LANCASTER – Antelope Valley Hospital recognized its 500 volunteers at a volunteer appreciation banquet on Thursday. The volunteers collectively contributed more than 55,000 hours of service to the hospital in 2016.
“The passion and dedication demonstrated by our volunteers is remarkable,” said Chief Executive Officer Mike Wall. “We are so grateful for the impact they have on the lives of Antelope Valley Hospital patients every day.”
The celebration included special recognition for two volunteers with more than four decades of service: Shirley Beasley, 45 years, and Joe Silva, 40 years.
Other volunteers honored for achieving a lifetime contribution of more than 10,000 hours included Betty Morgan (18,000 hours), Bobbie Patton (14,000 hours), Judy Ibbotson (13,000 hours), and Lou Arnold (12,000 hours).
Attendees also paid tribute to six volunteers in their 90s and 21 volunteers in their 80s.
“I am so grateful for the tireless commitment of Antelope Valley Hospital’s volunteers,” said Mary Binkowski, director of volunteer resources at AVH. “As a group, our volunteers contributed the equivalent of $1.5 million in work hours last year alone.”
The hospital relies on the talents of volunteers to support staff by greeting, visiting with and escorting patients and their families; distributing comfort items; filing; organizing; managing the pet therapy program; and a myriad other duties.
Last year, 23 chaplains provided 3,700 hours of volunteer pastoral care at AVH.
Fundraising groups such as the Alpha Charter Guild and the AVH Auxiliary have raised
hundreds of thousands of dollars for the hospital since their founding. Volunteers staff the hospital’s auxiliary gift shops, the Women and Infants Pavilion, and the “New to You” thrift store.
The Alpha Charter Guild’s primary fundraiser is the annual “Hourglass Debutante Presentation Ball,” which it has been coordinating since the guild’s establishment in 1965.
The hospital’s Teen Volunteer Program, established in 1958, is one of the largest in Southern
California, with more than 200 teen volunteers participating year-round. Designed for high school students, it helps young people acquire workplace experience and develop networking opportunities.
During National Healthcare Volunteer Week in April, healthcare organizations across the country take time to recognize its volunteers. For more information about Antelope Valley Hospital’s volunteer program, call 661-949-5105.
[Information via news release from Antelope Valley Hospital.]