By Patti Fitzgibbons

When I heard about the volunteer opportunity on June 12, 2019 to cheer on the PRIMA runners at Falcon’s Fire at 6:00 a.m., I was on board!!I can do this!!Since I’m an early riser anyway, here’s another chance to volunteer for Thriving In Place! (Plus, I love the quiet of early morning.)

It was dark while I was driving, but when I arrived I felt a peacefulness and excitement all at once. To see the runners stretching in preparation for the run, their camaraderie, a purpose— all coupled with the cool morning and smell of freshly cut grass on the golf course— excited me. It was fun cheering the runners on with clappers and cowbells, while I got the chance to scream loud and cheer, “Woot!! Woot!!”

The sun was up by the time the last runner finished, which meant beautiful birds were chirping amongst our cheering and noise making!! Congratulations to all who participated!

As a former volunteer of an events committee, I remember that feeling of working hard for an event, seeing it to fruition, meeting wonderful people, and that feeling of accomplishment and success when it’s over. Then to do it all over again for the next event!

Although I wasn’t a PRIMA runner, I could see that same feeling of accomplishment on the faces of the runners as they finished— “I did it!”

Volunteering for Thriving In Place gives me that same feeling of accomplishment. A feeling of family working to benefit others— to cheer and support!!

As the leader of The Happy Stitchers, a Thriving In Place group who stitch for charity, I enjoy the opportunity to comfort those in need with a handmade blanket, a chemo hat, or share in the happiness of providing a newborn baby with a hand-stitched baby hat. The faces of joy and comfort are priceless.

As a Thriving In Place volunteer, I feel a sense of family, whether it’s through helping a member or assisting in a community event. We’re in this together! We are Thriving!!!

Thriving In Place is a community-based membership program under the umbrella of the Celebration Foundation. Our members are Celebration residents who are at least 55 years of age, or a person with a disability of any age, who want to stay in their own homes and lead a healthy, safe, independent and productive life. For questions regarding Thriving In Place, please call Rachel McIntee at 407-572-9850, e-mail Thriving@celebrationfoundation.org, or visit the office at 690 Celebration Avenue.