AARP tax preparers thanked for their work

Published7/18/2008 12:05 AM

Not a one of them does it for attention, promotion or self-glory; they simply enjoy math, especially in the form of income tax figures.

They are the AARP volunteers who each year offer their abilities and time to help the less enlightened do income tax preparation at Schaumburg Township's headquarters in Hoffman Estates.


Forget the number of pencils that disappear and the lost clipboards, AARP site coordinator Bob Kaminski of Schaumburg values the experience and is grateful for the township's cooperation to the help program.

By the numbers - something Kaminski excels at - the longtime volunteer said 17 people gave 1,391 volunteer hours as they prepared 870 tax returns and did paperwork for 197 stimulus payments.

Perennial volunteer Leroy Wolff of Roselle concludes it was "a successful year even though chaotic at times." Wolff gave credit to Anna Newell, assistant director to the Senior Citizens Services Department, at a recent luncheon Newell organized to thank the volunteers.

Formerly a chemist, math-lover Jerry Newell seeks help from the community. He and his wife, Anna, who also is a Hoffman Estates trustee, recently celebrated their 25th anniversary.

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"It was an interesting year but I'd like to see more volunteers come forth," Jerry Newell said. "You don't have to be an accountant to qualify." Newell said he misses that involvement when the tax season concludes because he likes to work with numbers.

"I find it interesting because math is a pure science," Newell said. "With math you can explain most everything in the world," Newell said.

Wayne Bessett of Schaumburg, who with Kaminski leads in time served - both reached the 15-year point - is AARP district coordinator in charge of seven sites although he prepares taxes at the local facility. Those sites handled 1,797 federal tax returns.

Roselle resident Toni Girten, named recently as "Volunteer of the Year" for the township's Senior Citizens Services and who serves on the Human Services Fund Board and the Committee for Disabled Citizens, began her involvement as a tax aide when she noticed a story in the Daily Herald. Now she's hooked and serves as state coordinator for AARP Tax Aid for Northern Illinois. With her colleagues' approval she initiated tax assistance to those who serve in the active military.

Township Trustee Susan Giannone welcomed and thanked the volunteers.

Cherry Stoddard of Hoffman Estates found satisfaction in preparing the forms because, she said, the recipients are so grateful. "I love people and enjoy talking with them," Stoddard said. "It was a pleasure to volunteer."


Another Hoffman resident Joel Gibson said he left a part-time job to join the AARP tax preparers.

Others recognized at the luncheon are Carol Hall, Cheryl Krueger and Vita Gisseler of Schaumburg, Roger Kleffman, Jerry Weisburg and Dan Podraza of Hoffman Estates, Jack Kremer of Hanover Park and Nancy Mans of Roselle.

Look out for Bessett who has a sharp eye, is a crack mathematician and considers himself a recruiter and trainer.

"As soon as someone retires I recruit them into service," Bessett said.

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