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AVH Thanks Volunteers at Annual Appreciation Event

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At a special volunteer appreciation banquet Wednesday, Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) recognized its 500 volunteers who collectively contributed more than 55,000 hours of service to the hospital in 2016.

"The passion and dedication demonstrated by our volunteers is remarkable," said Mike Wall, chief executive officer at AVH. "We are so grateful for the impact they have on the lives of Antelope Valley Hospital patients every day."

The celebration included special recognition for two volunteers with more than four decades of service: Shirley Beasley, 45 years, and Joe Silva, 40 years. Five volunteers were honored for achieving a lifetime contribution of more than 10,000 hours, including: Betty Morgan with 18,000 hours, Shirley Beasley with 15,000 hours, Bobbie Patton with 14,000 hours, Judy Ibbotson with 13,000 hours, and Lou Arnold with 12,000 hours. Additionally, attendees paid tribute to six volunteers in their nineties and 21 others who are in their eighties.

"I am so grateful for the tireless commitment of Antelope Valley Hospital’s volunteers," says Mary Binkowski, director of volunteer resources at AVH. "As a group our volunteers contributed the equivalent of $1.5 million in work hours last year alone."

The hospital relies on the talents of volunteers to support staff by greeting, visiting with and escorting patients and their families; distributing comfort items; filing; organizing; managing the pet therapy program; and myriad other duties. Last year 23 chaplains provided 3,700 hours of volunteer pastoral care at AVH.

Fundraising groups such as the Alpha Charter Guild and the AVH Auxiliary have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the hospital since their founding. Volunteers staff the auxiliary gift shops located in the main hospital and the Women and Infants Pavilion as well as the "New to You" thrift store located at 329 West Avenue I in Lancaster. The Alpha Charter Guild’s primary fundraiser is the annual "Hourglass Debutante Presentation Ball," which it has been coordinating since the guild’s establishment in 1965.

The Teen Volunteer Program, established in 1958, is one of the largest in Southern California, with more than 200 teen volunteers participating year-round. Designed for high school students, it can help young people acquire workplace experience and develop networking opportunities. These young people have the advantage of seeing, firsthand, how important quality healthcare is to the community and how their participation helps meet the individual needs of patients and their families.

Every April during National Healthcare Volunteer Week healthcare organizations all over the country take time to recognize the volunteers who give so much of their time and talents. For more information about Antelope Valley Hospital’s volunteer program call 661-949-5105 or visit the volunteer section of our website.

Joe Silva and Shirley Beasley holding awards

Joe Silva and Shirley Beasley were recognized for volunteering at Antelope Valley Hospital for 40 and 45 years, respectively.