Betty Bertelson and Betty Kitchin
  • Betty Bertelson and Betty Kitchin
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Three women named Betty, with a combined age of 284 years, were honored at the Oceanside Library’s Volunteer Appreciation Day on April 11.

While 11 other library volunteers were honored for as “Volunteers of the Year” in their individual departments, city councilman Jerry Kern took it a step further.

He asked library officials if he could honor three longtime volunteers: Betty Bertelson, 91; Betty Kitchin, 93; and Betty Groves, 100, for their hours of dedication to the library. He wrote the proclamations himself and gave each woman flowers and gift certificates to Oceanside’s newest restaurant, Hello Betty Fish House, located near the pier.

Unfortunately, Betty Groves was unable to attend, but in her read proclamation, outgoing Friends of Library president Suzanne Williams said Groves’s Oceanside volunteerism goes back to World War II.

“At night, she volunteered to sit on top of the old Mira Costa College building with binoculars and report on every plane flying up and down the coast,” said Williams.

Library Director Sherri Cosby reported that in 2013 the library had 382 citizens volunteer. Based on the amount of hours served, it equaled 12.5 full-time staff positions, thus saving the city $630,000 in staffing costs. The Friends group also donated over $100,000 last year for books and library expenses.

(corrected 4/14, 7 a.m.)

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