Dick’s Jamboree pays a visit to clients at the Bridge Adult Service Centre
© Thomas Becker - Amherst Daily News
Volunteers from Dick’s Jamboree, from left, Robert Veno, Bill Bird, John Varner and Cathy Varner, sing a tune with client Sara Chappell.
Amherst – Dick Bristol is a quiet man who prefers to be behind the scenes. He has always been a community first kind of guy and the sheer mention of his name only resonates in positive tones.
After years of volunteering with different jamborees he decided to organize his own, three years ago.
“I always thought Amherst could use a jamboree,” he said.
Thursday morning Dick’s Jamboree took to the community again, in a surprise visit to the Bridge Adult Service Centre.
Members of Dick’s Jamboree and Gordon Moore of BMH Signs presented jackets to the clients, while also hosting a fun little musical gathering.
They do it out of the goodness of their hearts, Susan Thibodeau, executive director of the centre said.
“They are unbelievably generous to us. They’ve helped us out a lot.”
Dick and his wife, Carol, host the jamboree every Wednesday night at Heartz Hall and it’s for anybody who wants to go and perform. They also travel to different venues, hospitals and organizations to share their love of music.
“It’s just good, clean, family fun,” Thibodeau said.
The Wednesday night festivities come at a charge but the money goes back to various charities and organizations within the community, including the Adult Service Centre.
“We enjoy doing these outreach programs with certain members of the community,” Carol said.
Thibodeau said she’s amazed by their constant support for which they ask nothing in return.
“To me it makes it much more special because he’s not somebody who’s looking for accolades about this. He’s doing it just because he wants to do it. That’s him.”
The clients absolutely love it when they come to visit, she said
“When somebody comes down like this and plays music, they love it. It makes them feel special, somebody is thinking of them,”
Out of everything they do, this is the most exciting, Carol said.
“There’s something so special about these folks. They really get involved in it.”
In his giving ways, Dick said he couldn’t have done this without the support of volunteers.
“We have a great group of volunteers, I couldn’t do this myself.”
Thibodeau said she appreciates what the Bristols have done.
“We can’t thank Dick and his wife enough.”