Staff and volunteers prepare for the annual Activities and Volunteer Expo at the Community Center this afternoon, Jan. 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. Pictured from left are Gail Appeldorn, Deann Yost, Allen Day, Kelley Fonville, Linda Winters, Heather Ware, Nita Blose and Rita Beracy.

Long-time Town of Fountain Hills Volunteer Coordinator Heather Ware has announced her retirement effective Sept. 3.

In an email addressed to “Super Fantastic Volunteers,” Ware made the touching announcement.

“Some say that gratitude is the heart’s memory. That being the case, my heart must be bursting as I have so many fond memories for which I am grateful,” Ware said. “I have served as your volunteer coordinator for the past 11 of 13 years with the Town.

“It has been hard to come to a decision of retirement, as I am sad to leave some of the very best people I have worked with in my lifetime…you, the volunteers.

“You have given so very much during these years…energy, skills, enthusiasm, kindness beyond measure, vision, support, hard works and loving care,” Ware continued. “You have been a treasure to the town and to me personally. Your many gifts have enhanced the services offered to all residents and in their lives. Your support and team bonding was a source of strength…and great fun! You have been great colleagues in volunteering and more importantly, I can say that I have also found many friends among you! My heartfelt gratitude to each of you.”

Ware said she will continue her own volunteer service with St. Joe’s Hospital, Sojourner Center and Home Delivered meals in Fountain Hills.

Under Ware’s enthusiastic leadership the pool of volunteers in Fountain Hills has grown to about 1,000. Her skills at organizing the annual Make a Difference Day have received national recognition.