Thursday, January 27, 2022

NCH “Volunteers are Aces” Las Vegas, Baby!



By Steve Gimmestad

On Wednesday, March 25, NCH Healthcare recognized a most valued group of people at an awards luncheon held at Hideaway Beach Club. The theme was Las Vegas, Baby! – and their Aces were the volunteers of Marco Island Auxiliary that contribute so much to the value and quality of care people receive.b1-cbn-4-3-15-7

Many of the volunteers dressed to fit the Vegas theme; feathered boas, special hats



and belted baubles. Most apparent were the smiles and the general feeling was that of an extended family, rather than co-workers. Their work is not easy and their


reward is the smiles and comfort they are able to give to those needing care.

Volunteers receive pins denoting their accomplishments based on hours they have contributed over their tenure with the group. This year, pins ranged from under 100 hours



all the way to 22,500 hours (Molly Clark). Thirty six people received New Pins for an increase in their level of contribution.

While every volunteer is important, special awards were given for going way above and beyond expectations. These special awards are not made public until they are presented to the recipient. The Presidential Award, aptly named for the plaque and letter they receive from the President of the United States, was presented to Joan Pidherney.

  [/caption] size-full wp-image-46987 alignleft” src=”” alt=”b1-cbn-4-3-15-4″ width=”200″ height=”139″ />The Volunteer of the Year was presented to Elizabeth Milito. With tears in her eyes, Elizabeth accepted her award and was, for the most part, speechless. “I didn’t expect this,” she said wiping her eyes. “I just love what I do.”b1-cbn-4-3-15-3

There were four volunteers recoginized as Top Performers for 2014. This group included Blaire Yakola, Clara Pi, and the husband/wife



team of Bob and Diana Fichter.

In 2014, these volunteers contributed 150,000 hours. That equates to 18,750 shifts based on eight hours. While those are impressive numbers, for these people it’s not about numbers. It’s about the quality of care they can give to those in most need of it. And that’s an affair of the heart.


“I recently had the opportunity to visit a hospital that did not have volunteers. Seeing what it is like not to have



volunteers ib1-cbn-4-3-15-5n my life, I am able to appreciate them even more. The culture is so deeply embedded at NCH, from the nurses to the techs to food service staff and, of course, to our volunteers, that it is just so hard to imagine a life without volunteers at NCH. Now, when I look at all of you, I am reminded of Louis Armstrong’s song, ‘…and I think to myself What a wonderful World’.” – Amanda Smith


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