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Retired and Senior Volunteer Program recognizes Mikeshes and Johnstone for work in the community

COURTESY PHOTO - Pictured from left to right: My Fair Lady Princess Judy Brown (Rainier), Princess Donna Baker (Scappoose), Becky Mikesh, Bob Mikesh, Princess Kathy Bauska (St. Helens).

Bob Mikesh, Becky Mikesh and Debbie Johnstone were named Columbia County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program's Volunteers of the Month for November, a Nov. 11 press release from the volunteer program announced.

The My Fair Lady court surprised the Mikeshes at Community Meals on Nov. 5, where they volunteer as cooks.

Bob Mikesh served the United States starting in 1971 when he signed up for the Navy Seabees. He put in his four years and came back eight years later and signed up for the U.S. Army, where he served another 29 years, including a tour of Iraq. Becky Mikesh supported his service from home all that time. Now, after 33 years of serving their country, they both continue to serve those in need in the community.

When asked about their award, Becky Mikesh said, "We were caught off guard. We get more back than we put out. We enjoy helping people. This is what we enjoy doing together, is cooking."

"It was beyond me. This is our pleasure. We enjoy it. It's not that much to put out to help somebody. It's almost on autopilot now," Bob Mikesh said. According to Kathy Bauska, the Mikeshes have been cooking since almost the start of Community Meals — about eight years.

"Even when they moved to Vancouver for two years, they drove all the way over to St. Helens to cook their famous meatloaf," Bauska said.

Interestingly, Bob Mikesh added, "We never even cook meatloaf at home."

COURTESY PHOTO - My Fair Lady Princess Judy Brown (Rainier), Princess Kathy Bauska (St. Helens), Debbie Johnstone, Princess Donna Baker (Scappoose), Queen Patti Younts (Clatskanie) 

RSVP also honored Debbie Johnstone of Community Emergency Response Team as a Volunteer of the Month for November. Johnstone was recognized for the distinction at a Nov. 7 CERT meeting. The My Fair Lady court presented the award to Johnstone, who received loud applause from other CERT members.

Johnstone is a busy volunteer in her community. She has volunteered to help kids read and currently is a grief counselor for inmates at the Columbia County Jail.

"I think volunteering is the best thing you can do for yourself. Giving back to others pays you back. It gives you so much enrichment and enjoyment," Johnstone said.

She added that "CERT was a big support for me," and that she enjoys "helping those in jail look at life differently."

— The Spotlight

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