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Norma T. Sheld (908) 771-5815


Runnells Specialized Hospital’s Volunteer Guild Executive Board & the Berkeley Heights Lions Club Celebrated the Spirit of the Season

Members of the Berkley Heights Lions joined members of the Executive Board of RUNNELLS Volunteer Guild at the annual holiday party at RUNNELLS Hospital. Leonard Forgione of New Providence, Volunteer Guild President (front, second from right) and George Wagenbach of Berkeley Heights, President of the Berkeley Heights Lions Club (front, second from left) checks the tag on one of the  325 gifts to be given to RUNNELLS residents and patients.

T’was the week before Christmas and all thru the house (a.k.a. RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital of Union County in Berkeley Heights) residents and patients were too excited about holiday celebrations to be nestled all snug in their beds.

Visions of gifts for residents and patients did more than dance in the heads of members of the hospital’s Volunteer Guild executive board and the Berkeley Heights Lions Club.

RUNNELLS sponsored a holiday lunch for members of the Guild’s Executive Board and the Lions as a way to say thanks for their generosity of money, time and effort. After lunch, “Santa” went to hand out gifts for residents and patients, helped not by elves, but by Guild members, volunteers and Berkeley Heights Lions.

“My thanks to the members of the RUNNELLS Volunteer Guild’s executive board and the Berkeley Heights Lions Club for making the holiday gift distribution possible,” said Union County Freeholder Chester Holmes, RUNNELLS liaison. “The Guild began participating in the gift giveaway when the Guild was formed about 25 years ago. The participation of the Berkeley Heights Lions goes back 35 years. You can guess as to how many gifts might have been given out during that time, but the caring is limitless.”

The Volunteer Guild uses the profits from the coffee shop combined with the profits from the Guilded Cage gift shop for the benefit of the hospital’s residents and patients. The Guild purchases holiday and birthday gifts, as well as DVDs, CD players and TVs; sponsors entertainment throughout the year; and sponsors and hosts a monthly ice cream social, in addition to supporting tickets to the theater, prizes for bingo games, the annual carnival and too many others to mention.

He was said to exclaim, ere he drove out of sight “Happy Holidays to all of the patients and residents of RUNNELLS and the best of New Years.” Oh well, so Santa isn’t a poet.