Grand River honors volunteers

Kay Vasilakis
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Friday night’s Grand River Hospital Volunteer Gala was held in the hospital’s three conference rooms in its new wing, which was delightfully decorated and sported three simultaneous slide shows.

One hundred fifty-two guests, including honorees, dancers and servers, were treated to a delicious dinner of prime rib and yummy chicken marsala prepared by the hospital kitchen staff, including chefs Jon Dutton and Dan Tomasko, Catering Supervisor Elisha Harvey, Director of Nutritional Services Lynne Miller and their crew.

As the attendees ate their dinners, physically striking red-head Landon Churchill provided beautiful background music for the inaugural performance of the hospital’s new piano, purchased for the new GraceNotes program by the hospital’s auxiliary group.

As dinner wrapped up, the room filled with swirling energy as the students from the Academy of Dance and Gymnastics performed excerpts from their upcoming performance, “Fairlight Cove, the Last Haven,” which will be held June 3-5 at Rifle Middle School.

Kaaren Peck, volunteer manager of the hospital’s 200 volunteers, was the master of ceremonies for the evening. She was joined by Michael Weerts of the Human Resources Department, and those two had people howling. Who knew Weerts was a certified clown? They certainly made the event lots of fun for everyone.

But to give respect to their honorees, Peck, Weerts and Chief Executive Officer Marti Wisdom were utterly sincere as they talked about the valuable service and priceless time given by each of their volunteers.

Eleven students of the Garden School Service Club provided meticulous service, even though a couple of the guests insisted on giving them a good-natured hard time.

Peck named JoAnn Duffy the hospital’s Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding 30 years of service, with 439 hours of volunteer service in 2009. Duffy was the Grand River Volunteer Associate president and has been the district representative to the state hospital volunteer organization.

Hannah Roush was named the Young Adult Volunteer of the Year for her joyous personality and compassion, maturity, volunteerism in customer service; and is now in radiology, to decide what field to dive into.

Peck had all her ducks in a row as she gave the facts for the hospital’s volunteerism in 2009: 204 volunteers in 2009; 8,120 volunteer hours logged in, the equivalent of $174,957.73, using the Colorado equivalent scale of $21.60/hour; and the hospital’s Meals on Wheels program delivered just under 8,000 meals.

Way to go, Grand River Hospital District!

Kay Vasilakis’ “Nonprofit Spotlight” column runs every other Wednesday in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. She is an active member of the Garfield County Human Services Commission. For possible mention of a local nonprofit event or news item, e-mail kvasilakis2222@gmail. com or call 618-6689.

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