Ruppersberger Honors Six Volunteers for Service to Maryland Veterans

(Timonium, MD) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) today recognized six volunteers from Maryland’s Second Congressional District for their dedicated service to Maryland veterans.  Congressman Ruppersberger awarded Joseph C. Sirera, John C. Dicks, Lillie Edwards, Robert Filippi, William Rochford and Helen Rochford the “2012 Congressional Volunteer Recognition Award” at a ceremony in his Timonium office. The six honorees were selected by the Veterans Advisory Council, an organization founded by Congressman Ruppersberger in 2003 to help guide policy decisions concerning veterans, active duty troops and military families.

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

2102 VAC Awards 010 Resized.jpgA veteran himself, Parkville resident Robert Fillipi has volunteered with the VA Maryland Health Care System for the last 14 years, accruing an astounding 2,000 volunteer hours. Visiting the Loch Raven VA Community Living and Rehabilitation Center weekly, Robert manages the greenhouse. He also volunteers through the Sons of the American Legion Post 130 and the American Legion 183 bingos.

Known affectionately as “Miss Lillie,” Lillie Edwards is a longtime volunteer at the Disabled American Veterans Paul L. Thompson Post and is member of the Auxiliary. When the Baltimore resident officially joined the post family in 2008, Lillie decided that not only she, but her entire family, would volunteer. Her son, three daughters and two of her grandchildren are now all regularly scheduled volunteers.

Timonium residents William and Helen Rochford are weekly hospice volunteers with the VA Maryland Health Care System. They assist during the last hours of life for many of our local veterans and relieve family members who are keeping vigil so that they can eat meals, often staying late into the night and placing the families of local veterans before their own. William Rochford is a World War II veteran and Helen Rochford often volunteers with the American Legion Post 183 bingos and cook-outs.

An active member of the Northeastern American Legion Post 285 for more than two decades, Baltimore resident John Dicks has accrued 1,700 volunteer hours with the VA Maryland Health Care System. He also volunteers twice weekly in the Kinesiology Department at the Loch Raven VA Community Living and Rehabilitation Center.

Joseph C. Sirera, of Parkville, has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for 46 years, including time as the Grand Knight of the Columbus Charles Carroll Assembly. A volunteer with the VA Maryland Health Care System since 2005, he frequently organizes bingos that feature refreshments and cash prizes.

This is the ninth year Congressman Ruppersberger has honored local volunteers for their service to Maryland veterans. Please feel free to use the attached photograph in your publication.  Individual photographs of each volunteer with the Congressman may be available upon request.