Memorial Park in Mount Vernon.

MOUNT VERNON — More than 75 Mount Vernon Developmental Center retirees gathered Sept. 12 at the Mount Vernon Memorial Park for the annual retirees picnic.

Marie Poe was recognized for her organizing skills. Poe calls all of the retirees to check on them on a regular basis and is the chief organizer for this annual picnic of the retirees. Everyone wanted her to know how much she is appreciated. Roger Marra and Kathy and Rich Hardwick presented a bouquet of yellow roses and a plaque to Poe.

The MVDC retiree’s picnic is an annual event. After the presentations to Poe, Marra read the names of the 25 retirees that passed away this past year. The names read began with Norma Saunders, who passed away last year, and ended with Betty Bockover, who passed away this past August. There was a moment of silence and remembrance. Marra gave the blessing for the meal.

All of the retirees present wrote in a book, how many years of service they gave to the center and some wrote how many since retirement. There were more than 2,000 years of combined service given to the MVDC present at the picnic.

“As the retirees enjoyed their fellowship and reminisced,” Melody (Brent) Barnes said of the gathering, “I was thinking of the connection each person present had with each other and the center. There was a sense of pride and special fellowship. That connection each retiree had was like a right to passage in life, because the MVDC was a big chapter in each one of their lives. Regardless to what department or building they worked in, there was a sense of compassionate care that was given to the individuals that was entrusted to them in their work capacity. It was never just a job. To many there were feelings of attachment to individuals and the work that was a way of life for so many years.

“On the light side of the fellowship,” Barnes continued, “years ago looking at each other, we remember talking about the children, the husbands, and family gatherings, these were conversations of the past. Years later like today, the talk was about doctor’s visits, hip and knee replacements, back treatments, the grand children, great-grands and just being happy to be up and out. There was a bitter sweet visit for all and a wave good-bye to each other, hoping to see each other next year at the MVDC Retiree’s Picnic.”

 

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