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Hospital Auxiliary recognized during National Volunteer Week

April 26, 2006|by ALICIA NOTARIANNI

Washington County Health System honored members of Washington County Hospital Auxiliary Inc. on Monday, April 24, at a reception celebrating National Volunteer Week.

Mitchell Towe, director of volunteer services for Washington County Health System, said the auxiliary has about 300 active adult volunteers and more than 40 teen volunteers. The auxiliary performs substantial fundraising activities and provides an array of services, from managing the hospital's shops to staffing its information desk and escort service.

Towe said auxiliary contributions reduce stress for hospital employees and help keep costs down for the health system.

"We want you to know how much the Washington County Health System appreciates what you do," Towe told the volunteers. "The auxiliary is a balanced and sustained system that continues to benefit the hospital year after year."

Raymond Grahe, vice president of financial services for the health system, also spoke to the volunteers, who congregated in a conference room at Robinwood Medical Center.

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"This organization could not exist without its volunteers," Grahe said. "On top of providing financial support, the auxiliary performs duties that otherwise would not be done because the hospital could not afford it."

Delores Rice of Hagerstown, president of the auxiliary, oversees fundraising activities, including the tree of lights event; the auxiliary bazaar; and book, bath and beauty, uniform and handbag sales.

"I'm just thankful to have my dedicated and loyal volunteers. Everyone has a special talent," Rice said. "What amazes me are the people in their 70s and 80s and the amount of energy they put into this. They are amazing."

Jean Goodnight, 75, of Williamsport, and her husband, Carroll Goodnight, 83, volunteer twice a week, serving in the auxiliary office, the emergency room and in the library. They also help out with projects such as making stockings for babies at Christmastime and organizing fundraisers.

"We would probably be able to work more, but we're ballroom dance teachers," Jean Goodnight said.

Nancy and Erston Newcomer, 74 and 77, of Hagers-town, also are committed to auxiliary work.

"I've lived in Washington County my whole life and it's been very good to me," Erston Newcomer said. "I've traveled all over the country and there is no place I'd rather live than right here. I see no reason not to give back. It seems like a good thing to do."

The reception concluded with musical entertainment provided by a kindergarten class from The Learning Center. The class sang and danced to songs such as "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" and "Sing a Happy Song." The class's teacher, Peggy Potter, addressed the volunteers.

"These are songs that we sing when we need a little inspiration, and we hope they inspire you," Potter said.

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