Heights senior leads through volunteerism

Photo by Sherri Kolade


Dearborn Heights resident Alice Dobson (third from left), 78, speaks to a crowd after receiving the Volunteer of the Year award in 2011 as Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko (right) looks on.

By SHERRI KOLADE
Times Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — When Alice Dobson decided to join a senior center choir she didn’t know her life would change.

The 78-year-old Dearborn Heights resident was given the chance to turn tragedy into something beautiful when she took over the choir’s pianist position after there had been a death in the group.

“I was at a point in my age — I was in my late 60s — I thought ‘I got to do something,’” the former AT&T account support representative said. “I love singing and … I can play the melody.”

Dobson then joined the Dearborn Heights Eton Center, 4900 Pardee, and has been playing for the past six and a half years. The volunteer position was originally a temporary one.

“It looks like they haven’t found anyone,” she said with a chuckle.

Because of Dobson’s volunteerism she was named the Dearborn Heights Senior of the Year for 2011.

Aside from volunteering with the Center’s choir, Dobson used to spend her time tutoring children at the Madison Elementary School, as well as leading an exercise group with eat and with the University of Michigan Fossil group where she was the organization’s secretary. She isstill an honorary member.

Mike Topor, past president of the Fossil group, said he is not surprised at any of Dobson’s volunteering.

“I knew that Alice had done volunteer work but I am certainly not surprised by how much she does,” Topor said.

In the organization, Topor was the secretary. Her husband was also a part of the group. The duo have donated fossils and many other items to the group. “If you needed something they would both be there,” Topor said. “They are helpers and doers, always were.”

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at skolade@bewickpublications.com.)