Volunteers served over 1000 taxpayers


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Students, volunteers, and professors assisted qualifying individuals with free tax service; pictured, left to right, Verna Jiron, Christina Gylling, Brandy Hodges, Jeanie O'Laughlin, and Christa Davis.

The numbers 31 volunteers, 1000 taxpayers, $1,407,270 in tax refunds, 1070 volunteer hours, and 7 sites equal another successful year of free tax service provided by the Adams State College School of Business, the Piton Foundation, and Trinidad State Junior College Valley Campus.

At the volunteer appreciation luncheon, on April 19, Adams State coordinator Dr. Jeanie O'Laughlin, associate professor of business, thanked other members of the business faculty and staff and all the students for their assistance in the program. "We have logged in over 1070 volunteer hours, and that doesn't count the training," she said. The accounting students received training for filing taxes and a faculty member reviewed every return.

The free tax service served qualifying individuals, from January 29 through April 16, at sites including Adams State, TSJC Valley Campus, Alamosa Senior Center, Tri-County Senior Center, Carnegie Public Library in Monte Vista, La Jara Public Library, and Centennial School in San Luis.

Student volunteers included Christina Gylling, Adams State senior accounting major, who said she appreciated the experience and for the opportunity to assist the valley community. She logged in over 100 volunteer hours. Fellow senior accounting major, Michael Kwiek, spent 80 hours at the tax service site. "Those we served were always so appreciative." Volunteers with over 40 hours will receive a signed letter from Colorado Governor Hickenlooper.

Alamosa Mayor Kathy Rogers thanked both institutes of higher education at the luncheon. "I am in awe of your accomplishments; thank-you on behalf of all my city council members." Adams State President Dave Svaldi echoed Rogers' sentiment. "Thanks for your hard work in serving our community."

This is the second year Adams State and the Piton Foundation provided the service. With a total of 59 volunteer hours, Adams State senior accounting major Donielle Van Geison assisted both years. "All the people are so grateful for the free service. It is a great feeling." She also takes accounting courses at TSJC to meet requirements for a certified public accountant.

Genia Rasmussen, TSJC professor of business, coordinated the TSJC students and volunteers. She and O'Laughlin expressed their appreciation for community volunteers including Christa Davis, Adams State alumna '89, Bernadette Cody, and Verna Jiron.

O'Laughlin said 991 tax returns were electronically filed, and a total of $1,407,270 in tax refunds was generated from the valley sites.