50 for 50
To celebrate our 50 year anniversary, we will highlight 50 people, organizations, and groups who have influenced or made an impact in the organization over the past 50 years.These individuals have supported our mission to deliver more than a meal and we wouldn't be here today without them!
Jessica Balliew| #8
The 8th person in our 50 for 50 series is Jessica Balliew - our current Board President.
Jessica started volunteering with Meals For The Elderly in 2015 when she would help pack sack lunches for the kitchen and she joined the board the same year. She has served on the board for the past 8 years and has served on multiple committees and in various leadership capacities on the board.
A former middle school educator, her passion for health and wellness lead her to her current career at Shannon Health Club. Her leadership, passion and expertise have proven a vital asset for the organization as we continue to grow and thrive throughout the communities we serve.
We are so thankful to have people like Jessica on our Board of Directors and we truly appreciate her continued leadership and support!
Steve & Eileen Cole| #7
The 7th couple in our 50 for 50 series is Steve and Eileen Cole.
Steve and Eileen are familiar faces around the MFTE office every week. Steve has been volunteering for 5 years and is here at 5:00 am every Monday-Wednesday to help in the kitchen. Eileen has been volunteering for 4 years and helps with distribution 3 days a week. When they aren't at MFTE, Steve and Eileen both volunteer at the Wesley Soup Kitchen.
Steve won the Volunteer of the Year award at our Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon in 2023. We are so thankful for Steve and Eileen and their continued support of Meals For The Elderly.
We wouldn't be able to operate without dedicated volunteers like Steve and Eileen and we truly appreciate everything they do!
Charlyn Ocker| #6
The 6th person in our 50 for 50 series is Charlyn Ocker.
Charlyn was one of the very first program directors for Meals For The Elderly. She was hired in 1981, sharing program director duties with Charlotte Barton. Charlyn took on full time program duties in 1985 when Charlotte Barton left.
Charlyn served as CEO of Meals For The Elderly for over 40 years. She was instrumental to the success of the program. She facilitated the construction and move to the new building, and the additional add on to that building. She applied for the National Association of Meal Program (now Meals on Wheels) so we would be an affiliate program. She won multiple awards and served on various boards to advocate for our homebound recipients. Her dedication and hard work assured the success of Meals For The Elderly and allowed us to celebrate our 50th Anniversary this year.
Charlyn retired in May 2020. She enjoys spending time with her grandkids and going on multiple cruises. We thank her again for all that she did for Meals For The Elderly!
Ray Favre| #5
The 5th person in our 50 for 50 series is Ray Favre.
Ray was a longtime member of the East Angelo Lions Club and loved giving back to the community. He helped install doorbells for Meals For The Elderly recipients before he started volunteering for us in 2015.
After serving as a volunteer, Ray recieved meals before he passed away in August 2023. We appreciate his service to MFTE and all that he did for our community. He was a dedicated volunteer that won't be forgotten.
Concho Pearls Lions Club| #4
The fourth group in our 50 for 50 series is the Concho Pearls Lions Club
The Concho Pearls Lions Club was originally the East Angelo Lioness Club. In 1992, they gained their charter as the Concho Pearls Lions Club operating under the East Angelo Lions Club.
The East Angelo Lionesses started volunteering with Meals For The Elderly in 1987. Back then, we were delivering about 240 meals per day. The East Angelo Lioness Club would come into the building and make sandwiches that were sent out in the lunch sacks we delievered to help our recipients get through the weekend.
Today, the Concho Pearls Lions Club is continuing its service to Meals For The Elderly. They are in our building every Tuesday making over 650 sandwiches that we send out. These amazing ladies are a blessing to our organization and we truly appreciate their dedication and support of our mission and our organization!
San Angelo ISD Bridge Program| #3
The fourth group in our 50 for 50 series is the San Angelo ISD Bridge Program (Formerly 18+)
Students in this program gain work experience after graduation by volunteering at various buisnesses around town. This wonderful group of students volunteers at Meals in the mornings during regular school days. They decorate bags, bag snack, and do various other duties around the office as needed.
The students are an absolute joy to have in the office and we love seeing their smiling faces every day. Tawnya, their Job Coach, does amazing work with them. We appreciate their service to Meals For The Elderly!
Hazel Dooley| #2
The second person in our 50 for 50 series is Hazel Dooley, who was also instrumental in the implementation of our program.
Before joining Meals For The Elderly, Hazel was a teacher for many years and served as the director for the Texas A&M Expanded Nutrition program until the program completed it's mission in 1973.
After the A&M Program was complete, Hazel took her nutrition expertise and joined the Meals For The Elderly team. She worked with Mary Alice to try and secure funding for the program.
Hazel served as the first dietician and director for the program when it operated out of the old barracks building. She would shop for groceries, plan the meals, set up routes, get volunteers, and contact merchants and individuals for donated items needed in the kitchen.
While Mrs.Dooley wasn't with the program for long, she still made a lasting impact as her work at the beginning, set the program up for long lasting future success.
Mary Alice Rodgers | #1
The first person in our 50 for 50 series is Mary Alice Rodgers, founder of Meals For The Elderly. We would not be an organization without her.
Mary Alice had a vision of delivering hot meals to the homebound elderly in San Angelo 5 days a week. She worked tirelessly to make this a reality and secure funding for the program by attending city council and county commissioner meetings as well as appearing on the local news station.
Her vision came true in 1974 when 16 recipients recieved lunch meals delivered to them by 4 volunteers. She continued to be active in the program until she became ill and attended her last board meeting in July, 1982. She passed away in 1991 but her memory will live on forever in the organization she helped create.