Robinson Hospice volunteers honored

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Seventy-eight Robinson Hospice volunteers recently were honored for their dedication and service to the Portage County community.

The annual event, held this year at the Ravenna Elks Lodge, celebrated those who care for individuals with a life-limiting illness.

Robinson Hospice volunteers are an integral part of a team that provides holistic care, focusing on the physical, emotional, spiritual and practical needs of the patient and family. Volunteers give of their time and talent in a wide variety of ways such as home visits for companionship and support, hair care, running errands for the family, light housekeeping, writing life stories and providing support to families during their time of loss.

The theme for this years' event was "Come to the Masquerade."

A pre-dinner social time with appetizers and sparkling cider welcomed more than 90 attendees followed by an Opulent Feast. Stephen Colecchi, president and chief executive officer of Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, welcomed the hospice volunteers and expressed gratitude and admiration for the many ways they serve the hospice patients and their families through the variety of services they provide. Hospice Manager Kathy Korman, registered nurse, highlighted each of those services in her address.

The entertainment was based on the hit show, "Dancing with the Stars."

Each year, a committee of hospice staff volunteer themselves to entertain the Robinson Hospice volunteers to let them know how much they are appreciated and are truly a part of the hospice team.

This year they stepped outside their comfort zone and performed dance routines from "Boogie Nights," "In The Mood," and "The Adams Family Tango." Other dancers performed fast paced Swing numbers that delighted the audience.

On hand were Laura VonStein as Carrie Ann Inaba, Ryan Tessean as Len Goodman, and Steve Antalvari as Bruno Tonioli to judge all of the dancers and award them the coveted glitter ball trophy.

As the evening ended, Bernadette Thomas, coordinator of Hospice Volunteer Services, addressed the volunteers. "If you leave remembering anything from this evening, our hope is that you leave knowing and feeling appreciated for who you are and the great good you do for Robinson Visiting Nurse and Hospice," she stated.

In 2011, 78 Robinson Hospice volunteers contributed 4,318 hours of service.

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In attendance at the annual event honoring the Robinson Hospice volunteers are, from left, Sarah Hindel, guest- Scott Hindel, Hospice chaplain- Kathy Korman, RN, Hospice manager- Stephen Colecchi, president and chief executive officer of Robinson Memorial Hospital; Bernadette Thomas, coordinator of Hospice Volunteer Services; Bill Wisniewski, spiritual care volunteer; and Patti Wisniewski, guest.

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