READ Center’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year

Longtime area resident Lonny Bates, who has made an unwavering commitment to help the less fortunate in the area for almost three decades, was named the READ Center’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year.

“Lonny will help anybody in need,” said READ Center Executive Director Susan Peterson, “and he never asks for anything in return.”

Bates has lived in Clayton for 40-plus years, worked at ALCOA in Addy for more than two decades, until the plant closed in 2001 due to high energy prices and the low worldwide cost of magnesium. 

He began volunteering with the fledgling GreenHouse Community Center at the Zion Lutheran Church in Deer Park, and became a fixture with the organization. He stayed with the GreenHouse until last year when he joined the READ Center. His current duties include serving as the Center’s maintenance supervisor and property manager, arranging pick-ups and deliveries of donations, and keeping the Center’s vehicles in operation.

Bates has also been known to help people with moving and providing needed transportation. 

“Lonny’s strength is if you are in need he’ll help you out,” Peterson said.

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