FULTON, NY – When Doug Wagner retired from the U.S. Postal Service he knew he wanted to stay active and be involved with the community. He soon found that Oswego County Opportunities Nutrition Services provided him the perfect way to do so.
For the past 14 years Wagner has delivered meals for OCO’s Meals on Wheels program.
Wagner volunteered 5 days a week when he started with Meals on Wheels and delivered meals to seniors in his home town of Mexico. In recognition of his years of service Wagner has been chosen as a finalist in the WellCare Champions competition.
WellCare, which specializes in Medicare Advantage Plans, serves seniors through Central New York. It created the WellCare Champions Competition as a way to recognize the exceptional achievements of individuals in CNY that make a difference in the well-being of older adults and our local community.
The competition honors individuals who embrace older adults in helping them live a healthier and happier life, while also sharing WellCare’s goals of increasing quality of life and maximizing access to services for seniors and people with Medicare.
The impact can include but is not limited to:
– Improving the welfare of older adults
– Creating solutions for relevant issues
– Dedication to the enhancement of human health
– Advancing the cause for social justice
– Collaborating to make Central New York a better place
Wagner is one of 5 finalists that were chosen among dozens of nominees throughout CNY.
“We’re thrilled that Doug is a finalist,” said OCO Nutrition Services Coordinator Lori Halstead. “He is one of our many valued volunteers and always goes above and beyond his responsibilities as a delivery person for our Meals on Wheels program.”
“Doug is very dedicated to our program. He is compassionate about what he does and truly cares about every one of those he brings meals to. He does so much more than just deliver meals. He gets to know those on his route, spends quality time with them, and provides much needed companionship. Whether it’s watching television, friendly conversation, or eating lunch with them, Doug makes each of his clients feel special, ” she added.
In many ways, Wagner’s visits epitomize everything that is good about Meals On Wheels.
For many of the Meals On Wheels recipients the person that delivers their meal is the only person they see and have the opportunity to interact with.
“There has been more than one time that Doug’s visits made a significant impact,” said Halstead. “One day he discovered water in his client’s basement. He made his client aware of the situation and arranged for someone to come and fix the problem before any damage was done. Another time Doug arrived to deliver a meal and found that the woman had fallen during the evening and was on the floor all night. He quickly came to the woman’s aid and called for assistance. Doug’s visits are truly invaluable.”
Wagner’s WellCare Champion experience begins when he and the other finalists will be recognized as part of a pre-game ceremony at the August 2 Syracuse Chiefs game.
During the ceremony, the champions will be escorted to the field before the first pitch and a short video of their achievements will be played on the big screen.
The champions will each then be presented with a personalized trophy or plaque.
The competition culminates with the community voting for the WellCare Grand Champion and their designated charity for a chance to receive a $10,000 donation from WellCare.
The WellCare Champion that collects the most votes will be named the WellCare Grand Champion, and will be recognized at the New York State Fair with the present a $10,000 donation to their chosen charitable organization on August 28.
“We are excited for Doug and encourage community members to vote for Doug Wagner at www.wellcarechampions.com.,” said Halstead. “Doug has been an outstanding Meals On Wheels volunteer for more than a decade and is very deserving of this recognition. We would love for Doug to be voted the WellCare Grand Champion! Please vote for Doug at www.wellcarechampions.com”
Voting begins July 30 and continues through August 22. Anyone can vote daily, within a 24-hour period.
WellCare specializes in Medicare Advantage Plans with the goal of helping its members stay active, live healthy and be independent.
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.
OCO is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 100 separate locations. For more information, visit www.oco.org. Did you know? It’s OCO!