It was my honor and pleasure to welcome over 55 volunteers on Tuesday evening, April 14, for the annual volunteer recognition dinner. The phenomenal success of the volunteer program here at Androscoggin Valley Hospital is a reflection of the ever increasing dedication and enthusiasm displayed by our volunteers.
However they choose to volunteer — baking, transport, gift shop, clerical work greeters, putting to together the newsletter, making phone call, selling tickets, mailing cards — it is a tremendous help to the staff.
I hope as a volunteer, they have met fascinating people, made wonderful friends and have had the joy of improving someone's day through small acts of kindness.
I appreciate their gift of time, energy and enthusiastic support and I was glad to take the opportunity to say a heartfelt "thank you." They are a precious commodity and I celebrated them for sharing with so many.
In 2014, Androscoggin Valley Hospital had 75 volunteers who contributed a total of 9,417 hours. Our Auxilians donated an incredible $66,000 to the AVH this past year. Their dedication to this organization has sponsored speakers, electronic charging stations, a nitrous oxide delivery system for Women's Services and a Zoll R Series advanced life support defibrillator for the emergency department. I shared with them that I serve on the state level and many hospitals, big hospitals no long have an auxiliary — again, a true testament to all that they do.
A moment was taken to remember our friend Warren Johnson. I think you will all agree that he was a wonderful individual, the first to step up to the plate and lend a hand. He was a fascinating man who could tell you about a place he had traveled. He made you feel like you were there. He is missed greatly, not only by his fellow volunteers but also the AVH family. Many have said that even if they didn't need anything in the gift shop, if Warren was on duty they stopped in. Definitely big shoes to fill.
Congratulations to the following on receiving service hour pins:
100 Hours: Craig Eichler, Judy Levesque, Jean Scolere and Lynda Thayer.
500 Hours: George Labrecque, Lucille Mainguy, Juliette Smith and Leo Valle.
1,000 Hours: Sandra Jensen, Christina Lavigne, Lorie Losier and Theresa Lessard.
2,500 Hours: Pete Gagne, Rita Gagne and Yvette Hachez.
The following volunteers we recognized for their service in 2014: Jean Croteau, Fred Devoid, Pete Gagne, Gilles
Laramee, Christina Lavigne, Sandra Jensen, Nancy Pickford, Brad and Sue Wyman and Virginia Vachon.
New volunteers in attendance, having joined AVH since last year's awards were introduced, including: Elaine Bergeron, Linda Chaisson, Conrad Deuttsch, Gilles Laramee and Ginette Noyes.
Like any award and dinner program, it is not possible without the help of so many. I'd like to thank a few people who helped make the evening such a special event. It just couldn't be done with out them: the kitchen staff, for sharing their space with In A Pinch and helping to get things ready; our wait staff that evening, Dan Blais, Bill Blunden, Dennis Desmond, Diane Paradis, Jerry Nault and Gisele McKenzie and our greeter and photographer Sue Perkins.
The evening concluded with many raffles and a group photo of all who attended.
Linda Morris is the coordinator for AVH Volunteer Services.
Volunteers who went above and beyond in 2014, pictured from left: Gilles Laramee, Pete Gagne, Jean Croteau, Virginia Vachon, Christina Lavigne, Fred Devoid, Lucille Mainguy, Nancy Pickford, Sandra Jensen, Brad Wyman and Sue Wyman.
AVH Volunteer Services Coordinator Linda Morris with volunteer Lorie Losier.