CONTACT: M. “Peggy” Salisbury 908-771-5730;
Norma T. Sheld 908-771-5815


Runnells Specialized Hospital Volunteers Recognized:
45th Annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony & Luncheon

5-Year RUNNELLS Volunteers receive certificates of appreciation
5-Year RUNNELLS Volunteers receive certificates of appreciation. In Photo Union County Freeholder Chester Holmes, liaison to RUNNELLS and Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski (rear row) are joined by Patricia Scott, AD, BA, CRS (Certified Recreation Supervisor) of Union, Director of Volunteer Services and Activities Therapy (front row, right) to congratulate and thank (front row): Janet Fox of Westfield (left); Linda Byrd, formerly of Cranford (second from left); Elaine Peterson (formerly of Berkeley Heights) (center) and Anne Fahey of Berkeley Heights (second from right). Byrd and Peterson are RUNNELLS residents who also volunteer at the facility.

10-Year RUNNELLS Volunteers
10-Year RUNNELLS Volunteers Myrtle Counts of Roselle (second from left) and Constant Baldasarre of Scotch Plains (second from right) proudly show off the plaques that they received for their dedication. Union County Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski (left) and Freeholder Chester Holmes (right) expressed the appreciation of the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

30-Year RUNNELLS Volunteers
30-Year RUNNELLS Volunteers, the Our Lady of the Mount Prayer Group in Martinsville receive the appreciation of Union County Freeholders. In Photo Back row –Frank Schifano of Martinsville (left); Charles Grzeszkiewicz (2nd from left) and Mathilde M. Horwath, (right) both of Warren. Front row - Union County Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski (left) and Freeholder Chester Holmes (right) joined Warren residents Florence “Dolly” Sullivan (2nd from left); Regina Grzeszkiewicz (3rd from left); Delores J. Wong (3rd from right) and Paul Horwath (2nd from right).

Special honoree, 35-Year RUNNELLS Volunteer
Special honoree, 35-Year RUNNELLS Volunteer Sylvia DeBrito of Watchung surrounded by Union County Freeholders Bette Jane Kowalski and Chester Holmes, liaison to RUNNELLS. The freeholders were present to express the admiration and gratitude of the Freeholder Board for all that Sylvia has done for 35 years at RUNNELLS. DeBrito, known throughout RUNNELLS as The Plant Lady does everything needed to maintain the health of the facility’s indoor plants. She has also nurtured cuttings to increase the greenery in the facility and donates some of the plants she has raised to sell at the Guild’s annual plant sale. Additionally, Sylvia heads the Volunteer Guild’s Facility Beautification Committee where she has been instrumental in selecting art to decorate the facility’s walls as well as seeing to their framing and installation.

Union County Freeholder Chester Holmes, liaison to RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital of Union County and Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski represented the Union County Freeholders at RUNNELLS SpecializedHospital’s Annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Luncheon. The 45th annual event was held at The Westwood in Garwood to honor individuals and groups that have contributed as much as 35 years of service.

“I take great pride in the volunteers,” said Freeholder Holmes. “They give us their time. Last year more than 200 individuals and 60 groups volunteered 21,746 hours at RUNNELLS. This saved the county $347,939 for the time that they generously gave to the hospital. We thank them for all of their time.”

The many activities volunteers help with include: escorting individuals in wheelchairs to occupational or physical therapy, hospital parties and performances; working in the gift and coffee shops and assisting office staff in clerical duties. Other RUNNELLS volunteer opportunities include taking orders for personal care items, shopping and bringing items back; assisting residents and patients with hearing or eyesight difficulties to play games including bingo, and assisting residents by writing cards, chatting and escorting them to the courtyard.

During the luncheon the Berkeley Heights Senior Citizens of the town’s Senior Center presented a donation of $200 to the RUNNELLS Volunteer Guild for residents’ needs. The proceeds of the Berkeley Heights Senior Citizens’ trip to the Philadelphia Race Track made the donation possible. Special recognition was also given to the RUNNELLS Hospital Volunteer Guild, a nonprofit organization of volunteers who raise money to fund activities and items for residents and patients. Among those recognized were the Guild’s officers: Leonard Forgione, president; Mary Ann “Tommie” Kelhoffer - vice president; Rosaleen Appenzoller, secretary; Sharon Thomas, recording secretary and Barbara McMahon, treasurer.

“RUNNELLS is a great institution,” noted Freeholder Kowalski.

Be a part of RUNNELLS. The Office of Volunteer Services of RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital is always interested in recruiting volunteers. Flexible hours and a variety of opportunities exist. Anyone who would like further information should call the Office of Volunteer Services at 908-771-5847.