Grand River Health honors volunteers
Grand River Health held its annual Volunteer Gala Friday, April 26, at the Grand River Hospital Conference Center in Rifle. More than 100 volunteers attended this cowboy-themed event, entitled “Your two-step makes all the difference.”
“We have almost 200 dedicated individuals who give their time for programs such as Meals on Wheels, the pet therapy program, the gift shop, and in several of our medical departments as well,” said volunteer manager Kaaren Peck. “We couldn’t do everything we do without them. The evening is dedicated to showing our appreciation.”
This year, a tribute and a special gift was given to the Meals on Wheels volunteers who have delivered over 500 meals in the valley: Sally Brands, Mary Cranor, Kris Coombs, Donna Fogel, Joni Hibdon, Victoria Kesler, Bobbie and Paul Light, Lisa Marsh, Mickey and John Neal, Bev and Ray Ostrum, Dusty Pizzelli, Jennifer Reyelts, Lois Scripter, Pam and Larry Sweeney, Robert Vaughn, and Peter Wahlman.
Three dedicated Meals on Wheels drivers went far above that milestone and have delivered over 5,000 meals: B.J. and Dana Barker and Mac Burnett.
“I cannot tell you how much dedication it takes to deliver that many meals,” Peck said. “Meals on Wheels would not exist without the dedication of people like the ones we honor this evening.”
The volunteers of the year were also named. The Young Adult Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Elizabeth Navarro from Coal Ridge High School. She logged over 100 volunteer hours for Grand River last fall and helped pack meals for the Meals on Wheels program, along with carrying a full high school course load.
Leticia Lozano was given the Above and Beyond award for dedicating over 640 hours in the past eight years, offering her services as a manicurist to the residents of E. Dene Moore Care Center.
Also honored was Donna Fogel as this year’s recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award. Fogel has served as the point person for Grand River’s Portions for Pets program for the past few years. This service offers pet food to those Meals on Wheels recipients who have a pet in the home.
Fogel began her volunteer career at Grand River almost 5 years ago as a Meals on Wheels driver. When the Portions For pets program began, she took on the buying aspect of the program. On the second Tuesday of every month, she goes to Walmart and buys more than 10 bags of pet food, labels and distributes it.
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Carnival rides, best beard competitions, live music and so much more kick-off in Rifle this weekend.