By Shannon Harsh, The Review, Published April 24, 2012
Alliance Community Hospital honored its volunteers April 17 during its volunteer program at First Christian Church. The appreciation dinner was part of a weeklong effort to recognize the work done by the volunteers. It also coincided with National Volunteer Week.
According to ACH Volunteer Coordinator Michele Quinn, the week involved several special activities, including a three "R" reception (relax, rejuvenate, refresh) where volunteers were pampered with massages, hand rubs, snacks, music and aromatherapy foot soaks and a Caring for Your Exceptional Heart Day where glucose and blood pressure screenings, a heart awareness program and Heartsaver CPR and AED training were offered.
Quinn said the highlight of the week, the annual recognition dinner and program, honored the volunteers "not only for their hours of service but, more importantly, the difference that service makes in the lives of so many." She said the dedicated volunteers were awarded pins for hours of service ranging from 100 to 21,000. This included service ranging from one year to 31 years with the volunteer department.
"With the valuable services these volunteers provide to ACH, our visitors and patients, we are so happy to recognize each and every one of them for all that they do," she said. "Without the dedication and commitment of volunteers, we would not be able to provide the many services that we do at ACH. We are so fortunate to have such a wealth of experiences to draw from as we provide the very best service to our community."
There were 104 volunteers in attendance recognized for varying hours of service, including:
100 hours -- Jeremy Adams, Ruth Balestra, Meghan Butterfield, Taylor Cox, Rick Cyders, Melissa Engle, Alice Freeders, Stacy Forchione-Allen, Sam Klingensmith, Karen Miller, Lynn Miller, Becky Myers, Elizabeth Ray and Lynn Sullivan
200 hours -- Katie Bauman, Kim Clark, Larry Fletcher, Janice Fraraccio, Marsha Graham, Erma Hastings, James Hastings, Judy Honeywell, Hugh Hookway, Mary Ann Hoover, Larry Karlen, Roy Koehn, Debra Lambert, David Legros, Patty Morrow, Arla Jean Rumsey, Elizabeth Shamblin, Bernice Tournoux, Linda Ventura, Kathleen Vernier, Priscilla Woods and Katie Zemba.
500 hours -- Joyce Gurin, Susan Headley, Alyssa Keister, Daniel Macintyre, Gloria Malone, Paul McDole, Christine Muniz, Joan Oyster, Linda Perez, Donna Rickels, Robert Slutz Sr., Susanne Stadelman-McKelvey and Ricki White.
1,000 hours -- Agnes Bedford, Beatrice Detchon, Jim Gazia, Diana Priselac, Brenda Smith and John Snodgrass.
2,000 hours -- Norma Blickensderfer, Carl Flenniken and Jackie Stryffeler.
3,000 hours -- Larry Buck, Bill Hoover, Connie Kinsey, Leroy Maxwell and Diana Moore.
4,000 hours -- Dorothy Birney, Gloria Giordano and Pauline Siber.
5,000 hours -- Jan Anderson.
8,000 hours -- Marilyn Middleton.
Three longtime volunteers were recognized for accumulating more than 10,000 service hours over many years: Jack Madison, who reached 16,000 hours; Jane Stahl, who reached 19,000; and Lola Stirtz, who reached 21,000 hours.
Also recognized for their contributions were the Volunteer Advisory Board and the ACH Auxiliary members.
Longtime ACH volunteer Eleanor Carver shared the story of "The Starfish." The inspirational story about a man who walked the shores tossing star fish back into the ocean gives the message of making a difference. Carver compared it to the volunteers who make a difference in the lives of so many.
After a vocal solo of "One Day at a Time" by Graham, fellow volunteer and ACH Auxiliary Vice President Marilyn Preas shared her brother's story. Before her brother's death, Preas said the hospital staff where he was staying gave him a prayer shawl that was a comfort to him and his family. She brought the idea to the Volunteer Department and the Prayer Shawl Program was added as one of the Planetree services offered. Preas and other volunteers have since helped make more than 200 shawls that have been distributed to critically ill patients each month at the hospital, Community Care Center, and to hospice patients.
Before ending the evening, a moment of silence and prayer were offered in honor of the volunteers who died in 2011.
ACH volunteers work in more than 50 service areas throughout the hospital, from greeting at the front desk or working at the gift shop to visiting patients as part of a pet therapy team. For more information about volunteering, contact the volunteer office at 330-596-7822.