More than 140 members of the Regional Medical Center Auxiliary have contributed some 20,000 hours of volunteer service to the medical center during the past year.

Those volunteers will being recognized during National Volunteer Week, April 21-27, with an awards luncheon on Thursday, April 25. During this special event, the “Volunteer of the Year” award will be presented, new officers will be installed and 61 auxilians — including top honoree, Ann Till — will receive pins for service hours. Till is being recognized for 8,000 hours of service.

“Members of RMC’s Auxiliary make such a difference in the lives of others through their compassionate care and service for so many others — patients, employees, physicians and guests of RMC,” RMC Vice President Brenda Williams said. “Their sincere desire to serve others, coupled with their heartfelt compassion, confirms their strong commitment to making a difference in our community’s health and well-being.”

Organized in 1970 to provide volunteer services, promote community understanding and raise funds for the RMC, the auxiliary has been a major contributor to the hospital, Director of Volunteer Services Mary Berry said.

“Volunteers make the difference in so many lives through giving of their time, talents and abilities, as well as generous monetary gifts for RMC and the community,” she said.

One of the auxiliary’s ongoing projects is the Verna Martin Compassionate Care Fund, which was designed to help patients and their families with a one-time emergency need. The fund, which evolved more than 30 years ago, benefits patients and their families, based on recommendations from the RMC’s Care Planning staff, by providing limited help with essentials like medications, medical equipment, transportation, clothing, meals and lodging.

“Another way the auxilians give to our community is by investing in the future through development of our youth,” Berry said. The junior volunteer program offers educational opportunities through its Summer Enrichment Program, which is designed for students who are pursuing health care careers to gain experience in the health care setting. The auxiliary sponsors this program with an annual investment of more than $25,000.

Volunteers serve in 35 different departments. They operate the gift shop; deliver all hospital mail and flowers to patients; assist at the desk at admitting/outpatient, same-day surgery and main lobby information; give clerical and secretarial assistance to various departments; provide “Cuddle Care” nursery service; and provide a “courier service” for the cancer treatment center.

For more information about the Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, call 803-395-2425.

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