Kuhn, 95, was among more than 100 nominations submitted for the 2017 Distinguished Service Awards presented by LeadingAge PA, a trade association representing more than 360 not-for-profit providers of senior housing, healthcare and community services across the commonwealth.
Among Kuhn’s many volunteer efforts is the Albright Care Services Golf Challenge, a tournament that raises funds for the residents. At 95, he still loves to play golf and was one of the top fundraisers again in 2017, raising $3,345—placing fourth among 37 fundraiser golfers and having raised a cumulative total of $21,440 in the 12 years he has played.
“Bob has made an incredible difference in the lives of other residents at Normandie Ridge through his dedicated volunteerism,” Albright Care Services President and CEO Shaun Smith wrote in Kuhn’s nomination letter. “Bob is 94 and continues to serve other seniors through supporting annual fundraising events. His compassion, loyal commitment to serving residents in his community and inspiring others to support seniors makes him a perfect candidate for this award.”
When Kuhn and his wife Pauline moved into a cottage at Normandie Ridge Senior Living Community in April 1997, it was after he had exhausted a search for a retirement home with a woodworking shop so he could continue his lifelong passion. Normandie Ridge provided a room, and his woodworking equipment was moved to the campus. He shares the woodshop with other residents, providing an outlet for creativity and an opportunity for fellowship.
“I was glad to have found a place where I can continue doing what I love to do while using my work to support others,” Kuhn said. “I use my skills to repair things at Normandie Ridge—drawers, cabinets and furniture. I also make crafts and toys for Normandie Ridge’s Anniversary Celebration every October. There are usually three of us in the woodshop, and I come every day. I’m very busy from October through Christmas.”
His handcrafted items such as toy cars, nativities, butterfly houses and crosses are purchased by fellow residents and visitors, and proceeds benefit the Normandie Ridge Auxiliary. The Auxiliary uses proceeds for purchases that enhance the quality of life for residents. For the past three years, he has also donated at least one handcrafted wooden item for the Susquehanna Conference Youth Service Fund Silent Auction, held at Annual Conference. His three donated items this year brought in a total of $470.
In addition to his woodworking, Kuhn works closely with the United Methodist Church. He is known to the preschoolers at the church as “Bob, the Builder,” since he comes to their classes and shares woodworking tips. He has a long history of assisting Bell Family Shelter, York’s only 30-day emergency shelter serving homeless families.
He is also an influential asset for the annual Grand Illumination, an event in December bringing glowing illuminations to the Normandie Ridge campus. He works year-round to gather materials for the event, and helps recruit, organize and direct the volunteers.
Normandie Ridge Senior Living Community is owned and operated by Albright Care Services, a faith-based non-profit corporation that serves all of central Pennsylvania. Albright also owns and operates RiverWoods Senior Living Community in Lewisburg; Living Independently For Elders (LIFE) sites in Williamsport, Lebanon and Lancaster, and manages Warrior Run Manor, a HUD-approved housing complex in Watsontown. For more information on Albright, visit www.albrightcare.org.