PUNXSUTAWNEY — In recognition of the more than 2,000 hours she has devoted to a variety of organizations and projects in the past twelve months, Jeanne Curtis of Punxsutawney has been chosen as the Volunteer of the Year by the Community Service Committee of the Jefferson County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR).
Her love of libraries and reading, history and research, as well as her willingness to help wherever needed have earned Curtis the gratitude of people of all ages. Her life-long involvements in her hometown were cited as the reason she was named Woman of the Year for 2005.
After her retirement as a career librarian in the Punxsutawney area schools, Curtis continued to expand her commitments to staying active in many pursuits. Her most prominent role may be her service as the Director of the Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society, for which she has been a long-time volunteer in genealogy.
She used her professional expertise as a volunteer at the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, where she helped with the Tail Wagging Story Hour for Summer Reading. Each year, she also works at the Library Days' hot dog sales. At SS.C.D., she reorganized the school library.
Known as a master of pysanky (the art of crafting elaborately decorated eggs), Curtis has shared her knowledge as a facilitator and educator with hundreds of area residents who have attended the training classes she has conducted, while collecting donations for the Crosstown Ministry Food Bank.
Each Monday finds Curtis busy as a volunteer office worker at the Punxsutawney Area Community Center; at times, she also serves as a movie manager at the Jackson Theater.
She makes time to donate to Red Cross blood drives. Continuing her enjoyment of helping children and young people, she is involved with Head Start and is a senior project mentor for students at the Punxsutawney Area High School.
Curtis is a member of SS.C.D. Roman Catholic Church, where she serves as a eucharistic minister and lector.
Her extensive participation in education, social services, religious activities and her work with youth well qualify Jeanne Curtis as PASR's Volunteer of the Year.