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First-ever Volunteer Fair slated for June 19

For those wanting to make a difference and get involved, a June 19 "Volunteer Fair" will showcase area organizations that need helping hands.

Sponsored by Living at Home of the Park Rapids Area (LAH) and CHI St. Joseph's Health, the free event includes a keynote speaker, lunch, booths and educational sessions. It will be held at Calvary Lutheran Church.

The fair is the official kickoff for the Volunteer Park Rapids Area website as well. A small task force from ACTION Park Rapids created the customized website (https://volunteerparkrapids.galaxydigital.com) to connect altruistic residents with area organizations needing their time and energy.

"This event is all about volunteer opportunities in our community in many different organizations, which is something we have been working on with Volunteer Park Rapids Area as well," said LAH Executive Director Connie Carmichael.

Current and potential volunteers are invited to attend the fair, meet organizations actively seeking help and discover where they might fill a need. Booths will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Eric Bergeson, author of "A Treasury of Old Souls," is keynote speaker. His presentation begins at noon.

"He will spend an hour or so with us in very engaging, funny snippets from his book and life stories," Carmichael said.

"A Treasury of Old Souls" is a collection of stories about Bergeson's lifetime spent amongst a small town's aging population. Even as a young child, Bergeson found himself engaged in friendships with people in their golden years. In mid-life, he realized that his own perspective on life, death and relationships had been powerfully shaped by these unique friendships. Bergeson traces the growth of his love and understanding of the elderly from his first day of kindergarten to recent adventures with his centenarian great-aunt Olive. It is Bergeson's sixth book.

Educational sessions run from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Topics include "Finding a Balance," Dementia Friends and Volunteer Park Rapids Area. For more information, call 732-3137.

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