• Last modified 2255 days ago (April 19, 2018)


‘Sensational Sunflower’keeps busy at senior center

Staff writer

Like others of its kind throughout the county, Peabody Senior Center relies heavily on volunteers.

As the center celebrates all 17 of its helpers during National Volunteer Week, one volunteer in particular stands out for her volunteer efforts around the community, extending beyond her duties at the center.

After being nominated by the senior center board in September, volunteer cook Joan Lago was named “Sensational Sunflower of Marion County.” Lago was recognized at the Sunflower Fair “Fest of the West” sponsored by North Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging.

Lago cooks three days a week for the center, assists with funeral dinners provided by Peabody Christian Church, and serves as Philathea Circle president.

Although these duties keep Lago on the go, she doesn’t hesitate to give a friend a ride to the doctor or grocery store if needed.

“I just kind of like to be in the background,” Lago said.

A North Dakota native, Lago moved to Peabody in the late 1980s and began working at Coleman Company not long after, retiring after 22 years.

Lago saw a need for volunteers in 2001, and she’s been in the senior center kitchen helping out ever since.

“I can’t say the word no,” she said.

This great-grandmother of eight also has a knack for crocheting, often gifting finished projects.

“When people come over and say ‘Oh, I love that afghan,’ I always say, ‘Just take it,’” she said Friday while cutting tomatoes for a noon meal.

Other volunteers at the center comment about how quickly Lago is willing to come to anyone’s aid.

“They’ve got me on speed dial,” she said, with a look of content.

Site nutrition manager Lou Anne Bowlin is grateful for Lago’s eagerness.

“I think she’s the very best thing we’ve had as far as volunteers,” she said. “She is just here immediately; it’s a delight to have her.”

Last modified April 19, 2018