Lakeland Celebrates Volunteers
Apr 23, 2015 Share

(ST. JOSEPH) – At a recent luncheon event at Pebblewood Country Club in Bridgman, Lakeland Health honored more than 600 volunteers who dedicated more than 74,000 hours of service to patients, residents, staff, and visitors throughout the health system last year.

“It is always my privilege and honor to work with so many amazing volunteers each year,” said Linda Fites, Manager of Volunteers. “The gift of your special talents, interest, and enthusiasm for the work connected with Lakeland touches the lives of so many in a way far greater than anyone can possible realize.”

During the luncheon, volunteers received service pins for various increments of hours served. Patt Johnson of St. Joseph received a special award recognizing her 40 years of service (27,500 hours). Patt’s volunteer career began as a courtesy cart driver in St. Joseph, and over the years, she has also served as President of the Auxiliary, a buyer for the Gazebo Gift Shop, and as the Chair of the gift shops on the Auxiliary Board of Directors.

Lakeland’s longest-serving volunteer, Jann Houseman of Niles, with over 60 years of service, began volunteering for Lakeland in 1952 at the coffee shop once located at Lakeland Hospital, Niles, and currently volunteers at the hospital’s Information Desk.

“It feels good for me to give back to the community for everything they have given to me,” said Jann. “I truly enjoy helping people in any way I can.”

Two individuals received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award: Pam Hirsch of Coloma and Joyce Weaver of Niles. The award recognizes those who have contributed a minimum of 4,000 hours of service to Lakeland over their lifetime. Four other volunteers also joined the “Twenty-Year Club,” including Elaine Fowler of St. Joseph, Dee Schrag of St. Joseph, Minnie Walter of Niles, and Betty Zellers of Niles.

“When people work together for a common cause, nothing can derail that momentum,” said David Burghart, Vice President of Philanthropy and President of Lakeland Health Foundations. “So many wonderful things happen at Lakeland every day because our many volunteers who give their time and talents to our visitors, patients, and their families – it truly is an unstoppable treasure.”

Pictured here, left to right: David Burghart, Vice President of Philanthropy and President of Lakeland Health Foundations; “Twenty-Year Club” volunteers Minnie Walter and Betty Zellers, both of Niles; and Linda Fites, Manager of Volunteers, Lakeland Health.

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