Celick keeps on volunteering

By: Bruce Warren Journal Staff Writer
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Selling fundraising tickets last year for The Gathering Inn was no picnic due to the slumping economy, but Paula Celick of Auburn was up to the challenge. “It was a tough road to hoe last year, because people were pulling in their horns,” Celick said. “But people did open their wallets for The Salvation Army.” Celick is one of many area volunteers who contribute to helping the homeless sheltered at area churches as part of The Gathering Inn in Roseville. Suzi deFosset, executive director of The Gathering Inn, considers Celick one of her top volunteers. “She’s always been available to do any type of volunteer work,” deFosset said. “She’s very dependable and she follows through on what she says she will do.” A former secretary at the Foresthill Union School District and then a secretary with the Placer County Water Agency, Celick keeps on volunteering to meet community needs at age 65. Her volunteering began in the late 1960s when she became the first president of Foresthill’s Little League organization. She helped form the Todd Valley Fire Auxiliary that held the first garage sale on the divide to provide funds solely for the fire department. The first sale brought in $500, Celick said. For two years, she helped out with Acres of Hope, which assists single mothers with children. Darrell Sarmento, development director at Acres of Hope in Applegate, appreciates the way Celick empowered mothers last Easter. “She organized mothers at Acres of Hope to make Easter baskets for their own children,” Sarmento said. “Instead of her group just coming up here and giving the baskets, they worked with the moms to make the baskets and empowered them.” Celick found that experience to be rewarding. “The ladies enjoyed that so much and they put their own personalities into the Easter baskets,” Celick said. “They really put their own love into making those baskets.” In addition, Sarmento recalled the way Celick rounded up some prizes for fundraising raffles. Celick was involved in the annual golf tournament that benefits Acres of Hope. She also organized bell ringers for The Salvation Army for the past eight years. “I would get the ladies scheduled for the day and line it up with The Salvation Army,” Celick said. For the bell ringing, she recruited women from the Auburn Area Republican Women and the Black Oak Women’s Golf Club. Formerly a Foresthill resident for 40 years, Celick knows lots of people in the area. When asked what motivates her to keep volunteering, Celick spoke modestly. “When there’s a need and I can fill it, I just do what I can,” she said.