Hospice celebrates 35 years of volunteering

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Event honors individuals

Hospice of Marion County (HMC) celebrated 35 years of volunteer support to kick off National Volunteer Week with an Awards and Recognition Luncheon on Friday, April 13 at the Klein Center on the campus of College of Central Florida.
Dr. David Elliott who, along with four volunteer nurses, helped found Hospice of Marion County in 1983, opened the celebration. He summarized the vital role of volunteers across the years. Volunteer contributions enable exceptional compassionate care to over 3,000 patients a year.
A total of 80 volunteers were recognized for Years of Service, Lifetime Hours, or Hours Served in 2017. The awards were presented by HMC CEO Mary Ellen Poe and Diana Holder, chairman of the HMC Board of Directors.
Years of Service Awards:
]Carol Balbes of Ocala was recognized for 25 years of service; she currently volunteers with the Bereavement Department at the Monarch Center for Hope and Healing.
]Jeanne Dooley of Oak Run in Ocala was recognized for 20 years of service, and volunteers at the Jasmine Thrift Store.
]Volunteers were also recognized who reached 5, 10, or 15 years of service.
Lifetime Hours of Service Awards:
]Judy Thompson of Dunnellon received the President’s Call to Service Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes 4,000 hours of lifetime service; Judy has volunteered at the Jasmine Thrift Store since 2003.
]Isy Villoria of Majestic Oaks, Ocala was recognized for reaching 10,000 lifetime hours of service; Isy volunteers at the Jasmine Thrift Store and also assists at the Volunteer Services office. Volunteers were also recognized for reaching 1,000 lifetime hours or additional increments of 1,000 hours.
Hours of Service in 2017 Awards:
The President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award for at least 500 hours in 2017 was presented to 13 volunteers. Bob Levenson of The Villages was recognized for the most volunteer hours in 2017 as he provided 837 hours in Philanthropy, Community Outreach, Veterans Recognition and other support roles.
Outstanding Volunteer for 2017:
The highlight of the afternoon was the announcement of the Outstanding Volunteer for 2017 which was awarded to Gloria Jean Kennedy of Summerfield. She provided over 643 hours of volunteer service in 2017 by providing transportation to HMC patients and clients in the Transitions program. She drove over 7,000 miles giving rides to doctors, running errands, or assisting patients in many other ways.
For information on volunteering opportunities with Hospice of Marion County, Inc., please call the Volunteer Services Department at 352-873-7441.