Marco Healthcare Center held its 2009 NCH Volunteer Awards Luncheon Thursday, April 2, at the Island Country Club. This year’s event theme, “Salute to the Stars,” was modeled after Hollywood’s Oscar event, including the presentation of golden statuettes to auxiliary volunteers singled out for special recognition and concluding with the Volunteer of the Year award.
Marco Auxiliary President Dennis Pidherny welcomed the throng saying “Thank you for making my job easy. I look forward to these luncheons as an opportunity to recognize all the recipients of new pins for their hours of volunteer service.”
Allen Weiss, a medical doctor, was equally enthusiastic announcing that NCH Marco Campus was having a great year.
“We’re ahead, 6 percent busier than last year. We don’t want anyone to be sick, but we do want to be there for you if the need arises,” he said.
“Thank you for everything, and thank you Lauren (Campbell) and Cindi (Lukacs) for a great job organizing everything.” Weiss added, commenting on Hodges University’s recent Humanitarian of the Year Award and relating a definition of humanitarian as someone who gives of themselves.
“And that description fits our volunteers. Our theme today is the Oscars and that also interprets well for our volunteers,” Weiss concluded, and began to walk around the dining room, stopping at each table to personally thank the volunteers.
That said, Dennis Pidherny returned to center stage with his portable mike and called over James Kauffmann for the next item on the program: Presentation of the Auxiliary Donation – notably an $8,000 check, which represents proceeds from Marco Auxiliary fundraisers. The check was awarded to James Kauffmann, chairman of the board of trustees. The money will be used towards the purchase of a new on-site blood analyzer for the NCH Marco Healthcare Center.
Lunch was served after the Invocation by the Reverend Michael Harper. Then the “Presentation of Hour” pins, which reflect the additional hours spent volunteering over the past year, began with pins for 100 hours up to a 12,900 hour pin awarded to Molly Clark.
Auxiliary Officers and Chairpersons are given 150 hours for the extra work they do and weekend volunteers accrue double time for volunteer hours worked, stated Nathan Broder, a 1000-hour new pin recipient.
“On Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. you can count, we’ve had as many as 25 to 30 people come in, from heart problems and bad colds to fish hooks, and many of those from the beach and boats, because on Saturday and Sunday the doctors’ offices are closed,” Broder stated.
Pat Ross, who was also attending the luncheon to receive her new 2,600 hour pin, agreed, adding that the NCH Marco Campus was the only place on the Island where you can get an X-ray.
After a two-year effort of fundraising, the Marco auxiliary contributed $18,000 toward the new digital X-ray system, Ross said.
Volunteers and others had been busy putting up flags to identify that NCH Marco Campus was the Healthcare Center’s new name.
James Kauffmann, assisted by Joan Pidherny and Phil Egizio, shared words and a pin of appreciation for Phil Egizio, who contributed 12,500 volunteer hours topped only by Clark’s 12,900 hours.
There were six “Oscar” nominees in the “special recognition” category which included, Pauline Staiano for actress in a leading role, Bill Rooney, actor in a leading role, Elfie Kophamel, film editing, Dodi Riordan, animated feature film, and Phil Egizio, who captured visual effects. The Volunteer of the Year award went to Ann Beck, who wasn’t able to attend because she was up north, Pidherny announced.