A congratulations is in order for Susan Brazill of East Aurora who received the award of Erie County Senior of the Year today. Brazill is a longtime volunteer of the Rural Outreach Center and an active volunteer at a number of community and civic organizations that impact thousands of area residents.
As a volunteer for the Rural Outreach Center (“ROC”), Brazill is a part of the SWAT team and works with ROC social workers who make initial connections with families in need of assistance and then train volunteers, like Brazill, to provide follow up. She regularly checks in with her ROC family, providing assistance and support in needed areas such as running errands, providing transportation to medical and wellness appointments, shopping, completing paperwork such as HEAP applications, and other assistance. Brazill also volunteers on the fundraising committee for ROC assisting other volunteers in organizing events and collecting donations, and also volunteers for the ROC Snackpack/Backpack program providing healthy meals and snacks each weekend to children identified as in need of assistance. At the end of August, ROC sponsors a “Back to School Party” where children in need are provided with a new backpack filled with all the essential supplies required by their school. At the party, these children are able to have their hair cut and styled, get their eyes checked, receive dental supplies, and have a school photo taken, all through the generosity of members of the business community.
Brazill is also active volunteer at Aurora Adult Day Services (“AADS”), where she serves as co-president of the board and sits on each of the organization’s four standing committees. She works on their annual fund drive, annual flower sale, and annual fundraising event and is a regular at the center, visiting clients during activities, lunch, or as a volunteer driver. In addition to that, Brazill volunteers at AKTION Club, which was founded a decade ago to enhance the quality of life for disabled group home residents living in and around East Aurora (there are 12 group homes involved in the Aktion Club in East Aurora.) The AKTION Club Foundation is responsible for awarding AKTION Club funds to developmentally disabled applicants who meet certain criteria. As a volunteer, Brazill helps organize and participates in many of the AKTION Club’s social and fundraising events such as the Valentine and Spring Dances, Halloween Party, Bowling Tournament and Car Wash. Brazill and the other volunteers guide adults with disabilities in opportunities to give back to their community, and build leadership and decision-making skills.
“Using my time to make a difference in someone’s life is to me what keeps me getting up each day,” said Brazill. “Not only do I have the opportunity to stay involved and physically and emotionally active, but I can share my talents and experience with individuals I otherwise might never have met! It’s the gift that keeps on giving both ways!”
Among her other activities, 2018 Erie County Senior of the Year Susan Brazill is also a volunteer board member at People & Places, a nonprofit organization that has been providing vacations for adults with developmental disabilities since 1975. She was recognized as Coach of the Year of the Erie County Special Olympics team from 1993-2013; served as a volunteer and board member for Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center from 1995 – 2000; was recognized by the Department of Special Education, Council for Exceptional Children as Teacher of the Year in 2009; and serves as an advisor for the Erie 2 BOCES Student Council at Ormsby Center & Baker Road school.