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Jerry Fuller: Volunteer Extraordinaire

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Roger Gore, Public Relations Manager at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community, has over ten years of experience working with seniors.

Jerry Fuller is an Iowa farmer at heart. He and his wife, Beverly Fuller, are corporate vagabonds who followed their careers from Iowa to Raleigh, finally retiring in Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community in 2004.

Jerry Fuller’s long history of working to help individuals and organizations was recognized in May during Older Americans Month with his nomination for a national leadership award. The “Unleash the Power of Age” award, established to recognize seniors who have made a significant impact on their community, encourages seniors to remain active in retirement which surely describes Jerry. (To see more on this award go to http://unleashthepower.challenge.gov/.)

“Jerry Fuller’s impact has been tremendous,” says Springmoor’s Executive Director Fred Conner. “I haven’t seen anything that compares with the depth and breadth of his volunteerism throughout my career in two different industries.”

Volunteer Extraordinaire, Jerry Fuller is quick to give credit to others. When reviewing his accomplishments, his first statement was, “It’s hard to separate my accomplishments from those of my wife, Bev.”

A Certified Public Accountant, Jerry’s volunteer efforts at Duke Raleigh Hospital are worth at least a million dollars, according to a guesstimate by the hospital’s primary manager. He received the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2008 for serving a total of 8,000 hours. Currently he has served 12,000 hours, equal to 7.5 years of full time employment. Using a low salary of $50,000 per year, those hours alone equal $375,000 and don’t include any of the related systems and savings for the department and hospital.

Judy Cook, Activities Director at Springmoor’s Steward Health Center, said, “Seven years ago Jerry started an escort service for residents, taking them to the auditorium for programs. Today members of that service escort an average of 15 dependent residents to events they couldn’t attend otherwise, greatly enhancing their quality of life and fostering a strong sense of community across all levels of care.”

Jerry has also devised a system that tracks visitor hours at the Health Center, a vital service to the staff and to Springmoor’s relationship with the Department of Human Services. The department’s surveyors, looking for evidence of beneficial resident interactions, find Jerry’s documentation invaluable.

Dr. Bob Cook, a woodworker friend and Springmoor board member, says, “Jerry’s enormous volunteer contributions have improved life for thousands of residents, their families and staff. His efforts are super amplified by his Duke Raleigh Hospital service and have reverberated throughout Raleigh. He handles routine tasks without much recognition or praise. That type of dedication, plus a keen sense of humor, is inspirational to everyone. It encourages others to volunteer with positive impact.”

Resident Association President D.G. Harwood calls Jerry’s efforts unprecedented in his service on 17 resident committees over eight years. “In addition, he and other residents have made and donated 1,251 toys to the Salvation Army. That huge effort connected residents with each other as well as with the Triangle area. It also provided a very valuable activity for everyone involved and thrilled many disadvantaged kids.”

An energetic volunteer, woodworker, toymaker, accountant, teacher, husband, and father, Jerry is also a gardener and farmer. He is one of the many Springmoor gardeners who have donated over a ton of fresh produce to the Plant a Row charity.