04/18/10 — Hospital volunteers honored for giving back

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Hospital volunteers honored for giving back

By Laura Collins
Published in News on April 18, 2010 1:50 AM

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Kathy Hughes wipes away tears of joy after being awarded the Rosa Christian Koch Award from the Wayne Memorial Hospital volunteer program of the year during the Volunteer's Recognition Luncheon held at Lane Tree Country Club.

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Jean Bacon is awarded as the Wayne Memorial Hospital volunteer of the year during the Volunteer's Recognition Luncheon held at Lane Tree Country Club.

Some would say that 7,325 hours of volunteering at Wayne Memorial Hospital has finally paid off for Jean Bacon, this year's Volunteer of the Year recipient.

They would be wrong, though, because volunteering started paying off for Ms. Bacon immediately.

"When people ask what I do, I say 'I'm a volunteer,'" she said. "It's what I do, it's what I love. God has been so good in my life, I just feel like I want to give back."

Ms. Bacon, along with the rest of the Wayne Memorial Hospital volunteers, was honored Friday at the annual Volunteer's Recognition Luncheon.

Eastern Wayne High School Vocal Ensemble performed during lunch at the Lane Tree Country Club and entertained the audience with songs like "Route 66," "Broadway" and an a cappella version of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."

Speaking professional Laura Hamilton was the guest speaker at the event and spoke to the audience about the correlation between a hero and a volunteer.

"You're aware of everyone's individual needs, you don't just do the same things for everyone; you know what they need and if you don't know, you will ask because you care that much," Hamilton said.

She added that it's the little, thoughtful things volunteers do that contribute to the healing process.

"Also I think that most of the time you're making people feel safe and comfortable because of your confidence that you have. What I love the most about what volunteers do that they don't even recognize is that you nourish people without providing actual food. You nourish people by providing love and special attention," she said.

Donna Archer, director of volunteer services at the hospital, said they are thankful to have volunteers with compassion, enthusiasm, kindness and positive attitudes, among other positive attributes.

"I hope you know how much you mean to us," she said to the volunteers. "I feel like I have 100 mothers and fathers."

In addition to Ms. Bacon, two other volunteers were recognized at the event. Georgia McWilliams received the Special Recognition Award, which goes to a new volunteer at Wayne Memorial Hospital that has made notable contributions.

Those who nominated her commented that she was caring, loving, hard working and super sociable.

Ms. McWilliams, a former special education school teacher, said she always wanted to be a nurse and volunteer at a hospital. She said she has always been contentious of people's needs and finds helping people valuable.

Another volunteer, Kathy Hughes, received the Rosa Christian Koch Award, which is presented to a volunteer that exemplifies service excellence. As of Dec. 31, Ms. Hughes has volunteered more than 2,300 hours at the hospital.

Comments on her nomination form said Ms. Hughes always came in with a smile and was a pleasure to work with.

Ms. Hughes said she initially began volunteering because she joined a breast cancer support group and they recommended it to her. That was in 1999 and she hasn't looked back since.

"I'm so grateful for the people I've met and the friends I've made," she said. "I've made a lot of great friends."