Reporter’s notebook: Tax-Aide volunteers honored

Lucinda Bonney, program director for the Curry County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, strives to personalize the group’s annual banquet by recognizing a different branch of the 157-member organization. This year, Bonney said, the AARP-Tax Aide volunteers stood out.

“It really hit me — they have a real impact on our communities. I never realized how much they actually do,” Bonney said.

The 14 volunteers of the AARP-Tax Aide Program can be found hard at work at the Roy Walker Recreation Center at 316th W. 2nd St. and Baxter Hall at 908 Hickory until April 15 — the end of the tax return season. The program has offered free income tax preparation to the community’s low-income and senior citizens for more than 15 years.

“One gentleman who works at Baxter took a random sample of 50 returns and the average was $175 per return,” Bonney said. This translates into a community excess of $8,500 — funds which are returned to the community’s low income families and senior citizens, Bonney said.

The gala event held last week included a fancy feast of chicken cordon bleu and apple cobbler, as well as a speech about the meaning of volunteerism and patriotism by 27th Fighter Wing commander, Col. John Posner.

Posner compared the service of the volunteers to the wind. Without volunteers, Posner explained, a community, like planes without winds to support them, couldn’t soar.

Reporter’s notebook was compiled by CNJ staff writer Marlena Hartz. Suggested items may be mailed to managing editor Rick White at P.O. Box 1689, Clovis 88102. The e-mail address is: rick_white@link.freedom.com