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By Lou Leto, For the San Clemente Times

Neil Barbanell. Photo: Courtesy of Lou Leto

In today’s selfie-conscious world, it’s not unusual to be presented with a birthday cake adorned with a photo. Usually, one does not have to wait until age 90.

Neil Barbanell, long-term member of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), which assists the San Clemente Police Services, was honored during the program’s monthly training meeting, surrounded by more than three dozen of his fellow members and representatives of the city and the Sheriff’s Department.

In his statement of gratitude for the acknowledgement, he took the group through a storied history of the RSVP organization, all the way back to the duties that he participated in as a new recruit 27 years ago, then later as the coordinator leading the group.

Barbanell has volunteered thousands of hours to San Clemente since 1991, and with this milestone he now joins two other active members in the 90-and-older age category.

For more information about the city’s RSVP program, contact the volunteer administrator at 949.361.8353 or

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