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Healthy Beginnings honors adult, youth volunteers

BEND, Ore. - Celebrating 19 years of focusing on children, Healthy Beginnings honored two of their volunteers, naming Paul Shales Adult Volunteer of the Year and Molly Svendsen Youth Volunteer of the Year. 

The presentation took place at the program's annual Volunteer Appreciation luncheon held Thursday at Aspen Hall.  

Guest speaker was the High Desert Education Service District Superintendent, John Rexford. "We are pleased to honor two very special individuals who continually demonstrate their dedication to young children in Central Oregon," remarked Holly Remer, Executive Director of Healthy Beginnings.

Paul provides essential vision and health screening services in nearly all communities throughout Central Oregon.

At any one of our 17 screening clinics, a child and parent will find Paul offering valuable and relevant parent education and information, helping parents define and understand realistic goals while providing suggestions, helping to ensure that more children get a healthy start. 

Molly assists in the HB office, supporting the preparation process for screening clincs, helping with outreach and working with staff on our follow-up case management.

"The program is blessed to have such a great number of wonderful volunteers.  These two volunteers epitomize the dedication and commitment that is reflected throughout our volunteer corps," praised Niki Fisher, HB Volunteer Coordinator. 

Healthy Beginnings relies on volunteers to facilitate all aspects of the program.  Volunteers with all levels of experience are welcome. 

The program provides 17 free health and developmental screenings for children, birth through age 5 in Central Oregon.  It has an extensive, award-winning volunteer program and provides training for those interested.  

Healthy Beginnings is a non-profit organization supported by over 400 volunteers and is sponsored by a wide variety of generous groups in Central Oregon including the United Way of Deschutes County.  Healthy Beginnings is one of many programs offered through the High Desert Education Service District. 

For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Niki Fisher at 541-383-6357 or visit the program's website at

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