Arthur E. Clough
RSVP Vets Helping Vets Program Helps Veterans and Families Do What They Love
Arthur loves to sing, Judith loves books, and Amy loves to give back as a volunteer. This amazing trio met through RSVP’s Vets Helping Vets (VHV) program. The program provides rides free of charge to medical and other important appointments for Veterans and their family members who don’t have access to other transportation.
Judith and Arthur E. Clough came to Verona from Texas in 2017 to be near daughter Heather R. Bowers. Arthur is a retired U.S. Army Veteran with 28 years of service. When her parents first arrived, Heather did all the driving for them. Enter Amy Lasch, who volunteers for RSVP as a VHV driver and in the Madison office. Asked about why she volunteers Amy promptly said, “When my kids went off to college I had extra time, and I wanted to give back. I enjoy volunteering and it’s important!”
Lasch works 70 percent as a Physician Assistant for UW-Health in Madison. Amy said, “I’ve been driving Arthur and Judith for about a year now. At first, Arthur couldn’t remember my name and called me ‘Tammy,’ but after a short while he made an effort to remember my name and says ‘I know, your name is Amy!’” Amy enjoys driving Arthur and Judith to help them get to and from activities and to socialize. “Arthur talks about himself and his memories, such as singing bass in a choir. Judith is researching her family history and I drop her off at the library.
Arthur goes to activities such as Club 108 at the Verona Senior Center.”
Club 108 is an activity program for individuals with early memory loss named after the Verona Senior Center’s address, 108 Paoli Street. Club 108 Program Assistant Jan Paul said, “Arthur forms friendships and interacts with different ages, physical abilities and backgrounds. The program uses cognitive stimulating activities such as conversation, crossword puzzles, movies, games, skits, music, gardening, art and photo sharing from trips and guest speakers.” Jan and longtime volunteer Lou Slamar run the Club 108 program. Verona Senior Center Program Manager Alasa Wiest said, “Club 108 is a growing program with a group of very involved 80 to 90 year olds who meet weekly. Every other week, our caregivers support group meets at the same time as Club 108, allowing caregivers time for a short break and to confer with one another.”
Heather Bowers, daughter of Arthur and Judith said, “Dad sang on both Veterans Day and Memorial Day at the Verona Senior Center and my Mom’s rides to the library every two weeks are an incredible, critical thing for her. She
sometimes leaves the library with ten books to consume!” Heather loves the help she gets from Amy and RSVP’s VHV program, “I was doing all the driving myself, it is an enormous help, I would be at my wit’s end without the service.”
Amy remembers how proud Arthur was when he sang for Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Her greeting from Arthur says it all, “when he sees me he says with a big hug, ‘It feels like forever since I’ve seen you!’”
RSVP volunteers like Amy help folks like Arthur and Judith to keep doing what they love! If you are interested in learning more about volunteering as a driver, contact Mary Schmelzer, Driver Services Co-Manager at 608-441-7896 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Luanne Fax, RSVP of Dane County, Driver Services Marketing & Program Assistant
I’m Solo. I’m an English Lab. In my younger years I loved hiking and swimming and being with other dogs as much as possible. The dog park on the river and the field behind my house were favorites. Nowadays I am a bit slower and love my afternoon naps but I still love having buddies over to play! I started my career in school to be a service dog and, well, let’s just say that didn’t work out (insert eye roll here) because they say I’m too “alpha”. It all ended well since I found my forever family!
If you haven’t seen me yet, you will likely see me following around a blonde lady or behind the front desk. If I nudge you I am just hoping you’d like to pet me for a while. I’m quiet and not very fast these days.
Did I mention, I am a senior too! 84 in human years! By the way my companion is case manager Julie Larson who enjoys having me at work.
Donna celebrating her 2019 birthday
Donna Schultz, originally from the Barneveld area, grew up in a family of nine kids. She has lived in Verona for almost 50 years and this is where Donna and her late husband Alard raised four children. Donna has eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. What Donna loves most about Verona is her neighbors, the close-knit community and the Senior Center. Donna also loves that Verona is a small community where people can walk lots of places and feel safe. Most days you can find Donna at the Senior Center, often volunteering. Donna volunteers to serve lunch, help with events and clean up after activities. “Donna is a great volunteer. In addition to what she is scheduled for, she always jumps in and helps clean up after every event we have,” said Alasa Wiest, Program Manager. When she is not volunteering you will find Donna playing cards, attending a class, eating lunch or watching a movie. “There’s really nothing I don’t love to do,” Donna said when asked what she enjoys doing at the Senior Center.
Thanks for all you do to support our Senior Center, Donna!