Bennie Panero, 102, has been volunteering for the past 10 years at Bethany Calgary

With over 1,000 volunteer hours under her belt, Bennie Panero, 102, has proven her dedication to helping those in need while ranking as the oldest volunteer on record at the Bethany Care Society Calgary.

Produced by: Rachel Kane

After devoting time throughout her life with various other organizations such as the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank, Panero began volunteering with Bethany Calgary in 2002 when she was 93 years old.

Each Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m., Panero arrives at Bethany Calgary ready to start her day of volunteering. Her daily activities include meeting with other volunteers and residents, pushing wheelchairs for those who are not able to move themselves to mass, attending mass and worship and bringing residents back to their rooms.

The interesting thing about Panero is that she spends most of her time working with those who are about 20 years her junior. However, she says that she doesn’t notice a big age gap and has made quite a few friends.

As a devout Roman Catholic, Panero says that her faith is a big part of what drives her to volunteer each week but above all it gives her something to get up in the morning for.

It is rare that Panero ever misses a day at Bethany but if she is out of town visiting her family or the weather is a hindrance, both staff and residents alike miss her presence.

Panero knows that she will continue volunteering for as long as she is able.

rkane@cjournal.ca