If volunteers are worth the number of hours they contribute in gold ”“ and those orgnaizations for which they volunteer say they are ”“ then there’s a pretty wealthy feeling going around at Southern Maine Heath Care. Volunteers contributed more than 52,000 hours between the Biddeford and Sanford campuses.

At an annual volunteer luncheon given in their honor last week, Southern Maine Health Care officially thanked their volunteers for all their hard work.

And they recognized Katie Ireland of Springvale and Charlie Kaywork of Acton with the Lauren Shulman Volunteer of the Year award.

Ireland and Kaywork volunteer at the front desk and registration area in SMHC’s Sanford Medical Center. This nomination”“based honor is bestowed upon the volunteer who best exemplifies “the volunteer spirit,” with enthusiasm and support for the organization, as well as dependability and contributions of time and energy, according to hospital spokeswoman Leslie Roberts.

“Congratulations to Katie and Charlie for receiving this well”“deserved recognition,” said SMHC’s Chief Operating Officer Patsy Aprile. “This is the first time the Lauren Shulman award has been presented to two volunteers. Katie and Charlie are referred to as the ”˜Dynamic Duo’ on the Sanford campus so it was only fitting that they were honored together. Everyone who arrives at our Sanford Medical Center receives a warm welcome from Katie and Charlie. We are very fortunate to have many devoted volunteers like them who are vital members of the SMHC team.”

Ireland has been a volunteer at SMHC for eight years, contributing more than 5,800 hours, and Kaywork has been a volunteer at SMHC for six years, contributing more than 5,000 hours.

Roberts said men and women from all parts of York County volunteer at SMHC. Whether they help a few hours a week or several days a week, volunteers provide a vital link between the medical centers in Biddeford and Sanford and the people they serve, she said. Some volunteers work in areas where they are in direct contact with patients, while others are involved in “behind the scenes” activities which enhance the care provided by the hospital.

SMHC volunteers are important members of the organization’s health care team. The age of SMHC volunteers spans almost an entire century, from teenagers to those in their 90s.

For more information on volunteering, call 283”“7225.

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