Jefferson Award Winner Helping Out Peninsula Seniors For 50 Years

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Jefferson Award winner Ann Griffiths. (CBS)

Jefferson Award winner Ann Griffiths. (CBS)

MENLO PARK (KPIX 5) — For fifty years, she’s been making life richer for senior citizens and older adults on the Peninsula. This week’s Jefferson Award winner is a woman who calls herself a jack of all trades.

When Ann Griffiths isn’t selling homes, you’ll likely find the 79-year-old real estate broker volunteering. For more than 50 years, she’s served older adults as a member of the Peninsula Volunteers.

“There’s so many people that don’t have anybody,” Griffiths said thoughtfully. “I’m an only child so I can relate.”

One of her many duties is delivering Meals on Wheels to senior citizens.

“I know there was a real need to help socially, with their brains, physically they needed to be healthy and eat properly and be around someone besides the family,” Griffiths explained.

In 1962, Griffiths got her first assignment for Peninsula Volunteers, while delivering her third daughter in the hospital.

“Dr. Jamplis, whose wife was my den mother, Bobbi, came in to my delivery room and gave me my raffle tickets to sell!” Griffiths remembered. “I sold them to my OB.”

Over the years, Griffiths has delivered for the Peninsula Volunteers, or PVs, in a range of roles: from president in 1974 and frequent fundraiser, to events planner, who organized programs at the group’s Little House Activity Center.

Today, PVs provide low-cost housing to 82 percent of Menlo Park’s older adults and deliver 250 meals a day to the homebound.

Past president Jill Jerrehian said Griffiths has helped the 65-year-old nonprofit fulfill its mission.

“She’s a visionary,” Jerrehian said. “She sees our organization not as stagnant, but it’s moving forward, moving with the times.”

For example, Griffiths started showcasing local artists’ work at the PVs’ activity center. And she and her late husband helped start — and underwrite — an annual benefit featuring famous authors.

“The fact that her enthusiasm hasn’t waned and her commitment is as great as ever, that’s what makes her stand out,” said PV President Pat Wilkinson.

“I’ve done other volunteer work, but just seeing older people and helping them has been the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Griffiths added.

So for more than fifty years as a faithful Peninsula Volunteer, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Ann Griffiths.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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