Fall 2013
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Answering the questions in the Comprehensive Plan Survey allows Plano residents and businesses to be involved in the Plano Tomorrow project. The results of the survey will help identify the major issues and determine the priorities of the Comprehensive Plan.

22-Year Employee Began as a VIP


By Robin Popik


As the VIP program turns 30, I've been looking at our history.  An important piece of our past is that our VIP Program has been instrumental in trying to find talents within the volunteer pool and matching those needs with of our growing City throughout the years.  Todd Ramage's story started out like one you've heard many times before, but the employee track he took parallels the growth of the VIP Program and the City.


In the summer of 1991 Todd's wife moved to Plano for a job with EDS. He, like many others who move for their spouses, felt the free Plano Library near their apartment (which had cold air conditioning) was a good place to hang out. Todd decided he would ask about volunteer opportunities thinking it might look good on his resume. He came to the Volunteer Center of Plano, where I interviewed him and sent him back to Schimelpfenig Library as an official volunteer. Staff members there were glad to have him shelving as part of their team.  A few months later a part-time library page position became available and Todd was hired by the City.


"At the time I was younger than most of the library employees, so they thought I might know something about working on computers. I learned quickly and on the job, which was the way we did it in those days and got promoted to supporting the library's computer systems," explained Todd.  From there he moved on to desktop support for the City and was able to visit every department and get a good overall picture of the organization. "I decide to focus my interest in Public Safety Support and learn all I could," Todd continued.  The next thing he knew, he was promoted to Technology Services and supporting the Fire Department.


In 2006 Todd was promoted to Senior Programmer/Analyst over the Fire Department's computer systems.  It has been 22 years and Todd is still enjoying his job and thankful for the cool air conditioning that brought him to Schimelpfenig Library and the City of Plano.

VIP In The News!
Volunteers in Plano was featured in the October issue of Plano Profile magazine.
Trivia Answers
B, C & D 
Dear VIP's, City Staff and Partners,
Happy 30th Anniversary VIPs!

Thirty years is a major milestone for Volunteers In Plano, a vital and indispensable City program. During the past 30 years, this community of volunteers has been successful because the City of Plano has allowed us to be innovative in the programming and placement of volunteers. Volunteers, like you, have been invited to share your passions and explore your abilities. Our City of Plano staff members have been welcoming and friendly, as they look for constructive ways to enrich their areas through volunteerism.


The 30th Anniversary Celebration event is designed to honor our past and celebrate our future. We will also be honoring 460 volunteers who have given over 40 hours of service since January 2013. Throughout the next year, we will be continuing to thank and honor all our 6,000 amazing volunteers for their commitment and service. Plano VIPs are a great example of what can be accomplished and how services in all areas of the City can be elevated through volunteerism. As I look around, it is obvious the benefits of the VIP program have been far-reaching and the extensive participation of you, the volunteers, has made us a healthier City.


Because of an early vision of growth and insight, VIP became a role model program almost at inception by utilizing volunteers in pioneering ways. City office staff members welcomed volunteers as they saw their work explode due to the City's rapid growth.  Smiles and open hands were extended to volunteers in 1983 at the new Senior Center. A Homework Center in the early 1990s helped latchkey students complete their homework. A kaleidoscope of opportunities grew through the Police and Fire academies in the late 1990s and early 2000s, making the City of Plano one of the safest U.S. cities. An Emergency Response Center was created in response to Homeland Security in 2001.  Literacy, Math and Conversational English programs grew in response to our new immigrant population growth. These are just some of the innovative programs sponsored by VIP over the past 30 years.  


To me, the whole of the community is greater than the sum of its parts. Each individual has different talents and abilities, yet when joined together, the strengths and qualities of each are magnified.   Everyone can do his or her fair share by volunteering.  This is what the individuals have done in Plano and in communities across the world.   


Thank you all for being one of those wonderful individual, supervisors and City Officials who has allowed and encouraged this program to be so successful.




Robin Popik                      Corina Sadler, CVA        

VIP Supervisor                     VIP Coordinator

1980s VIP Trivia!

How many volunteer positions did the VIP Program have when it started in 1983?  
a) 7         b)  50           c) 30           d) 16


Which of the following is the most hours donated by a VIP volunteer?  
a) 8,976   b)  20,976    c)  17,772  d)  36,897


Which of the following is the correct age for the youngest/oldest VIP volunteer?

a) 16/87   b)  13/78      c)   11/81  d)  8/93


Look for answers in this newsletter.

From 13 to College with VIP Teen Program


By Sarah Tarver


Colleen Maney just started college at the University of Miami, but left the City of Plano with many admirers of her volunteer spirit. "I've been going to Haggard library since I was four years old and first moved to Plano. I grew up going to story time every week and then the summer programs when I got a little older. When I was little, I was always reading two or three books at once, so I loved the library. I found out about the opportunity to volunteer when I turned 13, so it was a natural transition for me." 


Starting in 2009 and continuing until 2013, Colleen volunteered at both Haggard and Schimelpfenig libraries, donating a total of 114.5 hours.

"I was always happy to see Colleen's name on the list of volunteers for one of our programs. I knew I could rely on her to do a great job at whatever needed to be done. She wasn't one to sit on the sidelines, waiting to be asked to do something. She would jump right in and get things done, often offering suggestions on ways to make the event run more smoothly. I loved how, during the programs, she would always find ways to engage with the kids and you could tell she was enjoying herself by the beautiful smile on her face." The words from Trisha Clark the Senior Youth Services Librarian at Schimelpfenig Library go a long way to glimpsing what a difference one teen has made.


Of course her own memories give a new light to this when Colleen admitted "I remember one instance when I was volunteering at a Schimelpfenig program helping a clown blow up balloons for all the kids and asking each of them what color/animal they wanted. There was one little girl that didn't speak much English, and I was able to use the skills I learned in my high school Spanish classes to communicate with her. I remember how excited she was to find someone who understood what she was saying, and I actually wrote one of my college essays about this experience."

She never felt as if volunteering was

a chore, which helped her fulfill her school requirements with ease, but those requirements were not why she volunteered. "I would say it helped me feel more involved in the community. I think I was also able to gain experience communicating with all sorts of people because I was much more shy when I was younger. In general, I love always seeing a familiar friendly face when I walk into the library. I'm grateful for the experiences I've had over the past 5 years." Congratulations, Colleen!

City of Plano
Volunteer Resources Group
Robin Popik, Volunteer Resources Supervisor
Corina Sadler, CVA Volunteer Resources Coordinator