Blue Ridge Hospice’s Volunteer Recognition on April 12 paid tribute to the 823 volunteers who give generously of their time and talents to support this not-for-profit hospice organization, which is now celebrating its 30th year. Held at Millwood Station in Winchester, the annual recognition included among its speakers Blue Ridge Hospice co-founder, board member, and Winchester resident, Helen Zebarth.
Kelly Miller and Sue Jarvis, Blue Ridge Hospice volunteer program coordinators, welcomed the large gathering and presented significant statistics, including a tribute to the organization’s volunteers for their 36,570 hours of service, resulting in a cost savings to Blue Ridge Hospice of $760,656. They noted that last year, the volunteers logged in 100,654 miles to support the work of Blue Ridge Hospice. “Your generous support has helped Blue Ridge Hospice stand by our mission to provide exemplary hospice care, and to never turn anyone away who needs care, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Miller.
Helen Zebarth presented the special Founders Award to hospice board member and longtime community volunteer supporter, Barry Lee, WINC Radio personality. Lee’s philanthropic personality has led him to serve on numerous boards of not-for-profit Winchester area organizations, and in 1986 to launch the WINC Christmas Chain of Checks, which has raised over a million dollars for local charities. A hospice board member for eight years, Lee will emcee Blue Ridge Hospice’s 30th annivery Garden Party celebration on June 2.
The hard-working mother-and-son team of Janice and Chase Curbow of Winchester received this year’s stellar Special Achievement honors. The Curbows have been supporting Blue Ridge Hospice since 2008 with an important and physically demanding task. Each week they inventory and organize the large and heavy shipment of medical supplies that arrives at Blue Ridge Hospice. Their task is time consuming and requires teamwork, yet the Curbows handle the job quickly and efficiently.
Gloria Flanders of Winchester started volunteering with Blue Ridge Hospice in 2005, and is of tremendous value to the organization’s thrift shop operations at its downtown Winchester shop. Flanders has the skill to turn bits and pieces of donated crafts into beautiful wreaths, which are then sold at the shop. She also has merchandising skills and refurbishes the donated shoes, purses, and accessories before they’re placed on the shelves for resale. And, this Thrift Shop Volunteer of the Year finds time to support new volunteers as they learn their tasks at the shop.
Since 2007, Patient and Family Support Volunteer of the Year, Betsy Pritchard of Berryville, has given unselfishly to support the diverse needs of patients and their families served by Blue Ridge Hospice. “Her genuine concern for the well being of those Betsy cares for is apparent in word and deed. She is a true advocate for our patients and our mission,” said Miller.
Administrative Volunteer of the Year, Zach Robinette of Winchester, manages a busy school schedule and a rotating work schedule to still find time to support Blue Ridge Hospice with numerous administrative tasks. “Zach is always willing to take on new challenges, even tedious ones, and can be trusted to take the initiative to solve any new problems that may arise,” commented Jarvis.
A number of local businesses served as sponsors of this year’s annual event, which carried the theme of “The Many Faces of Volunteering.” The volunteers enjoyed a catered dinner and later posed for photographs.