Date: May 4, 2008
About: Gerald Mast - Class of 1961
Volunteers deeds are golden
Gerald "Jerry" Mast is known to many Quincyans because of his familiar handlebar mustache, but he's known to many others for another reason.
Mast's volunteer spirit is the epitome of what a giving heart is supposed to be. For more than 40 years, Mast has offered his talent, time and treasure to a wide variety of worthy causes.
Mast will be the recipient of the 56th annual Golden Deeds award at a noon luncheon Friday in the East Room at Tony's Old Place.
"Just being able to help other people is the most gratifying part of volunteering," Mast said.
Mast, 65, remains active in the Boy Scouts, Red Cross, teaching adaptive aquatics at Quincy University and assisting as a ticket taker at almost all sporting events at Quincy Notre Dame and QU.
Mast works with all ages, from the young with the Mississippi Valley Council of Boy Scouts to the elderly in adaptive aquatics.
When the aquatics class was held at the YMCA, he and his brother, Harold, even reached into their own pockets -- without fanfare -- to fix needed machinery there. Any reimbursement would not have been in the true volunteer spirit.
"If anyone needs any help, he is always there," said Hazel Sigler, a friend of Mast's who is familiar with his charitable actions.
"Jerry is very generous with his time, energy, money, care and concern for others, no matter where or what situation he is in or which group," said another friend, Vivian Hogge. "With all of the organizations Jerry is involved, he (still) gives of himself 100 percent and can be counted on for everything."
Mast said he got involved in volunteering after returning from the Army in his early 20s, and one involvement led to another and another and ...
"I appreciate all of the volunteers and what they do for our city," he said.
Mast, who has received numerous awards and honors from the organizations and agencies he has served during the last four decades, said his attachment to QND and QU began almost by accident. He was asked by a friend shortly after coming back to Quincy from his stint in the armed forces if he would like to get into sporting events for free by helping out at the gate or in other areas.
"I said, 'Well ... yeah!' " Mast said.
He's been there ever since.
Mast lets it be known that he has no plans on retiring from his volunteer duties any time soon.
"I plan on doing it until the Lord wants me to come home," Mast said.
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