04/28/13 — Cherry honors volunteer of the year

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Cherry honors volunteer of the year

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 28, 2013 1:50 AM

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Jeff Whitener, left, president of Wayne County Association of Volunteer Administration, presents a Governor's Award for Volunteer Service to Nancy Moore on Thursday during the annual volunteer luncheon at Cherry Hospital. A second recipient of the award, Delores Quinton, was absent.

Six awards were presented Thursday at the 10th annual Volunteer of the Year luncheon at Cherry Hospital.

Four were the regular in-house recognitions, explained Tanya Rollins, director of special services, with two additional state awards incorporated this year from the state, for the Governor's Award for Volunteer Service.

"There's typically a ceremony in the county for Wayne County recipients," she explained of the latter category. "But this year we decided to combine it with our event."

Jeff Whitener, who coordinates the volunteer program at O'Berry Center and serves as president of Wayne County Association of Volunteer Administration, handed out the Governor's Awards for volunteer service.

The first went to Nancy Moore for her dedication and commitment to helping individuals with mental illness. She has volunteered at Cherry Hospital for more than 23 years and also served on the Human Rights Committee, the Cherry Foundation and as special projects volunteer.

"(She) possesses many skills, one of which is understanding of mental health issues," he said. "She utilizes this understanding to advocate for persons who sometimes cannot advocate for themselves.

"Her passion to help those who suffer from mental illness is displayed through her willingness to serve at Cherry Hospital and other local and statewide boards."

Delores Quinton, a volunteer at Kitty Askins Hospice Center, received the second award in the category.

She was lauded for providing support to staff, patients and their families in the nomination made by Wanda Smiley, volunteer coordinator at Kitty Askins.

"Oftentimes, this recipient becomes a vital part of the patient's family, taking turns with the family as their loved one completes their journey, holding their hand and lovingly talking or reading softly to them," Ms. Smiley said.

At Cherry, this year's Edythe O. Blanton Volunteer Service Award was presented to a 19-year veteran who could be called a "seasonal volunteer," because she pitches in where needed throughout the year.

Helen Woods began volunteering at Cherry since her retirement in 1994, Mrs. Rollins said, recalling how it all started -- wrapping patients for Operation Santa Claus. She continues to wrap Christmas presents for the patients to this day.

Ms. Woods has involved herself in an array of activities as a volunteer, from running the "go fish" booth at the annual spring fling, serving refreshments at the fall festival, collecting reindeer bucks at the holiday bazaar and assisting with the Valentine's dances and football Friday.

The Cherry Champion Award this year went to Robert Bunch, who began volunteering four years ago in rehab services and has amassed over 300 hours of service.

He now serves with the environmental Services Department sweeping floor, emptying trash, helping wherever needed, and always with a smile on his face, said Penny Withrow, volunteer services coordinator.

"Best of all, he has a willingness to be of service to others and wants to make a difference," she said.

Jean Kinsey of Mt. Zion Disciples Church in Goldsboro, a volunteer for eight years, was named Chapel Volunteer of the Year. She began by leading Bible studies for the Adolescent Unit in 2005 and has given over 43 hours of service.

The Rookie of the Year award went to a family that has been volunteering since November, said Mrs. Withrow.

"We love, love, love to have brand new folks come out and volunteer with the special services department and provide their skill sets," she said.

The Roberts family attends Sunday worship services and provides music, she explained.

"They are a very talented and humble group who are willing to share their Sunday mornings with us," she said.