One longtime Kingston volunteer is set to be recognized in April by Gov. Jay Inslee for her service to her community.
Florence “Flossie” Mulhair is an honoree of the 2019 Washington State Governor’s Service Awards. At 95 years old, Mulhair will be specifically recognized in the Senior Corps category and will join other recipients for a special reception at the governor’s mansion in early April.
Over the course of 32 years, it is estimated that Mulhair has volunteered a whopping 6,700 hours orchestrating the Kingston dining site for Meals on Wheels Kitsap.
When asked about her stalwart service, Mulhair smiles and speaks candidly about her dedication to helping area seniors access nutritious meals, but when mention is made of her receiving recognition for her years of service, she can’t help but wince.
“At my age, you just do things and that’s it,” Mulhair said. “You don’t expect to be patted on the back or anything, you just do things because you want to do them.”
Mulhair it seems, belongs to a generation of volunteers that would rather shrug off any notion of formal recognition for their community service, in favor of the humble satisfaction in knowing they have worked to better their community.
“I started in Kingston when they opened up in August of 1987,” Mulhair recalls. Then a recent widow and with her children grown, Mulhair began working as a volunteer to occupy her time.
“It’s just a good feeling, you’re a part of a community, so why not share it?” she said.
“It’s good to be active and be around people, it’s fun,” Mulhair noted of her volunteer service. “You get attached to certain people that come in. We workers, we enjoy them all, we have steady customers, and it means a lot.”
“32 years is a long time, but the numbers as you get older, go faster,” she said. “It’s amazing how time does fly … It’s just a good thing to keep busy, some people give up and just sit in their rocking chairs. [Volunteering] keeps you happy.”
Deborah Horn, executive director for Meals on Wheels Kitsap, said Mulhair exemplifies the group’s motto: “more than a meal.”
“From her start as a founding member of our Kingston dining site team, Flossie continues to be a strong advocate for senior nutrition and has additionally enriched her community through her quiet, but steady volunteerism.”
“I am in awe when I think of Flossie and the level of commitment and involvement that she still has,” Horn said. “It may not be as large as it used to be but it is still very much key and integral to our operation here.”
Nick Twietmeyer is the editor of Kingston Community News, North Kitsap Herald and Central Kitsap Reporter. Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 360-471-9696.