OLLI Volunteers : Giving back by taking photos

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Surrounded by members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, county board chair Sharon Bulova, front- left, is shown with Ed Marion, second from left, Jennifer L. Disano, executive director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, George Mason University and John Olsen, right,  as the  OLLI GMU photo club received the 2019  Adult Volunteer Group Award during the 2019 Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards breakfast, Wednesday, April 24, in Springfield.

RSVP-Northern Virginia would like to congratulate the OLLI-Mason photo club for winning the Adult Volunteer Group Award during the 2019 Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards breakfast held, Wednesday, April 24, in Springfield.

The Photography Club at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at George Mason University  provides free services to nonprofit  community organizations and events in need of professional quality  photography.

The club, a group of retirees with a passion and talent for visual excellence, has donated thousands of hours of photographic services to benefit wounded servicemen, Fairfax County, George Mason University, Volunteer Fairfax, The Northern Virginia Senior Olympics, RSVP-Northern Virginia  and several other  worthy causes in Northern Virginia.

The  average age of  the club’s members is  about 70.  Many of the club’s members are also RSVP volunteers, according to Rob Paine, marketing and outreach specialist with RSVP.

Two of the club’s photographers, Ed Marion, left, and John Olsen, right,  shown in this post’s lead photo with, Jennifer L. Disano, executive director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, George Mason University, donated their talents to document this week’s volunteer awards breakfast. A gallery of some of the images Ed and John took at the breakfast can be found at the bottom of this post.

“The work that the OLLI volunteer photographers do in in our community is simply astounding,” says Rob Paine, RSVP’s outreach specialist who first worked with the club during the 2018 NVSO.

“During the NVSO, 17 of the club’s members, led by club member and OLLI photo instructor Dan Feighery,  provided an unparalleled depth of coverage of the games,” Rob says. “We have always been lucky to have our great volunteer photographer Ron Staley cover the NVSO but one person can only be in one place at a time. The addition of the OLLI photographers made a big difference in coverage and freed up Ron and all of our photographers to concentrate of their favorite events.”

The photos were shared with competitors and will be used to market the 2019 games which runs from Sept. 14 to Sept. 28. They are also featured on the the NVSO website, www.nvso.us., which was just redesigned by another RSVP volunteer, Lydia Patrick

The OLLI photographers also provided great coverage of RSVP’s,  Volunteer Fairfax and Volunteer Arlington’s  MLK Day events.

“Photography is such a powerful medium . The volunteer photographers from OLLI  do such a great job of documenting so many important and meaningful community events and projects as well as covering the  volunteers that make these projects work,” Rob says.  “This group is a true community asset.”

To learn more about the great programs available at OLLI-GMU, please visit olli.gmu.edu

About RSVP

RSVP- Northern Virginia  offers more than 300 meaningful opportunities that include helping seniors age in place, assisting local food pantries, and teaching financial literacy. RSVP also recruits volunteers for various community events including the upcoming Northern Virginia Senior Olympics.

Each RSVP member  receives personalized support from our volunteer specialist who helps matches our volunteers with meaningful, social, convenient and fun volunteer experiences. This is a free service provided to all those 55 and better in RSVP’s service area.

RSVP volunteers enjoy flexible schedules, free accident and liability insurance while serving, optional mileage and meal reimbursement and are invited to volunteer group service projects and social gatherings.

Volunteering with RSVP is healthy, social and fun.

To learn more about RSVP, please visit www.rsvpnova.org.

RSVP-Northern Virginia is a program of Volunteer Fairfax, Volunteer Alexandria and Volunteer Arlington.

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