Guild Appreciates its Superheroes!

Some heroes wear capes. Others wear NorthBay Guild jackets, and they are NorthBay's real-life superheroes, noted Konard Jones, CEO and president, NorthBay Healthcare, at the Guild's annual volunteer appreciation awards luncheon.

Held April 20 at the Green Valley Administration Center, the luncheon had a "Volunteers: Real Life Superheroes" theme.

"NorthBay is truly blessed," Konard said, "because of the service you have given to this organization that cares for those in this community; your smiles, your comforting voices, your warm touch, those are your true super powers. This community is truly better because you have given of yourself."

Guild members were also serenaded by members NorthBay Healthcare's management team and board members to the tune of "We are Family," and then thanked in a series of speeches for their decades of devotion and hours of volunteerism.

After soaking up the praise, Guild members then turned the tables and donated a year's worth of their fund-raising efforts to managers of many NorthBay Healthcare departments. The check, totaling $150,000, will go toward fulfilling many items on their departments' "Wish List."

During the volunteer recognition portion of the program, volunteers were saluted for completing anywhere from 100 hours to as many as 15,500 hours of service through the years, according to Jane Hilliard, director of Volunteer Services.

A special group of Guild volunteers - dubbed "Rare Roses" -received recognition for amassing 500-plus hours of donated time, in just one year.

Lauretta Graham had the distinction of logging the most volunteer hours in 2017, with 1,766. Next in line was Sharen Podzimek with 1,362, and Robin Tolvtvar with 1,086 hours.

Chaplain Natalya Johnson thanked Pastor Donna Stephens, Imam Faridbeg Mirza, Rabbi Chaim Zaklos, The Rev. Michael Downey and The Rev. Renier Siva for their service in NorthBay's champlaincy program.

Hospice volunteers were also thanked for their service, which ranged from 2.5 years up to 31 years, since the beginning of the program, by George Dix, Hospice chaplain.

Brett Johnson, president, NorthBay Healthcare Foundation, read a note from Aimee Brewer, president, NorthBay Healthcare Group, who was not able to attend the celebration.

"In the hospital we see many beginnings and endings, and things that can change in the blink of an eye," she wrote. "But you as volunteers are here wherever needed, to be of comfort to our families and ease anxieties."