Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

Kamilla Macar - Left Hand Laurel

Series: Left Hand Laurel | Story 9

December 25, 2019

Vicky Dorvee

Kamilla Macar is this month's recipient of the Left Hand Laurel. For the past two years, the retired Gunbarrel resident, has given her time to Cultivate, an organization providing seniors with a variety of essential services.

Retiree Kamilla Macar is anything but re-"tired." She's incredibly active, positive, outgoing, and caring. Each week, among the long list of other happenings keeping her busy, the 83 year-old will be found giving her time and energy to Cultivate, a nonprofit organization serving a variety of needs of local seniors.

Macar is a person who loves to keep moving, and she's also an avid steward of the environment. For the past two years, twice a week, she's walked the mile each way between her house and Cultivate's Gunbarrel offices to work her volunteer shifts.

One morning a week, she's on the phone with clients of Cultivate's Carry-out Caravan program, taking their grocery orders. She's one of 128 program volunteers who make sure clients' fridges and pantries are stocked without them having to make a trek to a grocery store. Between 110 and 125 seniors (60 years and older) are delivered food each week through the program.

"A day without Kamilla is like a day without sunshine," Cultivate Director Sharon Greene said. "Our clients absolutely love chatting with her while they place their grocery orders. She takes time to visit with each person on the phone, sharing stories, and brightening their day."

Carry-out Caravan is a three-part process. One set of volunteers takes grocery orders from clients, the next group goes shopping at King Soopers, and the final team delivers the orders to clients' homes

On her second Cultivate shift of the week, Macar can be found doing whatever general office work is helpful to Cultivate's staff; making phone calls, addressing envelopes, and doing computer work.

"She is so patient and kind and has a wonderful sense of humor," Greene said. "Our staff looks forward to Kamilla days as much, if not more, than our clients!"

Macar grew up in Philadelphia, Penn., one of five children. There was a period of 10 years when she lived in the Los Angeles area before moving back to Philadelphia until her then-husband was offered a job at StorageTek. She's been in the Boulder area for 41 years, and for the past 15 years Gunbarrel has been her neighborhood.

What brought Macar to Cultivate was her appreciation for the ways their services helped her ex-husband prior to his passing. Volunteers in the program took him to doctor's appointments and brought him food when doing those things became difficult for him.

"I was there one time, when a woman and her four-year-old son old came and delivered groceries and it was so special because she was very caring," Macar said. After retiring and considering how to spend her time, she reflected on nearby places to volunteer and Cultivate was perfect, she said.

Macar earned her master's degree in music at Indiana University. Music has been a lifelong passion and she taught the subject in public schools for a decade. She's a pianist, cellist, and a vocalist. Macar is a member of the Cantabile Singers and has been the choir director of Community United Church of Christ in Boulder for 33 years. This holiday season, she'll also be singing in the Boulder Philharmonic's Messiah performances.

Following teaching, Macar started a very different career - accounting. She started her own firm in 1981 and retired three years ago. She continues to use her accounting background as the volunteer treasurer of her church.

Macar was a regular player at the weekly Left Hand Grange bridge games in Niwot for more than 25 years.

As an ardent participant of Citizens' Climate Lobby of Boulder, a nonpartisan group addressing the climate change problem, Macar reaches out to the community through letters to editors.

Every day for Macar begins with working on puzzles to keep her brain fit. She also likes to walk, hike and road bike to stay fit physically. To fight the inclination of hunkering down in the cold weather, Macar recently decided to take up indoor rowing and is now planning to participate in upcoming indoor rowing competitions.

When asked what she likes about being involved with Cultivate, Macar answered, "I love the people who are so heart-full, so caring...they're truly a family. They all care about other people and are there to make life easier for seniors in our community. As long as I'm healthy and able to be a part of that community, I plan to be."

For more on Cultivate, visit http://www.Cultivate.ngo. The organization is always looking for more help, and at this moment, Snowbusters and Carry-out Caravan are especially in need of additional volunteers. Other programs within Cultivate are Fix-it, Vetsgo, Yardbusters, RSVP, and File of Life.


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