14Dec2015

Volunteering Helps Fulfill Mission

Volunteer Jack Banks

Volunteer Jack Banks, left, with Antonine Village resident Maurine Crawford.

Two Antonine Village volunteers are making significant contributions to the early success of the new facility while being personally fulfilled through the fruits of their labors.

Jack Banks, a licensed nursing home administrator, and Marilyn Mastronarde, a retired educator, both were drawn to the mission and dedication of the Antonine Sisters and decided to volunteer some of their retirement time to assist at Antonine Village.

Banks had been familiar with construction projects and assisted living operations while administrator at St. Joseph Care Center in Louisville, Ohio, near Canton.

“I had knowledge of how long-term care works, came to believe in the mission of the sisters and saw their dedication to residents in the Adult Day Care Center program, so I decided to volunteer,” Banks said.

He helped with ideas during the village’s construction phase and then once the facility opened, he has assisted in the admissions process especially on how to handle tours and explain various options to potential residents and their families. He also is a member of the board of directors overseeing the village.

“I believe in the sisters and what they are doing at the facility. They are genuine in their caring and compassion and their personalized approach to people,” he said.

Banks recommends volunteering at the village, “whether it be a day a week or a day a month. The sisters are wonderful in helping volunteers put their talents to good use.”

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Volunteer Marilyn Mastronarde, far right, with some desserts.

Volunteer Marilyn Mastronarde, far right, serves up a snack at Antonine Village.

Mastronarde had worked with the Antonine Sisters through her membership in St. Maron Church in Youngstown. And when the village opened, she volunteered to help out a couple hours a day.

Her “volunteer” duties changed when the facility’s activities director resigned. The sisters asked Mastronarde if she would be willing to take on the job.

“I said that I had a nice pension and wasn’t looking for a job and told them ‘let me volunteer for a while and see how it goes,’” said Mastronarde, who spent 43 years as a schoolteacher and administrator.

Since May, she has planned and led various activities at the village and Adult Day Care Center including making crafts and baking with the residents. She also schedules groups, including high school students, for entertainment and interaction “to bring joy into the lives of the residents,” she said.

A highlight for her is bringing her 3 1/2 –year-old grandson with her to the village.

“The residents love it. They play basketball with him and put together puzzles. They really enjoy him,” she said.

Mastronarde said there is a definite need for more volunteers. Some of her friends volunteer one day a week. She noted that it is extremely rewarding and fulfilling to volunteer at Antonine Village.

“It gives you a good feeling about yourself. You are doing something good and getting multiple returns.”

Those interested in volunteering can call Antonine Village at (330) 538-9822 or email us at anto9srs@antoninevillage.org to learn more.