Every member has a story of how as a Pioneer they have embraced the "Spirit of Service" as exemplified by Bell System lineman, Angus Macdonald, who in 1888, braved a blizzard to maintain telephone service.  It's these memories, dreams, hopes, fellowship and shared commitment to Answering the Call of Those in Need that connects us as Pioneers.  Read memories and wishes shared by fellow Pioneers in honor and celebration of Pioneers' Centennial.

"I remember delivering small decorated Christmas trees to the children hospitalized in St. Louis Children's Hospital. They were a perfect size for the children's trays.  I also remember participating in the 'dress a doll' project to provide dolls to children at Christmas time.  Both were meaningful and well received."  Elaine Schwenker

"In 1987 as president of the MidState Empire Chapter in NY, one of our life members suggested that we clean the Appalachian Trail.  I explained that we were already doing a section of it every year and he said no I mean the whole trail.  I thought that it was a great idea and pursued it.  We spent over 500 hours mapping out sections of the trail and determining how many people would be needed for each section of the trail, coordinating the pickup of the trash removed, etc.  In April 1988 over 2,000 volunteers cleaned the entire trail over a single weekend. The weather cooperated in the north but there was snow on the south. My entire family took part as I'm sure was the case with other volunteers as well. I'm very thankful to my Chapter administrator Cliff Genez and all of the many member of the MidState Empire Chapter for their efforts to make this project a "Great one"."  John A. Bauman, AT&T Pioneer - Florida Chapter #39

"God bless you all and continue your service as long as you are able."
Bill Behrens, Verizon Pioneer - Leonard H. Kinnard Chapter #7

"I look back at the great times as a member of the Community Relations team we set up our tents at the fairs.  They were in August so it was very hot and we only had fans to help cool us. We showed our wares to the many visitors that were impressed with our products.  All the members pitched in and even though we were tired and dirty at the end of the day, we felt pretty good about our deeds.  It was a great time and I miss all members that I worked with. I hope they are still carrying on the tradition.  Best of luck to all." 
Fred Simmon, Verizon Pioneer - Alexander Graham Bell Chapter #15

"My wife and I delivered food to a family of five so they could enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner in 1971.  I'll never forget the look of joy in the Mother's eyes it touched my heart."
  Phil & Brenda Kraus, AT&T Pioneers - Kansas Chapter #62

"I became a Pioneer after 20 years of service with AT&T in Parsippany NJ. After I became a Pioneer, I brought into Parsippany venders selling sports memorabilia, clothes,and household items, home decor etc.  The proceeds that the venders gave me were sent to Headquarters.  I made some new friends at the same time - it was very rewarding for me." 
Catherine L Gotta, AT&T Pioneer - MidAtlantic Chapter #126

"My favorite of all time was being a Clown for the Telephone Pioneers in Florida.  I know we had more fun then the average Clown in a Circus.  Being a Clown during the Handicap Olympics was such a rewarding experience.  My husband and my young son joined in several Clowning Events.  Blessings." 
Joyce Roberts Simoes, AT&T Pioneer - Florida Chapter #39

"One of my most proudest moments of being a Pioneer was when in 2005.  One of our projects was doing a project with the Library of Congress.  It was V.E.T.S.  (Volunteers Ensure Their Stories).  Our members interviewed Veterans about their service.  As a state project we interviewed 235 veterans from all of the wars from WWII to the Iraq war.  Upon completion, my husband & I planned a trip for any of the interviewers, interviewees, or just anyone who wanted to go to the Library of Congress to present these tapes/CD's.  We were given a special reception by the Library of Congress.  Each person who chose to, were given the opportunity to say something about their experience. and present their tape (s).   It was a very emotional event.  The Library of Congress gave us a personal tour of their building.  I believe this was the trip of a lifetime for all of our Pioneers."
Amber Jaynes, AT&T Pioneer - Georgia Chapter #124

"One of my favorite memories was in May 1984. It was right after divestiture and AT&T sponsored the Olympic Torch Relay, with all Pioneer volunteers. It began it NY and ended in L.A. Nine members of Liberty Bell Chapter, now a Verizon sponsored company, were part of the second leg of the trip, which had a total of 109 volunteers. There were only 6 women on our leg of the relay. We were treated like royalty!"  
Ellie Dickerson, Verizon Pioneer - Liberty Bell Chapter #6/Upper Darby Council

"When I was President of Three Rivers in St Louis, MO, there was a young boy that had brittle bone disease.  He wasn't able to go to school.  We heard about him, and said why don't we buy him a game he could use over the television set.  We bought the game and took it to him.  It didn't take him long to open it  and right away he wanted it connected.  After I got it set up he wanted me to play him.  Well, he beat me bad.  As we were getting ready to leave, his mother and he had to give us all a big thanks and a hug.  Makes you feel good and at Christmas, we got a picture of him with a big smile.  Made it all worthwhile.  Glad to be a Pioneer." 
James Bottorff, AT&T Pioneer - Missouri Chapter #11/Durant Life Chapter

"Dorothy Johnson was President of H.W. Schroeder chapter.  Dorothy asked me to chair a position in our club.  I was 42 years old when I started working for Wi Bell, I did not have the years of service at  that time.  I told her I was not a Pioneer.  She then asked me to chair Junior Pioneers.  I chaired that & chaired other positions for several years.  I try to attend our monthly luncheons every month.  I'm so proud & happy to belong to our Pioneer chapter."
  Margaret Vitense,  AT&T Pioneer - Wisconsin Chapter #4

"I worked for Michigan Bell in Flint, MI for 32 years. I always worked & enjoyed working with the balls with the Blind and Special Olympics.  What a great time we all had." 
Mary Green, AT&T Pioneer - Michigan Chapter #10

Years before I was eligible to become a Pioneer, I had an chance to help in the repair of the Commission Of The Blind's (Talking Book Machines).  At that time, the repair shop was located in the Commisions building.  I continued this activity until I became a Pioneer and shortly thereafter, we moved the repair shop to the NWB Plant Training Center.  Soon I became responsible for the repair and distribution of Talking Books.  I continued in this capacity until I retired in Jan. 1983."  Don Powers

"For many years, my friend and I attended different schools, dressed as clowns and taught 911 as part of the Pioneer program.  One particular school called on us every year on career day.  We presented a program, had questions and answers and did a little magic for the children.  They really enjoyed the clowns.  We had the attention of each and every child.  If we only helped one child in the case of an emergency, we did our job.  My friend, Tillie Janis, is now deceased, but I know she would have loved to share this memory with all the Pioneers."  Dorothy Klodnicki, AT&T Pioneer - Ohio Chapter #2

"I was a clown in the Pioneers south in Birmingham AL.  I was the clown cheer person and I enjoyed clowning at childrens hospitals.  Those children were such a pleasure and had the most wonderful outlook on life I have ever seen.  It always blessed my heart to be with them.  I also helped train some clowns.  My life as a Pioneer was a wonderful experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything." Wanda Means, AT&T Pioneer - Alabama Chapter #34

"My first project was painting a playground map of the United States.  I met both active members and life members that day and saw the joy and camaraderie that they had but when some of the school children showed up to see what we were doing and I saw the joy on their faces, I knew I wanted to be a Pioneer.  Shortly after that I became the map co-ordinator for the council.  Since then, I have moved up to be the chapter President.  Now as a life member, I will continue to do good for our communities we live in.  There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child.  Well with organizations like the Pioneers we make make it easy.  With our projects such as dictionaries, toy drives, back to school supplies, clothes , drives etc. we help those in need.  We are celebrating out 100th anniversary next year and I know I will do my best to make sure we will be around another 100 years at least. I am proud to be a member of this organization.  Thank you for the privilege."  Gabe Olah, Verizon Pioneer - Mountain Empire Valley Chapter #9

"My husband and I have always enjoyed the Pioneer Conventions especially the 50th Pioneer Convention.  We still have our shirts with the 50th anniversary logo on it!  We wear it proudly because we feel the Pioneers are a wonderful organization that helps a lot of people in need.  In our younger days we have helped with handicap ramps, worked at USC football games for fund raisers, Pioneer Appreciation Day and the Red Ribbon Campaign at the State House.  We still support the Pioneers but we mainly help by donating charitable contributions.  We are looking forward to the 100th anniversary of the Pioneers!"  
Willie T. and Ingar D. Vining, AT&T Pioneers

"My father was a long-time telco employee and Pioneer member.  I remember participating with him in our local “Shoe Day” project (All God’s Children Shall Have Shoes) for many years before I became a telco employee and Pioneer member.  His example through Pioneering, led me to continue my volunteer efforts as I “grew up” in the organization.  I continue to honor his memory by volunteering in excess of 1100 hours per year with the Pioneers." 
Marsha Mower, AT&T Pioneers - Illinois Chapter, Life Member Council/Decatur Life Member Club 

My favorite Pioneer memory is of a wheelchair ramp that we built for a young girl that was born without any eyes and mentally challenged. Her family had just moved to Louisiana from California and her father had not found a job yet.  We had 6 volunteers go to their trailer on a Saturday in October and it took us about 4 hours to complete the ramp.  When it was complete, the father wheeled the young girl onto the platform of the ramp so she could feel the cool outside air.  As soon as she realized she was outside, she smiled the most beautiful smile that I have ever seen.  It is the first time that I have ever seen 6 grown men cry. Tears of happiness flowed freely, and not one person regretted giving up their Saturday. Memories like this one are why I love being a Pioneer."  Lynn Fields, AT&T Pioneers - Louisiana Chapter 24, LeBayou Council 

"I was an employee at Western Electric Co. in Solon, Ohio for four summers when I was in college. I joined the Brecksville Club about seven years ago.  In 2008, the Brecksville Club made a very generous donation to ARC: All Reading Children.  ARC was a non-profit program, funded by the Akron Community Foundation and others and located on Twinsburg Square.  It had been in existence for over five years.  I had been a tutor there for a little over two years, teaching reading skills to children with reading disabilities, whose desperate parents brought them to the school when nobody else could help.  Everything about ARC was special; the suite of rooms located on the top floor over a dry cleaners, restaurant and next door to the old library building; the books, rewards program for the students, afternoon gatherings for staff and teachers from the local schools, the toys for the children.  Everything seemed touched by the love and attention of those who had fostered this very unique place.  It was the only school of its kind which had a reasonably priced Wilson Reading Program with tutors especially geared to teach it.  The children made the program so special; children who came for assistance in basic reading skills to aid them in going on to lead more productive lives and to function more effectively in society. Children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and autism found a home there along with students who just needed help with subjects such as math or English. Many students were helped over the years and parents who had frequently given up found new hope after discovering ARC.  Although ARC has closed, the tutors have gone on to instruct reading and other skills elsewhere.  The sentiment of those who worked at ARC and the children who attended this extraordinary program are not gone, but will continue to live through those who have been touched in some way by the events that occurred on Twinsburg Square and through the Pioneer organization that contributed so generously to this very unique school and the children who attended it."
  Linda Masek, AT&T Pioneers - Ohio Chapter 2

"We still run to this present day, the Doll and Toy Campaign, collecting dressed dolls, donated toys, scarves, mittens, hats, gloves and blankets and distribute them to the needy children.  Alot of these families are very poor.  It has been a tradition of Bell Labs since the 1930s and a team of about 20 people here still care enough to keep it going and help them.  That’s what our purpose is in life, to love each other and help each other on the earth any way we can, and don’t ask for a thing back.  We, on our team, feel like the Saint Nicholas’ of today and wake up on Christmas day ourselves knowing we provided many happy children some needed warmth  for their bodies and/or a toy to make them a little happier."  A
nita Anderson, New Outlook Pioneers

"My most memorable volunteering time is the Special Olympics.  There is nothing more rewarding then to have an athlete run up to you with their medal(s) around their neck and their chests pumped up with pride, hollering, "Look what I won".  It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over." 
Donna Doutre, Canadian Pioneers - Acadia Chapter #49, Marigold Club

"I have many fond memories of my early days when things were simple and we were just a few.  One I think that made me so very proud to be a Pioneer was dressing up in a Donald Duck costume (looking silly) and visiting the children's hospital.  These children in a lot of cases were there without family members as they came from various parts of the Province.  The hospital administration asked for volunteers to visit the children, that's when I had the "bright" idea to make the project a little more meaniful for these kids.  Being an emotional person, I didn't know how I could get through a visit without being teary eyed so I decided that I would wear a costume to hide my fears and my tears so Donald Duck was made and of course I had to have Daisy as well.  The only problem I had was that I wasn't good at sounding like Donald even though we looked like the real thing!  The children showed such resilience in such a difficult time in their young lives and they were so thrilled to have us visit, tell stories, laugh, and hug  with a promise to return. That project continued for years and to this day holds very special memories for me as a Pioneer.  I could write a book on all of my memories in Pioneering, this is just a simple task that brought me such joy and meaning."  
Barbara Butt, Canadian Pioneers - Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter #105

"I have memories of so many people and activities. We Pioneers worked on environmental projects, cleaning highways and preparing camps for kids. We sponsored bingo for residents at nursing homes; they mostly enjoyed our attention and getting dollars for prizes. We stitched hug-a-bears and caught up on each other’s busy lives as we worked together.  I remember playing beepball with visually impaired kids and adults. When I attempted to take a position, complete with blindfold, I quickly gained a new appreciation for the visually impaired. I was in awe of their skills, abilities, and especially their positive “can do” attitude.  Many fond memories of helping in the public schools also come to my mind. We Pioneers read to the students, provided playground maps and other learning tools, sponsored student’s concerts at the Bell Atlantic offices, and provided career day opportunities. I had the pleasure of mentoring a South American girl in elementary school for three years. Initially she was very shy and having a difficult time with school. As we worked together each week, I saw wonderful changes in her personality and in her learning skills. She blossomed and we became buddies. We corresponded for several years after our years of tutoring. I will always cherish that experience."  Lin Kogle, Verizon Pioneers - Alexander Graham Bell Chapter

"I was delivering A Book About Me, a personalized reader, to a 2nd grade class in downtown Atlanta.  I introduced myself and told the students I was a Pioneer and worked for AT&T.  Before I handed out the books to the students, I asked if anyone knew what AT&T did.  Nobody raised their hand.  Finally, a young boy in the front row raised his hand and innocently said, “They turn off your phone when you don’t pay your bill”.  I was stunned and the teacher nearly fell out of her chair laughing hysterically.  I managed to recover and let the students know what AT&T and the AT&T Pioneers did in our communities.  And it was the last time I ever asked that question before handing out the books! "
  Keith Pounds, AT&T Pioneers Region Manager, GA, NC, SC, TN and TX

"The most spectacular event of Fellowship I remember was the Pioneer Assembly in Vancouver, BC in the '90's.  In conjunction with the Assembly, a well organized Alaskan cruise. Thank you to all the Canadians on a well planned Assembly and Fellowship event."  
Maryalyce Morrissey, Verizon Pioneers - William J. Denver Chapter #20

"Myself and 4 sisters all worked for the Indiana Bell Co. at the same time.  Our Mother also worked for the Co. many years ago for two years around 1920.  Four of us retired from the Co. in South Bend, IN.  The other sister also worked off & on at Michigan Bell in Niles, Mi."  
Joan Jurek, AT&T Pioneers - Indiana Chapter #16

I started working for the telephone company in Bremerton, Washington in 1940.  Since I didn't have a lot of service, they put me on the night shift.  I had finished my shift and was ready to leave when the Chief Operator came running and said "Come back, we need you!"  The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor and most of our ships were destroyed or sunk.  All of the operators came back to help.  It was certainly a big job.  In Washington state, I  worked in Bremerton, Seattle and Olympia.   In Oregon state, I worked in The Dalles and Portland.  I worked as an operator when I moved around during the war.  Finally settling in The Dalles, Oregon where I worked as Evening Chief Operator and then Chief Operator.  The office closed in 1973 and I went to Portland, Oregon.  In 1976, I retired and moved back to The Dalles." Helen George - Qwest Pioneer

"I have a Pioneer memory that I would like to share.  We were doing our very first reading of the I Like Me Book in a local school.  We had just given all the books out and finished reading them with the grade 1 children.  I had to return to where we left our coats to get my coat and I was walking by the class that we had just read to.  I happened to look in and saw a little girl with her book, she was holding it up and kissing it.  It brought tears to my eyes that we could make that much of an impact on a little girls life with a $10 book." 
Judy Graves - Canadian Pioneers, Pioneer Administrator, Chapter 49

"I hired on with Ohio Bell April 24, 1972.  I recently retired with 38 years with AT&T.  I spent 10 years in the central office (CLMBOH25), then 10 years testing circuits and the last 18 working instillation/repair special services and Hicap installation/repair.  One of my major assignments was Port Columbus Airport, where I installed all  the presidential circuits.  From being a tester and my outside work, I have had the pleasure of having dinner with every president from Ronald Reagan to George W Bush and actually got to meet and shake hands with President Bush.  I have truly had a wonderful career with the phone co and have had some wonderful experiences." 
John Titko - AT&T Pioneers, Ohio Chapter #2

"It is the small things that keep us volunteering. I have two stories. The SaskTel Pioneers in Regina Saskatchewan did a large project with the Regina Lutheran Home. The project consisted of re-doing a large outdoor space. With the help of contractors we replaced the cement. We  then  created garden space, raised beds, and therapeutic beds accessible by wheelchair. We added plants including grapes, trees, shrubs and perennials.  We had one resident take regular walks in the area to monitor the progress. The day we had the therapeutic beds ready to plant she was out there in her good white clothes. With mud to her elbows, she spent the afternoon helping plant various herbs, flowers and vegetables.  The enjoyment she got from planting was worth all the effort. The second story is related the Santa Face to Face program we have in Regina. It has been running for over 20 years. This project provides children with mental and physical disabilities to gather in one location, have a personal elf for the morning event, enjoy entertainment and food and get a one on one visit with Santa.  I was dressed as a clown along with my daughter  and we were helping to entertain the children. One of the teachers that accompanied the children indicated that she had brought a small boy that was terrified of clowns.  She pointed him out to us. We kept our distance during the event but noticed that he was watching us play with the other children. We made him a hat with balloons and gave to his Elf to put on him. As the morning went on he was participating with other children and got closer and closer to us. When it was time to leave he asked to see the clowns and gave us a big hug. What a transformation in just a few hours and what a reward for doing volunteer work." 
Jolene Norleen - SaskTel Pioneers, Prairie Council Club 

"My best times with the Pioneers were finding all the families who couldn’t afford anything for Christmas for their family and adopting them out to wonderful volunteer families.  We all participated in adopting, gathering presents, wrapping and delivery of wanted presents prior to Christmas Eve.  The best rewards were the beautiful hand written cards from the families, extending their appreciation to us for making their family’s Christmas, one that they wouldn’t forget by the kindness shown to them.  I enjoyed the whole process of finding people to adopt the families and the best part – purchasing and wrapping of the gifts."  
Katherine Fritz - AT&T Pioneers, Missouri Chapter #11

When I worked at Bell Laboratories in the 1970s, local Pioneers were converting small transistor radios into hearing aids.  When the conversion was complete, the radio portion no longer functioned. I found a small audio amplifier, available at Radio Shack, that was fairly easily converted to a smaller sized unit after the speaker was removed, a microphone was added, and the case shortened. These were very popular at the time and we made quite a number of them to give to the hearing impaired.” 
James McEowen - New Outlook Pioneers, Penn Jersey Chapter

For the last 22 years the SaskTel Pioneers have a Santa's visit for children with special needs. Today it is done with Santa in the room. 10 years ago it was done using video conference. Our pioneers dress up as elves and there is enough volunteers so every child can have an elf with them for the entire event. When I was president of Prairie Council in Regina I was invited to take part and work with the media. When one of the children was taken to the room to visit Santa, the media that attended and I where invited in to witness the event. There was also the child's elf and his parents. The child could walk, but needed the assistance of canes and spent most of the time in a wheel chair. What happened next is something I will never forget. Santa came on the screen to talk to the child and the kids eyes lit up. He got out of his wheel chair and slowly walked to the screen yelling "Santa, Santa". The room was totally silent with everyone focus on that little boy. There was not a dry eye in the place and you could see the appreciation on the faces of the parents through their tears. We do a lot of projects and with many of them we rarely get to see the difference we make in people's lives. This time I got the honor of seeing it for myself."  Darrell Liebrecht, Pioneer Director - SaskTel Pioneers

"In loving memory of Glenda Buchanan - Once upon a time, back in 1994 my Pioneer mothers Glenda Buchanan and Carol Canady and the Nashville Life Member volunteers heard about emergency crews needing little bears to give to the children they aided. Out came the needles and thread and this little hug-a –bear was born along with all my hug-a bear friends to be adopted by boys and girls in Tennessee.  Then one day the Pioneers thought why not let the bears carry a book and my cousins the “Read with Me” bears were born.  They wore backpacks just like the students who adopted them to love and read to.  The Pioneers weren’t done yet – they added Braille cards to these cousins so that the Nashville Non-Sighted School’s students could have bears to love.  Always aware of needs, our creative mothers thought why not teach children safety.  So after more sewing and stuffing ”Buckle Bears” were born wearing seat belts.  Then why not design “Water Safety Bears” so life jackets we wore and more lessons we taught.  They didn’t forget 911, my fellow “911 Bears” with their telephones taught that as well.  One special bear to my mother Glenda’s heart was just that a “Heart Bear” made for the Children’s Alliance for Abused Children for each child helped by the center.  Now you may think it strange for this little hug-a-bear to be telling our story but over 14,000 of us have gone to live with special children.  The Nashville Life Member Club is so busy sewing and stuffing that I just had to tell the story for them.  They took a simple bear like me and embraced the true spirit of change and need." 
Melinda Davis - AT&T Pioneers, Tennessee Chapter #21

"The number of Americans over the age of 40 who are at risk for age-related eye disease and other vision threatening conditions continues to increase.  This is why the Jackson Tennessee Life member club’s Prevent Blindness project is so important to West Tennessee.  The Pioneers assist volunteer doctors as they screen eyes for three health centers in Bolivar, Stanton and Henderson and two Senior Citizens Center in Lexington and Parsons Tennessee.  The clients at risk are referred to area doctors who prescribe glasses or treatment to prevent blindness.  For those who cannot afford the needed glasses the Pioneers and centers have partnered with the Prevent Blindness organization to ensure all needs are met.  The Life Member Club furnishes reading glasses for those whose vision problems can be corrected with this simple solution.  The club has 3 machines they use to test for glaucoma pressure and 6 members trained to provide this service.  During the past six years this group has tested 20-25 at each session possibly saving sight for over 1200 people.  This project truly reflects the heart of Pioneering.  According to current club President Anne Dowdy “It is a great feeling to help someone see.”  
Anne Dowdy - AT&T Pioneers, Jackson Tennessee Life Member Club

"As a member of the Bell Aliant Pioneers I was asked by Father Dunn to check out the audio loop as one of his parishioners complained it wasn’t working properly. With a good friend, Earl Spinner who was hearing impaired and wore two hearing aids, both with “T” switches, we went to Mass on a Wednesday morning. As we sat at the back waiting for the service to commence, unbeknownst to us Father Dunn is replaced by the Bishop. He enters and begins to speak. At the top of his lungs, his voice reverbrating through the church, Earl says, “Don, I can’t hear a word he is saying”. Instantaneously, the entire congregation, choir along with the Bishop turned and look at us. With my entire body turning beet red, the Bishop with a big smile turns on his mike. Earl’s hearing aids turned to the “T” position allowed him to hear the service; proving that the loop was working properly."  Don Spence - Bell Aliant Pioneers, Acadia Chapter

My Pioneers memories go back to 1978 when I participated in the Atlanta, Georgia, Southern Bell Chapter at Headquarters.  We had a wonderful group very active in community support; and, also just having fun with many conventions, softball games, and picnics!  The group was so much fun!"  Ilene Meggison
- AT&T Pioneers, Georgia Chapter #124

"In 1976 (I think) I was a long distance operator in Regina.  A lady called in and had caught her hand in the wringer washer.  I got her call and immediately called the Police.  In those days, there was no 911 and I believe the Police dispatched the ambulance.  The next day, she called in and asked who the operator was that provided such efficient service.  She was told operator 163, because they did not give out names back then.  You were a number.  She called back to commend operator 163.  My supervisor wrote it up and it went in my personnel file."  Janet Reap - SaskTel Pioneers

"The Pioneers do such amazing work that it is hard to pick just one story. I do have one experience that I think of whenever the question comes up regarding the impact that Pioneering has on those around us. About 10 years ago in Saskatoon Saskatchewan a number of pioneers delivered back packs to an inner city school classroom. It was in the winter time and obviously during the cold and runny nose season. The teacher seemed very happy that we were there but when the kids
started pulling out boxes of Kleenex from their back packs there was no doubt about it - she got all choked up. She was extremely touched and grateful for this wonderful gift. It reminds me that even when we think that our acts of kindness seem small, the impact is often dramatic. Thank you pioneers, keep up the great work"  Ken Keesey Vice-President – Customer Services – Sales, SaskTel & Pioneers Advisory Board

"On one occasion in 2010, I was a volunteer photographer with the Regina Food Bank for their annual golf tournament at the Deer Valley Golf Course.  I was stationed at one of the tee-off locations taking pictures of all the groups as they progressed through the tournament.  There was quite a mixture of people and their teams.  One person in a group was dressed in an argyle pattern outfit with short-leg pants.  The last foursome were 3 retired Saskatchewan Roughriders, namely Bob Kosid, George Reed, Carm Carteri and Ben Hebert from the Alberta men’s curling team that won a gold medal in the winter Olympics of 2010.  At the end of the event I took a picture of a couple of volunteers sitting on the back bumper of a cube truck.  They were sitting for a short while facing the setting sun.  They allowed me to take their picture.  At the end of the day, one of the main organizers said to me, thank you for being a volunteer.  I appreciated that.  A short while later my wife came to pick me up.  We were invited to the buffet dinner which was a pleasant surprise, so we stayed a while longer.  In closing, we all have a part to play as volunteers, in order to assist in fund raising events for those less fortunate than ourselves."  Barry Munro - SaskTel Pioneers

"My best Pioneer memory is a love story, how the love of Pioneering and volunteering lead to my happy ever after story.  I first met Rick while we were attending the annual assembly is Indianapolis in 93.  We both were representing our local Tennessee councils – he the Knoxville area and me the Jackson area – about 300 miles apart.  Our 2 councils had always competed for the Tennessee Council of the Year.  That competition developed our Pioneer friendship leading to our first date – Dipping DOGS at a state meeting.  After long distance dating for 8 years we married.  Our honeymoon was spent volunteering at the Bellsouth Senior Golf Classic in 2001.  We love our Pioneer family who helped bring us together. Now 10 years later we continue to be active in Pioneering and the love story continues."  Melinda Davis - AT&T Pioneers, Tennessee Chapter #21 

"I started in Fort Pierce FL, in 1972 in Directory Assistance as a Southern Bell
operator. In 1976 I worked in Titusville FL, that office closed in 1977 and I went to Melbourne ,Fl. Then Orlando Fl. And then back to Melbourne.  We used to do a lot of things with the pioneers in Melbourne, my favorite was dressing the dolls for Christmas for the Salvation Army. We dressed lots of dolls and the children were always thrilled when they received them.  We also had a great time making them, We had contests for the best dolls in different categories etc.  This was such a joyful time for all. I later transferred to Miami and then to New Jersey where I retired in Parsippany due to illness.  I really miss my pioneering days and all my colleagues at Southern Bell and AT&T.  Keep up the good work Pioneers. GOD Bless All."  Claudia Humphrey Doswell Rameshwar - AT&T Pioneers, Flordia Chapter #39

I was the Signal Repair Officer of the 217th Signal Depot Company in Guadacanal. It was my pleasure and honor to receive the Legion of Merit award for my work in modifying the radios the Marines used in their assaults of Japanese-held islands.  On July 1945, after nearly two years on Guadalcanal, the 217th shipped out and off-loaded on Leyte, Philippines. We were staging for the invasion of Japan when the bomb was dropped. After the armistice was signed, we sailed to Japan. We set our 217th up in Yokohama. After more than two years in the Pacific theater, many in the 217th had enough points to go home early. In February 1946, I separated from the Army as a Captain. I returned to my pre-WWII job on the engineering staff of radio station WDAN in Danville, Ill. About this time the Bell Telephone System was beginning mobile telephone service, the predecessor of today's cell phone service. In July 1947 I began my Bell service at Illinois Bell Telephone in Champaign, Illinois. My work there included the installation and maintenance of the mobile sets and base transmitter and receivers for this new service. In December 1959, Western Electric Company offered me an engineering job on NASA's Project Mercury, the USA's first man in space program. This gave me the opportunity to work in New York City and to meet with NASA's engineering staff for the orbital flights. I was able to work at the two Australian tracking stations and the one on Canton Island.  After Project Mercury I worked on a number of government communications contracts awarded to Western Electric. In my 31 years with the Bell System I worked on communications systems from open copper wire to satellites. I enjoyed working for and with Illinois Bell, Western Electric, AT&T, Bell Labs, NASA, NORAD, Bell of Canada, Army, Navy, Kwajalein Missile Range, Bendix Radio, Philco-Ford, FAA, RCA long haul radio, Australian telephone and AFCEA. Although I wasn't in a Signal Corps uniform, I felt as though I was serving my country in my work. My OCS schooling served me well in all those years as I strived to give the customers/clients the best service and to interact in both a professional and respectful manner. I retired from Western Electric in October 1978. My wife and I moved to Tucson, Arizona. I give Cornelia a lot of credit for "keeping the home fires burning", caring for our daughter and son and overseeing their education while I was away in the army and Bell System work."  Gordon Cheeseman - Qwest Pioneers, Arizona Chapter #66

"When I think of Pioneers it’s not only how we help so many people that comes to mind.  My husband is a very shy person and he would never think to walk up to a stranger and start to speak, well at least that we before Pioneering.  I took on the role of President of our Council and went to a training session, my husband Bob came with me.  He was very nervous when he had to stand up and introduce the person next to him, he was visibly shaking.  This was the first year, each meeting since then he got more and more confident and now when we attend a Pioneer function everyone knows Bob and he is the first person standing to introduce himself.  Everyone knows Bob.  Thank you to Pioneers for granting the gift of confidence to my husband."  Judy Graves - Canadian Pioneers, Pioneer Administrator, Chapter 49

"Pioneering is volunteering.  I joined the Pioneers in 1990 as I was interested in joining the New Outlook Chapter 131 Clown Troupe that visited nursing homes.  I have formed so many friendships, marched in many parades, for 25 yrs have cheered our athletes at the Special Field Games at NECCO and visited many children at Camp Sunshine.  Getting involved is the key element and my family along with my parents Kathleen & Tom got involved. Clowns do random acts of kindness and so do Volunteers. Bump a nose!" Teresa Gagnon - New Outlook Pioneers, Northeast Chapter #131

"As the President of the Massachusetts Women's Bowling Association I found a beneficial link to the Pioneer volunteers. We raise money via BVL - Bowlers to Veterans Link by running 50/50 raffle drawings during bowling. Many of our women bowlers travel across the country bowling in competitions and they collect toiletries for various projects. I joined the MV Club to support my daughter, Teresa and get involved in clowning.  I also became chairperson for the Hot Trike for children with no lower motor skills. Support Operation Platoon Mom to raise awareness and send coffee to our troops in Afghanistan.  My grandson, Zachary is in the Army and will be deployed soon, he shared there's no better end to his day than receiving a written letter from back home."  Kathy Henze - New Outlook Pioneers, Northeast Chapter #131

"I started with Pacific Telephone on 2nd Street in San Bernardino California June 11, 1973 as an Operator.  In 1975, I transferred to the Pomona office and remained there until 1978.  In late 1978, I became one of only 3 women who were cable splicers at the time.  In May 1985, I took an early buy out to pursue my own business which had been up and running since 1980.  In February 1988, I returned to Katella Directory Assistance and remained until retirement in August 2002.  It was an exciting time to work for Pacific Telephone/ Pacific Bell/ SBC now AT&T.  I was an employee before Divestiture and saw it come full circle back.  My biggest adventure was being a Cable Splicer. I loved it. I worked all over the Inland Empire in Southern California and was in many offices - the Colton Garage, Adams Street Garage and Fontana, I was also loaned to Anaheim for a short stint. I climbed telephone poles and worked in Manholes putting wire together to bring dial tone to many neighborhoods. And as I mentioned I was the only third woman to be trained to do this job.  I had one more crowning achievement during my years with the phone company-- I was fortunate enough to become a union steward starting with the FWTW (Federal Women's Telephone Workers) union and later became a steward for CWA 9400.  Again, it was an exciting time when there was actually negotiation and a genuine spirit of making thing good for everybody--employees and company.  I miss working with all the people but am happy with Retirement, I have an adult child who has Autism and that has become my life’s work."  Cindy Lile Ford, Qwest Pioneers - Washington Chapter #30