Adm. NORBERT FRANKENBERGER and GEORGE VANMATER, both of...

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

February 06, 1994|By Kevin Harrison

Adm. NORBERT FRANKENBERGER and GEORGE VANMATER, both of Annapolis.

Volunteer work: Friends for over 20 years, Admiral Frankenberger and Mr. VanMater are president and vice president, respectively, of Friends of Arundel Seniors Inc., formerly known as Arundel Senior Assistance Program.

About the organization: Friends of Arundel Seniors is a nonprofit organization that purchases and installs bathroom and other safety products for the needy elderly.

Volunteers' comments: "I saw in a motel bathroom once the helpful equipment and accessories that were there, such as hand grips. I thought such things would be nice for all the seniors of the county," said Admiral Frankenberger. "We were told by a doctor recently that it's no telling how many broken hips we've prevented.

"You can't get state grants unless your a nonprofit, so we set this up. We began with seniors who were on the telephone assistance program through the [county] Department of Aging.

"It snowballed from there. We get people through the Department of Aging and Social Services and install such things hand grips, benches for tubs. And we noticed some of the homes we were going to didn't have house numbers on them so we started putting the large easy-to-read numbers on houses. We furnish and install smoke detectors also."

Mr. VanMater said that over the past six years, the group has worked on more than 550 homes countywide. "Ninety-nine percent of the money goes into purchasing the hardware, and since we install the equipment ourselves, our overhead is virtually nil," he said.

About the volunteers: Admiral Frankenberger lives in the retirement community of Ginger Cove, outside Annapolis. A Naval Academy graduate, he retired from the Navy in 1970 and returned to the Annapolis area in 1975, after living in Memphis, Tenn.

Mr. VanMater, a resident of Annapolis for more than 25 years, is retired from the Naval Air Systems Command in Washington. He was an aviator in the Naval Reserves for 22 years.

Donations: The Friends of Arundel Seniors Inc. needs financial help to expand its work. Donations can be sent to Friends of Arundel Seniors Inc., 2666 Riva Road, Suite 160, Annapolis 21401.

"Volunteer Spotlight" is compiled by Kevin Harrison. To recommend someone, call the Anne Arundel Bureau, 315-8911, any time or fax information to 315-8916 or mail them to: The Sun for Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, Md. 21122.

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