Union County Freeholders Honor Runnells Hospital Volunteers at 51st Annual Awards Celebration

Union County Freeholder Vernell Wright presents award to Arline Sigel for 45 years of volunteer service at Runnells Specialized Hospital of Union County.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored 260 individuals and 62 community organizations for their volunteer efforts at Runnells Specialized Hospital of Union County at the hospital’s 51st Annual Awards Celebration this week.

Arline Sigel of New Providence, a retired toxicologist and longtime music therapist, received a special award for 45 years of volunteer service at the hospital.  Ms. Sigel, who has been a music therapist for more than 60 years and plays 13 instruments, visits and entertains the patients every week.

The volunteers conduct fundraising events to buy patients birthday and holiday gifts, manage the gift shop and coffee shop, and perform a wide array of other services to support the patients.

Union County Freeholder Vernell Wright, who is also a longtime volunteer at the hospital, told the volunteers “you do wonderful things every day” and thanked them for all their efforts.

“Last year volunteers performed more than 13,400 hours of service and for that, we are all thankful,” added Freeholder Wright.

Union County Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski also thanked the many volunteers.

“You all do so much to brighten the lives of the patients here, and on behalf of the entire Board of Freeholders, we thank you very much,” said Freeholder Kowalski.

Last year the volunteers saved Runnells Hospital more than $215,000 in salaries.

Runnells Specialized Hospital of Union County is a unique, state-of-the-art facility that has been serving the people of Union County for more than 100 years.