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Senior in service

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LEMON GROVE (CBS 8) - In this era of budget cuts, volunteers play a vital role in many service industries. Larry Himmel salutes an amazing Lemon Grove senior who devotes his time to ensuring the welfare of others.

After Dale Kephart retired from the El Cajon Valley School District, he wanted to do some volunteer work.

"If you retire and sit in front of a television all day long and maybe have a few beers, that's not life," Dale said.

Dale applied to be a senior patrol volunteer. Seventeen years later at age 93, he's still on the job.

"I don't ever go to the doctor… I drive every day. I drive black and whites all over the county," Dale said.

Part of Dale's duties are daily phone calls or visits to check on the welfare of seniors in the area.

"Our phone calls make a big difference in their lives, and when one of them passes away it's like losing a part of the family because you've calling on them for so many years," Dale said.

And when it comes to some of the lonely seniors he encounters out on patrol, Dale gets emotional.

"I'm telling you, your tears really come with some of these people. It really tears your heart out. They are so appreciating. They just give you a hug. Sometimes you can just barely take it," he said.

This month alone, Dale has logged over 105 hours of volunteering. At the Lemon Grove sheriff's station, they know that Mr. Kephart is invaluable.

"This guy's awesome. I've known Dale since I was a young deputy when I was out here in 1993, and I'm coming back now as a captain. Dale's still here. He's steadfast, he's here every day for us and I love him," Capt. G.N. McKenna said.

For Dale, protecting and serving is a slam dunk.

"People who retire… I can't imagine anybody not wanting to do something for the community," he said.

At 93, Dale's still looking out for you and me.

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