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LRH Celebrates 37th Annual Volunteer Recognition Event

June 14, 2012

Littleton Regional Hospital recently held its 37th annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner. This year's theme for the dinner was The Wizard of OZ. The volunteers munched appetizers in Munchkin Land, followed Dorothy and Toto down the yellow brick road to Emerald City where they dined in two rooms decorated in many shades of green. Their dinner was prepared by Juergen Spagolla and his staff from the hospital's Food and Nutrition Department. Dinner was served by a volunteer wait staff and included Chief Operating Officer, Peter Wright, Hospital Board of Trustee member, Mel Brooks, and hospital employees Cindy Schieman, Mary Kate Foley, Diana Jackson, Linda Clark, Susan Clark, Suzanne Driscoll, Melissa Cheney, Pam Bullock, Alberta Colby, Dick Blanchard, Geri Garneau and Jeff Eggar.

Henri Wante and his Facilities and Housekeeping staffs were thanked for helping set up and clear the chairs and tables used at the banquet.

Following dinner, Charron Sundman, Volunteer Director, welcomed the volunteers and asked for a moment of silence to remember six volunteers who had passed away over the past year including Margaret (Peg) Clark who had volunteered 2,028 hours over her 35 years at the hospital, Natalie Carbonaro, who donated 635 hours in her 10 years, George Roorbach , who had just begun volunteering after his wife passed away donated 23 hours, Dick March, who donated 2,157 hours in7 years, and Phyllis Rutan who donated 5,682 hours over 34 years. All were remembered for their gift of time and love of volunteering for their community hospital. Also remembered was Tennescott Jefferson Notch, a Bernese Mountain dog, who served as a specially trained Pet Therapy dog. He visited patients with his trainer and hospital volunteer, Barbie Beck-Wilczek for 9 years.

Each volunteer received a $10 gift certificate to The Village Bookstore and a Wizard of Oz bookmark to remember the evening. Photos were taken by Gail Clark, Community Relations and Development Director and Adam Smith from local cable TV Channel 2 was on hand to videotape the evening. Hospital employees Wendy Mason and Amy LaSalle helped distribute the pins and gifts awarded that evening.

Warren West, CEO of LRH, started the evening off with a sincere thank you to all the volunteers from the Board of Trustees as well as himself and the Senior Managers. He noted that the 196 hospital volunteers had donated 21,090 hours over the past year, which was almost 2,000 more hours than the year before. He also mentioned that the LRH Volunteer Department won the New Hampshire Association of Hospital Auxiliaries and Volunteers 2012 award for Best Hospital Volunteer Group in the state. West noted that over the course of the past year, a new volunteer station had been set up to help the Lab Registrar at her new location. He recognized the 21 new volunteers as well as the 16 couples who volunteer each week. West also spoke about the new Alternative Therapies Program that had been created during the past year and mentioned the letters he had received from patients who were grateful for the free hand and foot massages, aromatherapy and Reiki they had been receiving while in-patients.

Sundman then proceeded to award pins for cumulative hours and years of volunteering. Volunteers receiving 100 hour pins included Deb Ames, Dan Chalifour, Tracey Cimikowski, Amy Cowens, Bill Doyle, Lorraine Fougere, Harold and Sue Friedman, Susan Kraabel, Holly Lakey, Mary Lockhart, Lucy Magoon, Marie Norton, Cathy Parker, David Pelletier, Virginia Raichle, John and Leslea Robertson, Don Sebestyen, Deb St. Cyr and Toni Thomas. 500 hour pins were awarded to Tom Campbell, Sheila Chase, Tom Duplissis, Joyce Freund, Mary Jane Merritt, Laurie Morgan, Barbara Waites and Travis Walker. Receiving 1,000 hour pins were Cindy Davis, David Demontigny, June Eaton, John Goodrich, Nancy Hartshorn, Dottie Herbert, Faye Jennings, Shirley Lewis, Karen Morneau, Heidi Morrison. 1,500 hour pins were distributed to Jan Kotok and Dorothy Wiggins. A 2,000 hour pin went to Nancy MacNeil. Margaret Harrigan received a 4,000 hour pin, Al Moskal received a 4,500 hour pin and Bill Lockhart was awarded a 7,500 hour pin. Volunteers receiving their 10 year pins included: Amy Bahr, Cindy Davis, Maria Hynes and Rick Seavey.

The next group of volunteers receiving awards was for those volunteering 300 or more hours over the past year. David Demontigny led the way with his 900 hours followed by Bill Lockhart with 714 hours. Both men have a wide variety of volunteer duties including helping the Facilities Department, manning the reception desk in the hospital lobby, serving in the hospital's gift shop and helping numerous departments with clerical work and recycling. They were followed by Margaret Harrigan who gave 390 hours, Heidi Morrison who donated 380 hours, Priscilla Deane, who had 362 hours and Jenny Fox, who donated 357.5 hours. Next came June Eaton with 318 hours, Mary Jane Merritt with 316 hours, Shirley Lewis with 312 hours, Kevin Brown with 309.5 hours, Nancy Collins with 308.5 hours and Don Sargent with 306 hours donated over the past year.

Kristen van Bergen Buteau thanked her Family Support Team of volunteers for helping patient's families during times of crisis and for each taking a 24 hour shift periodically throughout the year.

A gift of the herb thyme was given to each volunteer couple thanking them for the time they donate to LRH including Tom and Pat Campbell, Dan and Cynthia Chalifour, Dr. Ramesh and Hasu Dave, Jane and Steve Dyer, Harold and Sue Friedman, Guy Harriman and Jean Thompson, Jeff and Patty Howard, Ed and Beryl Klahre, Deb and Paul Lehmann, Bill and Mary Lockhart, Elaine and Tom Marshall, Mary Jane and Tom Merritt, Dr. Richard and Sandy Monroe, Al and Stephanie Moskal, John and Leslea Robertson and Doug and Barbara Waites.

Recognized for their help with the hospital's recycling program, the following volunteers were given a free lunch gift certificate including David Demontigny, Travis Walker, Kevin Brown, Wayne Miller, Reg LaFlam, Suzanne Holobinko, Dr. Ramesh Dave, and Dr. Richard and Sandy Monroe. Volunteers Deb Ames and Ethel Cooper were awarded gas gift certificates for travelling the furthest to volunteer - from Woodsville and Wells River, respectively.

Alternative therapists Grace Bigelow, Gail Minor Babin and Shelley McCollum were given gift certificates to thank them for their hours of donated time helping patients to relax and relieve some of their pain. Sister Monica Blais was recognized for her work in the Medical Records Department.

Two junior volunteers were recognized including Aiden Mitz , for being concierge of the year at LRH and Tylar Barrows for most improved as she helps in the Food and Nutrition Dept.

The Mr. Congenialty award went to adult volunteer, Louie Lavoie, for his great smile and outgoing manner of helping and greeting patients and visitors. Lucy Magoon was thanked for her fantastic job of taking reservations as well as serving as receptionist. Priscilla Dean was thanked for her help with tallying the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) hours. Linda Fahey received a gift for tracking number of hours at each volunteer station each month and Mary Jane Merritt was given a gift for speaking about the Volunteer Program at the hospital's new employee orientations held each month.

Peg and Gene Clark's family presented the next award in memory of their parents who had both served as hospital volunteers. Eugene Clark, III spoke first about his parents' commitment to the state and local YMCA programs, their community and to Littleton Regional Hospital. Deb Clark Valentine noted that the award would be presented each year to a couple or man and woman who best demonstrates Peg and Gene's belief in "service above self" especially: kindness toward and caring for others, contributing to your community and commitment and dedication to the role of hospital volunteer. This first time award was presented to Barbara and H. Doug Waites along with a cash prize from the family. The plaque will hang in the hallway across from the Gift Shop and each year an award will be made by the family.

The final four awards of the evening followed the evening's Wizard of OZ theme and included the Toto Award, which went to Barbie Beck-Wilzcek and her pet therapy dogs Ripley and Kessie. The award for best Brain (in honor of the scarecrow) went to volunteer Tom Marshall, who will be helping to set up the new iPad lending program for hospital in-patients that will start this summer. The award for Biggest Heart (in honor of the Tinman) went to Holly Lakey for helping to develop and nuture the hospital's Alternative Therapy Program. And finally, two volunteers received the Courage Award (in honor of the Cowardly Lion) and they included Joyce Tyler and Kenyon Tuthill.

As all stories must come to an end, so too did the Volunteer Recognition Dinner. Sundman told the volunteers what an honor and privilege it was to work with all of them and then she clicked her ruby red slippers three times and sent everyone home for the evening.

For more information about Littleton Regional Hospital's Volunteer Program, please call Charron Sundman at 444-9207.

recipents of service about self award
From left: Gene Clark, Deb Clark Valentine pictured with H. Doug and Barbara Waites recipients of the first "Service Above Self Award" given in memory of the late Gene and Peg Clark.

Charron Sundman, Director of Volunteer Services dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz
Charron Sundman, Director of Volunteer Services dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, the theme for this year's 37th Annual Volunteer Recognition Event. Sundman is notorious for her creativity in this special annual event.

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