By Melissa Shepard, associate editor

 ROCK-A-THON – The annual Respite Rock-A-Thon was Tuesday, Aug. 25, when 19 volunteers and four helpers raised $9,081 for Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee. However, donations are being accepted until Sept. 1 and volunteers hope to raise $10,000. The top rockers this year were Donna Nault, Pat Elliott, Ruth Nick and the Ruth Dowdy/Helen Stump Team.

The Rock-A-Thon for Respite Tuesday, Aug. 25, at the office of Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee raised more than $9,000. The annual event is a fundraiser to enable the nonprofit to continue to provide services in Shiawassee County. Nineteen plus “rockers” and four plus helpers enjoyed the time rocking in rocking chairs, snacking, ringing hand bells, listening to guitar music, having a manicure, visiting and having lunch.

Prior to the event “rockers” asked friends and family to give donations to Respite Volunteers in their honor. A couple volunteers participated by proxy, meaning they explained to family and friends they couldn’t attend the event, but still wanted to raise funds for Respite Volunteers.

Awards were given to the rocker who received the most donations and the donation from the farthest away, along with the top four rockers. The rockers were: Pat Elliott, Mabel Reid, Carol Nama, Helen Stump, Linda Thorsby, Donna Nault, Chris Penzer, Mary Love, Jackie Hurd, Mary Jane Scarlett, Paula Harris, Laura Burroughs, Sandi Yerian, Lois Whalen, Janice Beyers, Stasia Ryena, Peggy Garikes, Ruth Nick and Helen Howard. Helpers included; Jill Held, Marie Scharr, Guy Salander, George Nama and Audrie Polhemus. Proxy Rockers were Ruth Dowdy, Wanda Lamphere and Bonnie Appleby. Entertainers included Virginia Gastin and Karl Smidtfrantz; Peggy Garikes gave manicures. Many family and friends of rockers also joined the event. Donations can also be given online at for Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee. A special “thank you” went to David Stechschulte Jr. and David Lea for putting up the tent, and Pam Allen as a helper in the office.

Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee serves adults with ongoing health impairments and their family caregivers. The program matches one volunteer with a specific patient and their caregiving family, to visit and help usually weekly for 1.5 to 3.5 hours on average. Additional volunteers are needed throughout the county. The program also provides patient and caregiver education and support, offers education concerning senior and home care services in Shiawassee County and provides home visits by case managers. The next Respite Volunteer training is 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Perry United Methodist Church.

By the end of Tuesday, the rockers had raised $9,081 and more was expected with donations accepted through Tuesday, Sept. 1. The Respite Volunteers office is at 710 W. King in Owosso, east of Memorial Healthcare, The main entrance is on the parking lot side. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. To contact Respite Volunteers about receiving services or volunteer opportunities, persons may call (989) 725-1127 or email

Annual Rock-A-Thon Helps Respite Volunteers was last modified: August 31st, 2015 by Karen Elford