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Volunteer spotlight: Jeanne Stanley

Jeanne Stanley (right), a spouse of a retiree and volunteer at the YMCA, receives a hug from a patron at the YMCA on Jet Wing Drive in Colorado Springs. Stanley said she volunteers for a variety of organizations because she feels needed and takes pride in helping her community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Genevieve Sills)

Jeanne Stanley (right), a spouse of a retiree and volunteer at the YMCA, receives a hug from a patron at the YMCA on Jet Wing Drive in Colorado Springs. Stanley said she volunteers for a variety of organizations because she feels needed and takes pride in helping her community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Genevieve Sills)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Retirement doesn't have to mean watching the days go by with nothing to do. Many people choose to stay active in their communities through volunteering. Jeanne Stanley epitomizes the retired volunteer by actively volunteering throughout the Colorado Springs community.

Stanley volunteers because retirement isn't for her. She is very active and wants to stay engaged in the community. Stanley also volunteers because she feels needed and takes pride in helping her community.

Jeanne Stanley volunteers at the YMCA on Jet Wing Drive as a volunteer coordinator. Her husband served in the Army for 25 years and retired at Fort Carson. He was a staff sergeant tank commander and drill instructor. He is also a Vietnam veteran and they have been stationed at Fort Knox, Ky., twice, Mannheim, Germany, and Hawaii.

Stanley is originally from Philadelphia, Pa., and has raised two children. Stanley has always been affiliated with and worked for the Department of Defense. She has held positions as a personnel clerk, worked in administration for AAFES, and retired as a contract specialist.

When asked what was the most touching moment she's experienced as a volunteer, Stanley responded, "Without a doubt, the father-daughter dance."

The dance is an annual event the YMCA sponsors in Colorado Springs. It is a chance for military fathers, who are often away from their families, to bond and have a special night with their daughters.

"Seeing the men all dressed up in their formal uniforms and the little girls in their finest dresses, the dads looking so very proud, brought a tear to my eye," Stanley said.

With the economy threatening recession, volunteers like Stanley are very important to organizations like the YMCA.

Stanley is also involved in several other organizations including the NAACP, Care and Share Food Bank, the National Association for Black Veterans, and Home Front Cares. For more information on these organizations and volunteer opportunities, visit www.ppymca.orgwww.coloradospringsnaacp.org, www.thehomefrontcares.orgwww.nabvets.org, and www.careandshare.org.

This is the first story in a series highlighting the volunteer efforts of retirees and their spouses. Peterson Air Force Base is hosting the annual Colorado Springs Front Range Retiree Appreciation Day from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. July 28 at The Club. The event will feature free food and entertainment, numerous vendors, TRICARE and dental information, and many special guest speakers and presentations.

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