Senior volunteers honored in Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH — Senior citizens who work tirelessly to give back to the community were recognized for their efforts Tuesday at an awards ceremony and luncheon at the Portsmouth Multi-Purpose Senior Center.

Ed Silveria was the top vote-getter for the Senior Life Appreciation Award, presented by Brian McKearney, a Bristol man who hosts the "SeniorLife" news/talk radio show along with his daughter, Sarah Lynn McKearney. Nominations were taken over internet and came from the world over (even from Vietnam), Mr. McKearney said.

Mr. Silveria, 84, works tirelessly as a volunteer in many different capacities, said Cindy Koniecki, the senior center's director.

What he's best known for, however, is preparing about 200 tax returns at the senior center every year — at no charge. He's there between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays during tax season.

Keith Hamilton, the Town Council's liaison to the senior center, marveled at Mr. Silveria's devotion to community service.

"When you're pressing Ed to get a tax return done," he told those gathered at the senior center for the awards presentation, "remember he's got 199 more to do."

Mr. Hamilton presented the award-winner with a commemorative town tile. "He's already got a collection of them," Mr. Hamilton noted.

Several state legislators were also in attendance, along with Town Administrator John Klimm. Mr. Silveria also received a citation sent to him from Congressman David Cicilline.

There were three runners-up for the award, volunteers who were also praised for their hard work: Mona Blake, Ruth Costa and Joan DeNardo.

"Thanks to all for voting," Mr. Silveria said after being presented with a plaque by Mr. McKearney. "When I look at these runners-up, they do a tremendous amount of volunteer work."

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.