Lt. Governor Peter Kinder recently recognized a Bonne Terre Senior Center volunteer for her volunteer work.
Dorothy Gouin, 88, received one of 34 Lieutenant Governor’s Senior Service Awards during a ceremony outside his office in the Capitol earlier this month. Gouin attended the ceremony with her sister, Barbara Williamson and Senior Center Director Karah Cain.
Cain nominated two of her volunteers for the award, Gouin and Earl Faircloth, who got his whole family involved in volunteering at the center.
“Dorothy is here with me every single day,” she said.
Gouin manages all the center’s route sheets and keeps a record of the people who come in to eat as a check and balance. She also runs two routes.
“She’s always willing to take on other routes if it fits in with the other stuff she does,” Cain said. “She’s quite a woman. She’s my only female veteran. She has an ongoing need to serve … and stay busy.”
Gouin is a veteran of the Woman’s Army Air Force, having served in it four years.
Gouin started volunteering at the senior center a few years after she moved back to Bonne Terre from Massachusetts in 1997. She was familiar with the center because of her mother. She found out the center needed volunteers and she volunteered to deliver meals.
For the past 12 years, Gouin has volunteered at least two or three hours per day, five days a week at the center.
“She has only been sick one time since I’ve been here and boy, did we miss her,” Cain said.
In her nomination, Cain said Gouin is crucial to the operation of the Senior Nutritional Center.
“Dorothy is a small but mighty woman who comes from an era of hardworking individuals,” Cain said. “Without Dorothy, our center just wouldn’t be as good as it is.”
Kinder presented Gouin with an official declaration and a Senior Service Award lapel pin.
“Dorothy Gouin sets an example for all Missourians with her kindness and willingness to serve her community tirelessly,” he said. “Her selfless service is an inspiration to all who know her.”
Gouin also volunteers for a local food pantry, delivers St. Joseph Catholic Church bulletins to church members at St. Joe Manor, and goes with the priest to the prison to celebrate Mass.
Due to a record number of nominations, Kinder this year expanded the awards, naming 34 winners, representing the state’s 34 Senatorial Districts. Gouin won the award for the 3rd District.
Faircloth received a letter of recognition for Kinder.
“All my volunteers are wonderful,” Cain said. “These two are really shining stars.”
Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.