SONY DSCThe holidays are a time to reconnect, and several past board presidents and board members did just that at a lunch on Tuesday.

“It’s a special time to gather special people,” CEO Chuck Meehan said.

Each year the group gathers to reminisce and hear about new projects at Volunteers of America.

Peggy Lagersen had the longest memory. Her late husband, Victor, was president of the board when Rachel Sparks was hired as the Executive Director. She remembered going to Fort Worth and visiting the orphanage where Sparks worked.

Also in attendance was Robert Smitherman, who was board chair when Meehan was hired in 1988.

Everyone marveled at how much the organization has changed since their tenure on the board.

Meehan said when he was hired the organization had to raise about $15,000 from the community to fill in the gap between the program cost and what was guaranteed by government and United Way. Now that gap is $1.6 million.

But that change keeps many of the board members coming back.

 “I stay involved with Volunteers of America because it continues to grow in new and exciting ways that serve a real need,” said Susan Hardtner, board chair in 1984.

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