KCH thanks volunteers during National Volunteer Week
April 17, 2006
KCH volunteers Floann Hamilton and Rose Craycraft welcome visitors in the hospital’s main lobby Volunteers whose recipes will be featured in the KCH cafeteria during Volunteer Week from left, are: (seated) Eileen Dettman, Leslie Jacox, Opal LaGear, Ruth Bozdeck; (standing) Daisette McGrath, Mark Balkcom, Mina Johnson and Tom Stephens. Not pictured are Connie Bressler and Cheryl Lorden.
Organizations often rely on individuals who volunteer their time and services to keep their business running smoothly. Kishwaukee Community Hospital is no different. Hospital volunteers, all members of the KCH Auxiliary, contribute in many ways.
They offer visitor information, serve as clerical support staff and operate the hospital's gift shop. According to Paula von Ende, Director of Volunteer Services, more than 200 active volunteers provide over 25,000 hours of service to the hospital.
"Volunteers are at the heart of the hospital, contributing their time to make us a better place,” von Ende said.
During National Volunteer Week April 23 - 29, KCH is planning several activities to recognize the volunteers. Through the efforts of the Volunteer Services Department, volunteers will be treated to special meals, drawings for gift certificates and prizes and tokens of appreciation, and a special cake. Volunteers also will tour the new hospital's mock rooms.
In addition, the Top 10 volunteers, in terms of their hours of service, have provided the Dietary Department with their favorite recipes. These dishes will be featured in the cafeteria line during the week. (See sidebar story).
Another aspect of the Auxiliary’s volunteer effort is raising money to improve patient care. The Auxiliary has pledged $500,000 to the Community Campaign for the new hospital and has earmarked those funds for the healing garden and the chapel. A portion of the proceeds from the annual Auxiliary Ball will go toward its pledge. Auxiliary members also are donating individually to the project.
Other fund-raising is accomplished through the hospital Gift Shop, which is operated by volunteers, and through the Auxiliary’s Potpourri, an annual craft bazaar now held in the fall. Past donations from Potpourri have purchased a portable ultrasound machine for the Birthing Center, a fall alarm system for all patient rooms, and new anti-theft wheelchairs for the main lobby and Pain Management Clinic.
In addition, the Auxiliary awards annual scholarships for area students pursuing careers in health-related fields. The Auxiliary has awarded approximately $150,000 in scholarships, including scholarships for the certified nursing assistant program at Kishwaukee College.
Volunteers Floann Hamilton and Rose Craycraft find a great amount of personal satisfaction in their volunteer work. Both women volunteer at the reception desk in the main lobby, assisting hospital visitors and delivering mail and newspapers to patients.
Hamilton said, "It is a good feeling to know you’re helping someone and filling a need." Craycraft adds that volunteering is a great way to meet new people.
Hamilton and her husband, Hallie, who is also a KCH volunteer, feel so strongly toward the hospital that they have established a scholarship in their name. The Floann and Hallie Hamilton Diagnostic Imaging Scholarship is awarded to a student pursuing a career in diagnostic imaging.
"It offers a little help to someone who is just starting out or someone who is beginning a new career, "Floann said .
Von Ende offers nothing but praise for the hospital’s volunteers. "Our volunteers, who range in age from 14 to 86, are the finest group of individuals I have ever worked with. They offer so much to the hospital organization in the way in which they provide quality service with a warm and caring attitude to our patients, visitors and staff. Our volunteers are the best."
For more information on volunteer opportunities at KCH, call Von Ende at 815.756.1521 x3372.
KCH cafeteria will feature recipes from volunteers
The KCH Auxiliary has its share of master chefs and bakers, which is why Auxiliary bake sales are always so popular. It’s also why favorite recipes of top volunteers will be featured in the hospital’s cafeteria during National Volunteer Week. It’s another way to recognize the volunteers and thank them for all their hard work. The top volunteers are those with the most hours worked.
"There are so many good cooks on our volunteer list," said Gigi Gochee-Statler, KCH Food Service Director. "They have been cooking for a long time and have many family favorites they were generous enough to share with us."
Statler said there is some science to converting recipes that serve six to recipes that serve 100.
"It's not just straight multiplication. We have to make sure the ingredients are balanced to prevent the dishes from being too salty or too spicy," she said. Statler also has been a KCH Auxiliary member for years and currently serves on the Auxiliary Board as Social Chair.
Each meal will have an entree, side dish, salad and dessert. Among the selections will be chicken casserole, shrimp creole, corn souffle, Frog Eye Salad, apricot gelatin salad, cranberry cake and coconut buttermilk cake.
The recipes will be available for patrons along with the name of the volunteer who donated it. The top 10 volunteers are Connie Bressler, Mina Johnson, Daisette McGrath, Opal LaGear, Mark Balkcom, Tom Stephens, Eileen Dettman, Cheryl Lorden, Ruth Bozdech and Leslie Jacox. Connie Bressler is the top volunteer with more than 700 hours worked from May 2005 - April 2006.
The special menus will be served for lunch and dinner April 24 - April 28. The cafeteria’s hours are 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.