One of the special awards presented at the 46th Annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Luncheon of Runnells Specialized Hospital was given to the 10-Year volunteers. Shown proudly holding their 10-year plaques were (left to right): Gertrude Henderson of Scotch Plains; Linda Feldman of Westfield; Martina Westphal of Berkeley Heights; Margaret O’Brien of Summit; Rosaleen Appenzoller of Martinsville; Jeanne Croftonof Scotch Plains and Helen Geotakes of Fanwood. Not in photo - Frank Parisi of North Plainfield.
Joining the ten-year volunteers was Joseph W. Sharp, MS, LNHA, Administrator of RUNNELLS (rear).
The 46th annual RUNNELLS SpecializedHospital’s Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Luncheon was held at The Westwood in Garwood. The event honored close to 200 individuals and 63 groups who contributed up to 40 years of service at RUNNELLS SpecializedHospital of Union County. Outstanding among those honored were:
Arline Siegel of New Providence; honored for the most years of volunteer service with a staggering 40 years at RUNNELLS! Siegel volunteers with the Wednesday Bible Study Class.
The three volunteers with the most hours are:
Sylvia DeBrito of Watchung has given 7,500 hours over 36 years as a volunteer. DeBrito maintains the health of the facility’s indoor plants; nurtures cuttings to increase the facility’s greenery and donates some of these plants to sell at Guild plant sales. She also heads the Volunteer Guild’s Facility Beautification Committee.
Amy McHugh of Cranford volunteered 14,150 hours. McHugh pairs the socks of residents/patients after they are washed; helps in Medical Records, goes with residents on trips, assists at facility candlelight dinners and distributes welcome blankets made by community service groups, to new residents.
Barbara McMahon of New Providence gave 20,150 hours. McMahon serves as Volunteer Guild executive board treasurer, a friendly visitor; in the beauty shop and with the book cart. She shops for residents’ birthday and winter holiday gifts; buys ice cream and the fixings on behalf of the Guild for ice cream socials; fills in at the coffee and gift shops and helps with plant sales.
Union County Freeholder Chester Holmes, liaison to RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital of Union Countyrepresented the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders at the well-attended event.
“I’d like to commend the volunteers for all the years that they have donated to RUNNELLS,” said Freeholder Holmes. “The County couldn’t pay for all the work that they do.”
The many activities volunteers help with include: escorting individuals in wheelchairs to Occupational or Physical Therapy, serving at candlelight dinners; 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.
Students who are at least 14 are welcome as RUNNELLS junior volunteers. Their volunteer opportunities include escorting patients and residents to Sunday services as well as to Occupational and Physical Therapy; assisting residents to complete ceramics projects and serving refreshments to patients and residents.
Adults and teenagers age 14 and over are always welcome to be a part of RUNNELLS. The Office of Volunteer Services of RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital is always happy to recruit 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.