Hospice honors volunteers and supporters

Posted 3 May 2017 at 4:46 pm

Provided photos: Brittany Dix, Hospice development manager, presents Darren Wilson, president of the Lyndonville Area Foundation, with the Business/Civic Award on behalf of the Foundation for the organization’s longtime support of Hospice of Orleans.

Press Release, Hospice of Orleans

MEDINA – Hospice of Orleans held its annual meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at the United Methodist Church of Medina on April 27. Kellie Spychalski, the new chief executive officer for Hospice, welcomed volunteers, members, and staff.

Board President Sheila Myer presided over the annual meeting portion of the event where she called upon Treasurer Jon Costello to provide a summary of the financial results of the 2016 fiscal year.

Costello also publicly thanked the hundreds of individual, civic, corporate, and foundation donors who contributed over $425,000 to Hospice during the year. The officers and directors for Hospice for 2017-18 were elected during the meeting. The following will serve:  Craig Lape, Chairperson; Maura Pierce, Vice Chairperson; Jon Costello, Treasurer; Annette Pearl, Secretary; and, Ada Grabowski, Assistant Secretary.

Chief Operating Officer Joel Allen took to the podium and provided a summary of 2016 accomplishments.  While many successes were discussed, most notably, 143 volunteers donated more than 5,700 hours to support the mission of the organization, resulting in a cost savings of nearly $95,000.

Residence Coordinator Michelle Toenniessen presents Gil Cain with the Mary Janet Sahukar Award, named for Hospice of Orleans’ founding director.

During the meeting, Brittany Dix, development manager, presented Hospice’s Business/Civic Award to Darren Wilson on behalf of the Lyndonville Area Foundation for its substantial support of the organization over the years with projects including enhancing the Bereavement program, contributing to the capital campaign for the Martin-Linsin Residence and most recently aiding in the implementation and enrichment of the Supportive Care program which has proven to be fundamental in establishing a continuum of care for patients in need.

Wilson graciously accepted the gift, stating that the Lyndonville Area Foundation has been pleased with the work of Hospice and looks forward to continuing the wonderful relationship that has been established.

Gil Cain of Lyndonville received the Mary Janet Sahukar Award for being an avid supporter and advocate of Hospice services, always looking for ways to “give back” to Hospice. In presenting the award, Residence Coordinator Michelle Toenniessen cited spontaneous catered meals to patients in the Martin-Linsin residence, special holiday meals, and spending an abundance of time finding out what the residents “miss from home.”

Volunteer Coordinator and social worker Chris Fancher presents Cheryl Mart with Volunteer of the Year.

Appropriately, Cain happened to be seated at the same table as Mary Janet Sahukar, for which the award was named, and prior to the award, Sahukar humbly attributed her contributions as efforts made by herself and “many others.”

CEO Kellie Spychalski also recognized Earl Schmidt, director of Veterans Service Agency in Orleans County, for his meaningful contributions to Hospice’s “We Honor Veterans” program.

In addition, Spychalski also acknowledged and thanked Chief Operating Officer Joel Allen for his outstanding contributions to Hospice during his nearly seven-year tenure with the organization. Allen is retiring from Hospice in May.

Volunteer Coordinator and Social Worker Chris Fancher was called to recognize many different men and women who volunteer their time and talents to Hospice. One such group was Girl Scout Troop 82127 who sought out opportunities to volunteer at Hospice throughout the year. Fancher acknowledged and thanked all of the Girl Scouts who have reached out this year to enhance the lives of Hospice patients.

Finally, Fancher awarded a very unsuspecting volunteer, Cheryl Mart (that she lovingly referred to as her “right hand”) with the Volunteer of the Year award. Cheryl began as a volunteer about five years ago and has given the gift of her time weekly, whether it be coordinating volunteer schedules for the residence, maintaining volunteer files, or even learning a new computer system. Cheryl always brings an eagerness to learn and serve, and Hospice feels very fortunate to have Cheryl on our volunteer force.

Kellie Spychalski, Hospice CEO, recognizes Earl Schmidt, director of Veterans Service Agency in Orleans County, for helping with Hospice’s “We Honor Veterans” program.

Hospice of Orleans, Inc. offers a comprehensive continuum of care to those in the community diagnosed with serious illness as well as provides supports to their families and caregivers.  Offering Transitions, Supportive Care, and hospice services at home, in the Martin-Linsin Residence, in a skilled nursing facility or hospital, Hospice of Orleans, Inc. helps patients make informed choices about their care, supports those who are caring for them, educates the community, and offers support to those who are grieving.  For more information, contact Supportive Care and Hospice of Orleans at 585-589-0809.

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