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At 100, volunteer has no plans to slow down

Posted: 5:14 PM, Oct 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-12 19:25:48-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Inside Boca Helping Hands, Mel Lazerick mans the pantry desk and hands out apples and bags of produce.

"I like to do things for other people because I've been fortunate," said Mel, who has devoted most of his life volunteering.

At 100-years-old, Mel is the oldest volunteer and donates his time to help feed the hungry three days a week. Executive Director Greg Hazle describes Mel as an inspiration.

"Just to be active at that age and active helping people is an inspiring way to live," Hazle said.

Mel has been handing out groceries at Boca Helping Hands for 20 years with a smile and a sense of humor.

"I worked it in with my golf and tennis, and I was able to find time," Mel said. "People are very nice to me, and I try to be nice to them."

Mel moved from Ohio years ago and settled in South Florida. He recently celebrated his 100th birthday at Helping Hands, and has worked side-by-side with long-time buddy Harold Bader.

"He's very well-liked. He's very hard-working, even though he's 100," said Bader, who picks Mel up and drives him home. "It made me realize age has nothing to do with your abilities to do things, and he proves that every day.

Mel has been volunteering for decades. He joined Big Brothers and Big Sisters more than 70 years ago, and he still keeps in contact with his two younger brothers.

"One is 65-years-old and one is 92," Mel said.

Now, Mel will be honored for his service on October 20, when Boca Helping Hands will celebrate its volunteers. Mel said he has no plans to slow down and hopes to volunteer for another 20 years.

 

"Unless they decide not to pay me! Right now, I'm getting nothing and they can't take it away from me," Mel joked.