(BRIDGMAN) – To celebrate National Volunteer Week, Lakeland HealthCare honored more than 665 area residents who donate their time to the organization with a luncheon held at Pebblewood Country Club in Bridgman on Thursday, April 25. Lakeland volunteers staff the Health Resource Libraries and gift shops, hold fundraisers, greet visitors at facilities, provide chaplaincy support, serve meals, and assist clinical associates on the nursing units, among other services.
Linda Fites, Volunteer Manager for Lakeland HealthCare, welcomed and thanked the volunteers for sharing their generosity and gift of time. “In a health care system this large, it is the extra attention to detail, the unexpected support or assistance, or the companionship of a friendly visit that colors the daily experience of us all,” said Fites. “We are extremely fortunate to benefit from all that our volunteers share; they make our world a better place.”
In 2012, Lakeland’s volunteers contributed over 87,000 hours across the entire system. The total number of hours donated by the volunteers is equivalent to the time worked by nearly 48 full-time associates. The volunteers’ contributions are worth a total value of more than $1.47 million to Lakeland HealthCare.
“Twenty-Year Club” volunteers honored this year included Roberta Garcia (Niles), Wendy Jones (Niles), Patricia McIntyre (Niles), Bob Neal (Stevensville), Jan Sayer (Niles), and Frank Stump (Sodus).
Volunteers are awarded service pins for various increments of hours served. “I am getting two awards!” beamed Stump, who is one of six who have personally dedicated 5,000 hours of service. His wife Sharon has volunteered at Lakeland for the past 10 years. “We get more appreciation and thanks then when we worked,” said Sharon Stump. “Everyone appreciates what we do and it’s a great way to meet new people.”
Bob Neal primarily volunteers at the Marie Yeager Cancer Center in St. Joseph. “We get to know people by their first names and really have fun with them,” said Neal. “I love being there; 99 percent of the people are upbeat and it’s the individuals I don’t get to see for six months or longer that really keep me going. They are so happy to have their cancer in remission.”
Four individuals received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award: Keith Bundy (St. Joseph), Donna Pechtel (St. Joseph), Gloria Siewert (St. Joseph), and Jill Smith (Niles). The award recognizes those who have contributed a minimum of 4,000 hours of service to Lakeland over their lifetime. As part of this honor, the volunteers received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award lapel pin, a certificate of achievement, and a letter of congratulations from President Barack Obama.
Lakeland volunteers (L-R) Sharon and Frank Stump, were among the hundreds honored for their service at Pebblewood Country Club in Bridgman. Frank Stump received two awards.
Bob Neal was honored for his 20 years of volunteer service at Center for Outpatient Services, St. Joseph and Marie Yeager Cancer Center, St. Joseph.
Donna Pechtel was one of four who received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.