When we first arrived, Site Coordina-
tor Nick Ohlheiser of Merrick & Asso-
ciates in Manchester, poked his head
out of the conference room doorway
and sheepishly apologized. "I'm sorry,
but it's going to be about 20 minutes
before I can speak with you. We're one
volunteer down and I'm knee deep in
returns right now," he explained.
So we walked over to the seats in the
reception area where four or five VITA
clients waited in the queue until Nick
could take a breather. Just as we sat
down, Site Supervisor Rick Merrick,
president of CAAS and principal with
Merrick & Associates, arrived, having
just left another VITA site about a mile
or so up the street.
After quickly exchanging greetings, we
chatted about how CAAS became in-
volved with VITA, The Village for Fami-
lies and Children, and the United Way.
"The way it worked was the United Way
put out a request for proposals, which
The Village for Families and Children
won, and in turn they contacted us to
supervise the site and the student vol-
unteers," Merrick explained.
"We started preparing returns on Janu-
ary 29, and we'll go right through April
15," he added.
In addition to Merrick, the CPA vol-
unteers supervising the sites includ-
ed Michael Blezard, partner, Pue,
Chick, Leibowitz & Blezard in Vernon,
Lamar Fife, manager, Henkel of Amer-
ica in Rocky Hill, Mark Makuch, presi-
dent, Willington Financial in Stafford
Springs, Patrick McMahon, partner,
Fulco, DiTommaso, McMahon & Com-
pany in Newington, and John Purtill,
managing partner, Purtill & Company,
CPAs in Cheshire.
The CPAs supervised volunteers (who
are all accounting majors) from Eastern
Connecticut State University, includ-
ing Regene Abandula, Matt Atkins,
Nichole Brooks, Fang Chen, Ying
An Eastern Connecticut State University accounting major prepares a tax return at the Community
Action Agency VITA site in Willimantic.