We are excited to recognize and honor special MACOA senior clients, volunteers, and friends in the Spotlight for recent awards, celebrations, and special occasions. We want to hear from you. If you or someone you know that's involved with MACOA is celebrating a special moment or milestone, please let us know! We want to share the news and showcase him or her here!
Loveless Johnson receives
Public Safety Honorary Award for the
2017 Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame
Mr. Loveless Johnson, RSVP volunteer since 2003, has been named recipient of the Public Safety Honorary Award for the 2017 Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. In 2016 Mr. Loveless also received Volunteer of the Year Award in the senior category by Hands on River Region and was also a MACOA Senior of Achievement.
Loveless Johnson was born and raised in Hope Hull and attended Ramer High School. While a youth his father trained him and his brothers to cut hair—a useful skill that helped put him through two years of college until he was drafted into military service. After an honorable discharge he joined the National Guard Reserves and was able to earn a Master’s Degree in Education at Alabama State. He taught math and science to 5th and 6th graders for 13 years then pursued a career in criminal justice. He became a corrections officer and worked for the state of Alabama for 24 years. With his two children grown and out of the house with children of their own, he began to think about retirement.
Retirement came easy for Mr. Johnson—he knew exactly what his next “career” would be: a volunteer. He has always been a person with a giving heart, maintaining the lawn at his church, using his licensed barbering skills to cut friends’ hair, helping seniors in the neighborhood by giving them fresh vegetables from his garden, or giving them financial assistance when needed. With more time to devote to service, Mr. Johnson began looking for the right place to volunteer.
His wife Mary came home one day and said she heard of a new volunteer opportunity called Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) through the Montgomery Police Department. VIPS, one of the areas where the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) places volunteers, is a national program that is in partnership with the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps. It came into being after the 911 attacks and it provides volunteer assistance to local police. VIPS programs were forming all over the country, including Montgomery. Mr. Johnson became the 46th VIP in August of 2003.
After six weeks of extensive training where he learned how to respond in crisis, deal with the public, and to react to the scene of a traffic accident, Mr. Johnson began working patrol. He and his first partner, Richard “Sparky” Adams patrolled neighborhoods and performed vacation home checks. Loveless and Sparky, as they became known, was the team that called the police after witnessing a purse snatching in the old Normandale shopping center. In 2006 they also discovered the mortally wounded officer Keith Houts on Decatur Street. Because of their quick action officer Houts’ family was able to tell him good bye before he died three days later.
Loveless Johnson now manages the traffic division where he makes sure all VIPS cars are properly maintained. He is also in charge of recruiting new VIPS. When asked what his words of advice would be to someone who is retiring Mr. Johnson says it is important to stay active.
PAT BARTOSZEWICZ RECEIVES THE
GOLDEN BOOK OF DEEDS AWARD
RSVP Volunteer Pat Bartoszewicz has received the National Exchange Club’s (Montgomery, Alabama Chapter) Golden Book of Deeds Award for 2017. This award is given annually by each Chapter in the U.S. Criteria for this award includes a person who is sincere about helping the community, has an exceptional track record of continued, unselfish giving and who enjoys volunteering to help others. This prestigious award is designed for someone who deserves acclaim, but rarely receives it.
Pat Bartoszewicz has been an RSVP volunteer since 2003. She has 7,689 lifetime hours and has served in Disaster Services in mock disaster training, Education as a volunteer reading coach for accelerated reading students, and in Healthy Futures as a volunteer in the Archibald Activities Center where senior adults participate in exercise, dance and computer classes. She is also a founding member of the Mad Hatters, a group that makes stocking caps at Christmastime for MACOA’s Title III Meals on Wheels clients.
THANK YOU AND BEST WISHES TO
It is truly impossible to say good bye to those that we love and hold dear—those people who are outstanding examples of what it means to be a servant. That is why, even though he and his wife Annette are moving to Florida, we won’t say good bye to Joe Sutton.
A former member of the Board of Directors, Joe has been a part of the MACOA family since 1998 when he became an RSVP volunteer. He was asked to serve on the RSVP Montgomery Advisory Council in 2002 and named chairman in 2005. As an RSVP volunteer he has served in disaster preparedness and in community and economic development, but his most memorable areas of volunteer service are with VIPS and the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
On April 15, 2003, Joe became one of the original 13 volunteers that joined VIPS—Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS). RSVP partnered with the Montgomery Police Department to establish the program locally. RSVP recruits, screens, and supports the volunteers in VIPS. VIPS is one of five Citizen Corps partner programs formed after the terrorist attacks in 2001. Joe served in the detective division, in recruiting, and in the neighborhood watch program. He and two other VIPS maintained a database of information on 10,000 weapons retrieved at crime scenes. Now, thanks to Joe Sutton, when a detective needs to look up details on a confiscated weapon used in a crime, he or she can look up the information on a computer and not through dusty, faded index cards. Click here for more!