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Plum man nominated for state senior volunteer award

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Nina Segelson didn't think twice about a nominee for a contest recognizing senior volunteers.

Segelson, executive director of the Plum Senior Community Center, knew Jeff Pope, vice president of the board of directors, was the man.

Pope, a stroke survivor who also is senior vice commander of the Plum American Legion Post 980, several years ago restarted a stroke support group that had become defunct. The group provides information, activities and opportunities for socialization.

“He has a genuine interest in the welfare of folks,” Segelson said.

Segelson nominated Pope, 72, of Plum for a Salute to Senior Service award sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care network. The award honors the contributions of adults 65 and older who give at least 15 hours a month of volunteer services to their favorite causes.

Pope is one of 68 nominees in the state and one of four from the area to be nominated for the award.

Pope said he is humbled by the nomination.

“I just do what I do every day,” Pope said. “I don't ask for the accolades. When I see someone doing better, that is all the reward I need.”

The stroke survivor group meets each Thursday at the center. Segelson said many in the group have mobility problems, and Pope steps up to pick up the group members and drive them to meetings.

Segelson said participating in the group helps members maintain some normalcy in their lives.

Segelson said Pope goes above and beyond in his duties.

“We have lost three members over a period of three months,” Segelson said. “Jeff sat with them in the hospital when they lay dying. To be sure, that is not an easy thing to do, but so important.”

Online voting to select state winners goes through April 30 at

After one winner from each state is selected by popular vote, a panel of senior experts will choose the national Salute to Senior Service honoree from those 50 finalists.

State winners will be announced June 9, and the name of the national winner is set to be released June 30.

The national winner receives a $5,000 donation to a nonprofit charity of choice.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or

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