05/05/08 — Hospital honors volunteers at annual banquet

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Hospital honors volunteers at annual banquet

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 5, 2008 1:45 PM

Cherry Hospital staff members honored their volunteers Monday with an Italian feast in the hospital's conference center.

The Special Services Department gave four Volunteer of the Year awards in addition to presenting 35 certificates of appreciation.

Diane Pelt received the Rookie of the Year Award from volunteer coordinator Terri Smith.

Ms. Pelt has given 141 hours to the Riverbend School at the hospital.

"She is a retired teacher and Job Ready Workforce Development coordinator. ... Her supervisor states that she is always ready and willing to serve," Ms. Smith said about Ms. Pelt.

Carol Woodard received the Retiree Award from volunteer coordinator Penny Withrow.

Ms. Withrow said Ms. Woodard has provided 264 hours of service assisting with annual activities such as the Christmas parade, holiday bazaar, fall festival, spring fling, ice cream socials and fundraisers.

The Rev. Billy Olsen received the Chaplain's Award on behalf of Pine Forest United Methodist Church for conducting worship services at Cherry. The hospital's chaplain, the Rev. Wilbert Johnson, presented the honor.

Members of the church have been coming to help with the third Tuesday night vesper services since May 2004. Their total number of hours of service given is 337.

"They have stated in the past that they were blessed by the experience and the way God works in the lives of the patients at Cherry Hospital," Johnson said. "It is Cherry Hospital that is blessed to have such committed volunteers that are willing to share their time, energy and talents with the patients."

Stefanie Bostic received the Edythe O. Blanton Volunteer Service Award from Special Services director Tanya Rollins.

Ms. Rollins pointed out that Ms. Bostic has provided 162 hours of volunteer service since she started in November 2003. Ms. Bostic has wrapped a lot of gifts at Christmas time, she said, and has also helped with office work and fundraising for The Cherry Foundation as well as serving on the foundation board.

She is currently the board's vice president.

Ms. Rollins told all the volunteers that the annual banquet in their honor is her favorite time of the year.

"We love you guys, and we're thankful for what you do," she said.

Throughout 2007 during any given month, she said, there have been 181 volunteers working in one department or another. The hours the volunteers provided came to a total of 85,785, the equivalent of 41 full-time staff members and worth $1.6 million.