Ruppersberger Honors Six Volunteers for Dedicated Service to Maryland Veterans

By Editor Nick Gestido, Patch

Congressman C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger recently honored six volunteers from Maryland’s Second Congressional District for their dedicated service to Maryland veterans.

According to a news release, Ruppersberger awarded Kathleen and Michael Mooney of Parkville, Lucille Scrivani of Dundalk, Terry Lee Trish Jr. of Rosedale, and Catharine Wyland and Shirley Freeman of Baltimore the 2010 Congressional Volunteer Recognition Award at a ceremony in his office.

The six honorees were selected by the Veterans Advisory Group, an organization Ruppersberger founded in 2003.

“I commend these volunteers for bringing joy and happiness to the lives of the men and women who served our country,” said Ruppersberger in a statement. “These volunteers go above and beyond the call of duty to entertain and comfort Maryland veterans and make a difference in their lives.”

Kathleen Mooney has been a member of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary for 30 years. A volunteer for the VA Maryland Health Care System since 1997, she has accrued 526 hours of service to veterans, visitors and staff. Her unit sponsors monthly bingo and the annual Christmas Shop each year. This essential project provides veterans with free gifts, wrapping and postage each year so residents can give gifts to their families during the holidays.

Her husband Michael Mooney has been a member of the American Legion for 33 years and is currently the Maryland Commander. He frequently volunteers at monthly bingo and assists with the annual Christmas Shop program to provide veterans with gifts for their families.

From lifting heavy boxes to setting up tables for events, there is nothing too big or too small that Michael Mooney won’t do. A tireless fundraiser, he works long hours to get donations, activities and support for veterans.

Scrivani has generously donated her time and skills to the VA Maryland Health Care System for an astounding 42 years, accruing 3,278 hours of volunteer work. A skilled seamstress, Scrivani also dedicates hours at home to sewing bags for catheters, wheelchairs and walkers.

She has recruited her friends to help perform this valuable service. Scrivani has been a member of the American Legion for 50 years.

Trish chairs the Hospital Committee of the Veterans of Foreign War Parkville Post 9083. He makes monthly visits to the post, playing bingo, serving refreshments, leading sing-a-longs and providing meaningful conversation to the residents.

For the many residents that have no family, Trish provides the ultimate gift of friendship. A veteran of war in Iraq, Trish’s experiences help him to relate with the residents who have also encountered combat on the frontlines.

Wyland has been a member of the Veterans of Foreign War Ladies Auxiliary for the past 45 years. She serves as the assistant treasurer and supports the Yingling Ridgley Post 7472 in all of its activities.

Each month, she organizes birthday parties for veteran residents and helps hospitalized veterans with crafts each week. She has recruited her post and the VFW to supply items including video games, razors, lap robes, batteries, body pillows and quilts to help make veterans more comfortable.

Freeman has dedicated her career as a social worker to the VA Maryland Health Care System for the past 12 years. Social workers play an invaluable role in addressing the needs of veterans, particularly those that are homeless, elderly, sick or struggling with post-combat issues.

As the hospice and palliative Care social worker for VA Maryland Health Care, Freeman works in all three area medical centers and has the respect and support of their physicians. Not only is Freeman a consummate professional, but her caring spirit sets her apart from other social workers.