The Example of Johnnie V.
By: Bob Boudoures
When I heard of John’s passing, it was both a sad and sobering day for me after knowing John for such a long period of time.

John and I seldom ever worked together and we never socialized, but I respected John as I have respected very few people in my life. I really got to know who John Voelker was and the type of person he was in the 1990s when he was committing so much of his life toward building the Toy Program.

At a time in his life that most of us are concentrating on ourselves, John was reaching out to help others and getting his enjoyment from seeing smiles on people’s faces. The hours and efforts he devoted to the Toy Program are just a small part of his total efforts to help children.

Reading his obituary in the paper, which was very well done, brought back some special memories for me. The author writes: “He touched us all and amassed friends around the world” and “Children who would otherwise have gone without, celebrated Christmas in style thanks to Johnnie V”.

These quotes carry more meaning than even the author probably realizes, because I don’t think most people know that Johnnie V., without hesitation, provided a large amount of toys and clothes to orphaned kids in Guatemala and Kosovo. These were kids who were not only poor, but many of them had lost everything they had, including their families.

I wrote this message because I wanted to make sure that people know that John’s influence has benefited children internationally and his legacy of respect is built on more than they may have realized.

On behalf of those “Children who would otherwise have gone without”, I thank Johnnie V.


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