RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital of Union County
40 Watchung Way, Berkeley Heights NJ 07922

FOR RELEASE: August 18, 2011
CONTACT: Margaret “Peggy” Salisbury (908) 771-5730
Norma T. Sheld (908) 771-5815

Runnells Hospital Volunteers…Stars of the
Annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony & Luncheon

Day in and day out, seven days a week, 365 days a year, the volunteers of RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital of Union County willingly take a back seat to those they help. The 48th Annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Luncheon was the one moment during the year when the spotlight gets placed on them. It was the time for them to be thanked for all they do on behalf of the residents and patients at RUNNELLS Hospital.

Present to thank them and applaud their accomplishments were Union County Freeholder Christopher Hudak of Linden; the facility’s administrator Joan Wheeler, MSN, RN, LNHA; Patricia Scott, AD, BA, CRS (Certified Recreation Supervisor), RUNNELLS’ Director of Activities Therapy and Volunteer Services of Union as well as their friends and relations. Volunteers, both individuals and groups were thanked for giving from 100 hours to a staggering fifty years!

Freeholder Christopher Hudak addressed the volunteers saying, “The volunteers of RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital are strongly committed to unselfishly serving and assisting those in need. They have volunteered countless hours to the well-being and comfort of the residents and patients of RUNNELLS.  It is with pride and gratitude that the Freeholders commend them for their exceptional generosity and dedication to assisting the residents and patients at RUNNELLS.

If you were wondering how valuable the work of a volunteer is at RUNNELLS, consider this:

  1. Last year the volunteers gave a total 21,817.34 hours to RUNNELLS. This saved the county and the taxpayers of Union County a total of $349,081.07.
  2. Each year the activities of the hospital’s Volunteer Guild raise approximately an incredible $50,000 for RUNNELLS residents and patients.
  3. How happy patients and residents are when a volunteer’s assistance means they can participate in an activity that wouldn’t have been possible without the aid of the volunteer.

The volunteers who were honored take part in activities that include: working in the hospital’s beauty salon as well as gift and coffee shops; pet therapy visits and bible study. These are men, women and teenagers who take the adage “It is better to give than to receive” to heart. They have learned that when you give of yourself, you get a satisfaction you can’t achieve otherwise.

Those who would like to join their ranks in supporting the residents and patients of RUNNELLS may take part with or without resident contact by escorting individuals in wheelchairs to therapy and hospital parties; helping office staff with clerical duties and taking orders for personal care items, shopping and bringing the items back to name a few.

The Office of Volunteer Services of RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital is always interested in recruiting volunteers. This includes teens 14 and older as junior volunteers. Volunteer opportunities for teens range from assisting with recreational activities including helping residents to play board and computer games to serving at candlelight dinners.  Flexible hours and a variety of opportunities exist for volunteers. If you can be there for others at RUNNELLS, call the Office of Volunteer Services at 908-771-5847 for further information.

RUNNELLS, located at 40 Watchung Way, Berkeley Heights is easily accessible from Routes 22, 24, and 78.

20-year volunteers at RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital – Union County Freeholder Christopher Hudak (rear row- third from right) joined the 20-year honorees to congratulate them on behalf of the entire Board of Chosen Freeholders. Everyone unless noted is a member of the AARP of Clark #3733.

Rear Row – From Clark: Nancy Ficke (left); Anita Mai, (second from left) and Mary Gais (third from left); Charles Grunder of Edison (fourth from left) and from Clark: Frank Mai (third from right) and Michael Sheridan (right). Front Row (L-R) Dorothy Hosonitz of Clark and Marion Grunder of Edison; Clarence Bernice Brown of Scotch Plains (individual volunteer); Moira Pagan of Berkeley Heights (individual volunteer); Marian Connolly of Westfield; Alice Crans of Glen Gardner and Elaine Shoe Ezell of Roselle Park (both representing Therapet Inc.) and Amy McHugh of Cranford (individual volunteer).


Ten-year RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital volunteers were joined by Union County Freeholder Christopher Hudak (third from right – back row). These honorees were: Back row Elizabeth S. Riker, Westfield (left); Tracy Jacobus, Green Brook, Watchung Garden Club (second from left); Ann L. Wellbrock, Watchung, Watchung Garden Club (third from left); Joan Confort, Watchung (fourth from left); Herbert Appenzoller, Martinsville (second from right) and Jeffrey Feldman, Westfield (right). Middle row Catherine Schley, Watchung, Watchung Garden Club (left); Anne Forgione, New Providence (center) and Patricia Hennessy, Somerset (right). Front row resident volunteers Ernest A. Salvati, formerly of Roselle Park (left) and Edward Gordon, formerly of Brick (right).


Union County Freeholder Christopher Hudak presented a plaque for 15-years of volunteer service to RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital to one of the awardees, Patricia Simpson, formerly of Irvington, a resident volunteer at RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital.


Five-year RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital volunteers showed certificates acknowledging their years of service. Union County Freeholder Christopher Hudak (rear, second from right) offered the congratulations on behalf of the entire Board of Chosen Freeholders. Rear – Nancy Lessing of New Providence (left); Marie Rozar of Scotch Plains (second from left); Judy Gold of Berkeley Heights (third from left) and Danny Julian Rasy of Watchung (right). Front – Helen Paul, a RUNNELLS resident volunteer, formerly of Roselle.


Honoring the Knights of Columbus of Union County for fifty years of volunteering at RUNNELLS Specialized  Hospital were Union County Freeholder Christopher Hudak (left) and Hospital Administrator Joan Wheeler, MSN, RN, LNHA (right). Representing the Knights of Columbus were James Sadowski of Westfield (2nd from left) and Bill McMillan of Union (second from right).


Union County Freeholder Christopher Hudak presented engraved trays to 25 Year RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital volunteers Barbara McMahon (left) and Eileen Lieder (right), both of New Providence.