For Release: June 15, 2012
Jim Gosky 330.344.6083, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Ward-Smith, 330.848.6206, email@example.com
More than 250 volunteers attended the Hospice of Visiting Nurse Service (VNS) 31st Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on April 20 at St. George Antiochian Church in Fairlawn. The celebration was in honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, which was April 15 – 21.
In 2011, a record high of almost 28,000 volunteer hours, primarily at the Hospice of VNS Care Center on Ridgewood Road in Copley, were given to Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates. That translates to over $600,000 worth of donated time! (Independent Sector calculates the estimated dollar value of volunteer time in 2011 as $21.79 per hour.)
The luncheon included comments by Theresa Carter, President of OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, about the importance of volunteerism. The following volunteer groups were honored: the Hospice Soup Ministry of Faith Lutheran Church of Akron and HOPE received an award for 15 years of service; Copley Fairlawn Middle School PTA and Junior Women's Civic Club for 10 years of service; and The Stow Sunshiners for five years of service.
Mary Ellen Yeager, of Stow, was recognized for over 2,500 hours of services; three volunteers were recognized for 1,000-2,499 hours, six for 500-999 and 40 for 100-499 hours of service. Jackie Bettick, of Akron, and Jerry Mineard, of Akron, were recognized for 15 years of service; seven volunteers for 10 years; and 25 for five years. Four volunteers were also recognized for special awards given by other local organizations presented in 2011.
- Charles Koester, of Akron, United Way of Summit County's "Volunteers are Superstars" Award.
- Kaitlin Morse, of Twinsburg, The Volunteer Youth Appreciation Award by the Breakfast Optimist Club of Akron.
- Hannah Seeman, of Copley, The City of Akron Global Youth Service Recognition award.
- Irene Robinson, of Akron, the Medical Mutual of Ohio State-Wide Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award/ Gold Distinction
The inaugural Hospice of VNS Volunteer Spirit of Caring Award was also presented at the luncheon to Mary Beth Palmer, of Wadsworth. The award was created in honor of a long-time, beloved Hospice of VNS volunteer Lucretia “Lu” Lantz, formerly of Akron, that passed away at the Hospice of VNS Care Center last year. It will be an annual award presented to the Hospice of VNS volunteer that best exemplifies the spirit of Lu, plus meets other established criteria. Mary Beth has been a highly active volunteer for Hospice of VNS for over 10 years. She visits Hospice patients at the Care Center, where she is known as the "Ice Cream Lady" for her regular trips around the Care Center with an ice cream cart for patients. She is a mentor to new volunteers and visits area junior and senior high schools to educate students about hospice. Mary Beth is a retired teacher from Copley-Fairlawn Middle School.
For information on volunteering for Hospice of VNS, please call Terri DeGeorge, Manager of Volunteer Services, 330-668-4650.
About Hospice of Visiting Nurse Service
The purpose of Hospice of VNS is to alleviate suffering, engender hope, promote living and facilitate grieving among patients with serious or life-limiting illnesses, their families and their communities. Hospice of VNS is an affiliate of Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates (comprised of Advanced Infusion Services, Hospice of VNS, VNS Personal Care Services, VNS Equipment & Supplies and Visiting Nurse Service). VNSA serves Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties and is a member of the Akron General Health System. For more information about VNSA, visit www.vnsa.com.
About Akron General Health System
Akron General Health System is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with the mission of improving the health and lives of the people and communities we serve. Akron General Health System includes: Akron General Medical Center, a 511-bed teaching and research medical center, and Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute, the area's largest provider of rehabilitation services; Akron General Partners, which includes Partners Physician Group, the Akron General Health & Wellness Centers, Lodi Community Hospital, Community Health Centers and other companies; Akron General Community Health Ventures, which includes Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates, the largest and most comprehensive provider of home healthcare services in Ohio; and Akron General Development Foundation. Akron General has earned the prestigious National Research Corporation (NRC) Consumer Choice Award for 14 out of 16 years. Recently, Becker’s Hospital Review named Akron General Medical Center one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals. For more information about Akron General Health System, visit About Us.