Lesia Roback, a certified personal care aid for the Presbyterian Homes & Services Licensed Home Health Care Program in New Hartford, has received the Boilermaker Road Race’s Volunteer of the Year award for 2013.
Roback and her husband Gary, of Frankfort, were awarded with the 2013 Coach DeStefano Award, named for the longtime Boilermaker volunteer and area coach.
The couple has been giving their time and energy to the world’s largest 15K road race for 16 years, according to a news release.
“We’re very proud of Lesia. Her spirit of giving has been a big part of our work as well,” said Maureen Ghent, director of home care services for the Presbyterian Residential Community, said in the release. “She has been with us for four years now, and it’s clear she has a heart of gold. She always goes above and beyond the call of her daily job duties by keeping people informed, and being very proactive in her care for individuals and families. She exemplifies our staff and our mission.”
To Roback, volunteering and caring for others go hand in hand. “I’ve always had a desire to connect with and take care of others, so my life has led me to do what I love,” she said.
Roback and her husband began volunteering for the Boilermaker in 1998 with packet stuffing, and today they coordinate the wheelchair race.
Even their children volunteer now, and she feels they benefit in their close relationships with the wheelchair racers.
“These are inspiring people, and we all feel we get as much from them as they do from us,” she said.
The couple have since been invited to the New York City marathon to assist with the wheelchair division.
Roback said she is just one of so many people who give so much of their time, and doesn’t feel anyone should be singled out. She considers this an award for all volunteers.
“She leads by example with her generous nature, and her humility,” Ghent added. “An approach to life in which we can all find some inspiration.”