A Connecticut continuing care retirement community has gone above and beyond to recognize the dozens of volunteers who are crucial to making the facility tick.

Waveny LifeCare Network last week held a special event to honor those unpaid helpers, some who have logged thousands of hours over decades. President and CEO Russ Barksdale says their contributions have had an immeasurable impact on the facility and its service area in New Canaan, CT.

“Volunteers sometimes downplay their work and tasks as simple, or even too small to make a difference,” Barksdale said April 16. “We are here to remind them that they genuinely have a palpable and positive effect on the quality of life and health of our residents.”

More than 150 volunteers and their family and friends, along with board members and staffers, gathered last week for the reception and awards ceremony. Fifty-six volunteers were recognized for their service-hour milestones, the center said, which ranged from 50 to 5,500 hours. Another 18 volunteers received awards for their service anniversaries of five, 10, 20 and 35 years.

Volunteers help with an array of activities at the CCRC, assisting with things such as social hour, pet therapy, gardening or arranging flowers. Stella Clarke, director of volunteers, praised their commitment, with one helper logging nearly 6,000 hours over the past three decades.

“We are so thankful for your enthusiasm and sincere desire to care for others,” Clarke said.