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Classroom volunteer named ‘Best Friend’ for Arc of Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 April 2013 at 12:00 am

Peggy Schreck spends two days a week at Rainbow Preschool

Photo by Tom Rivers – Arc of Orleans County Executive Director Kellie Spychalski, left, congratulates Peggy Schreck on receiving the agency’s “Best Friend” award tonight at Hickory Ridge Golf and Country Club.

HOLLEY – Twice a week Peggy Schreck joins classrooms of 3- and 4-year-olds, singing and playing with children at Rainbow Preschool in Albion.

Schreck spends about 12 hours a week as a volunteer with the students. She brings enthusiasm and a gentle spirit in a role that has endeared her to students, said Kellie Spychalski, Arc of Orleans County executive director.

“She serves almost as a surrogate grandmother for the kids,” Spychalski said tonight when Schreck was honored as the Arc’s “Best Friend,” one of the agency’s top awards.

Schreck has been volunteering with the Arc for about 10 years, first helping to decorate for the annual Signature Series gala. She has served on Arc committees, but she said she most enjoys being in the classroom.

“I have fun,” she said. “The kids are just precious.”

Schreck was looking for a volunteer opportunity about three years ago when she retired after a career as corporate secretary for Medina Savings and Loan.

She believes in the mission of the Arc, an agency that works with residents with disabilities.

“They do good work and they appreciate their volunteers,” Schreck said about the agency.

Spychalski welcomes more volunteers to help at Rainbow Preschool, which serves 300 children in a nursery and preschool programs.

Schreck was honored at the agency’s 33rd annual “Best Friend” dinner. About 300 people attended the event at Hickory Ridge Golf and Country Club.

The Arc presented other awards:

Community Service Award – Samantha Neal for her efforts with the Bagels Group in Orleans County.

Self-Advocate of the Year – Joseph Moltrup, who earned a degree at Genesee Community College, worked at LynOaken Farms and helped his mother at her store, Della’s Chocolates in Medina.

Heritage Award – BMP America in Medina for its years of commitment to the Arc as a sponsor of its golf tournament and other generous donations, including a van for Orleans Enterprises.

Community Worker of the Year – Michael Woodward, who has been a dedicated employee at Avanti Pizza and Grill since 2006.

Enclave Worker of the Year – Anthony Avino, a dedicated employee at Associated Brands.

Mobile Crew Worker of the Year – Tauhna Micek, who is always on time and is always positive.

Orleans Enterprises Worker of the Year – Jon Bombard, a role model to his peers.

Business Partnership Award – Chapin Manufacturing in Batavia, which contracts with Orleans Enterprises for many light packaging jobs.