HAMLET — Volunteerism is important in life, and those who do it most in Richmond County were recognized Thursday night at the Richmond County Hospice Volunteer Recognition Banquet held in the Hamlet Ballroom in downtown Hamlet.
Lisa O’Neal, volunteer coordinator, said anyone who volunteered from March 2013 to February 2014 was eligible, and 90 of those people were invited to the flower themed banquet.
Carol Venable, a founding member of Hospice back in 1985, was the guest speaker for the event, and she spoke of how much it means to volunteer not only for one’s self but for the community those people volunteer in. Venable thanked everyone in the room and was delighted with the turnout because it meant so many people found pleasure in helping others.
There were seven different volunteer awards that were presented by O’Neal and social worker, Jessica Mims.
The biggest prize to be presented for the evening was the Mary Heavner Volunteer of the Year Award, and that award was given to Ken Lyerly for his dependability. Lyerly comes to volunteer like clockwork and Hospice knows their patients and families will be visited on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The Church Group of the Year Award was presented to Pastor Steve Crews of Church of God of Prophecy in Hamlet. Crews supplied snacks for families at the Hospice Haven to help with the annual Salute to Veterans event. He also cooked lunch for all involved with Camp Haven, Hospice’s children’s grief camp.
The Teen Volunteer Award was presented to Nic Wilkes, who helped with crafts at the children’s grief camp, designed posters and painted faces for Hospice’s Relay for Life team and created their beautiful 4ever tree.
Business of the Year Award was given to Smithfield’s Chicken and Bar-B-Q for graciously providing support to Hospice for various activities. The restaurant hosts fundraisers and provides in-kind donations for the Salute to Veterans and Relay for Life events.
Melody Dupre was awarded the Special Events Volunteer of the Year Award for serving as a committee member for the Salute to Veterans event and assisting with Hospice’s monthly grief support groups.
The non-clinical award went to Eva Greene. It is given to an individual with a willingness to serve. Whether she is filing or answering the phone to allow Hospice staff to enjoy their annual Christmas party, Greene is constantly smiling.
The Patient Care Award, went to Cassidy Thorpe.Thorpe became a volunteer after having a personal experience with Richmond County Hospice. She completed training for the volunteer program and visited several patients at the Haven since she began. The award is named after Bobbie Irwin who served for over 12 years as a patient care volunteer who visited numerous patients.