More than 200 AtlantiCare volunteers were honored for their dedication and service during the annual AtlantiCare Volunteer Appreciation Reception and Dinner at Renault Winery in Egg Harbor City on April 25.
The volunteers are instrumental in the overall success of the health care organization, said Maureen Hope, AtlantiCare's volunteer supervisor. These men and women serve in a wide variety of roles, from assisting with clerical work and visiting with hospice patients to organizing fundraisers and knitting patients' blankets, to name a few of their tasks.
"If you just stand in this room, you will feel the love, because you are surrounded by a group of wonderfully giving people," Hope said.
Ocean City resident and AtlantiCare volunteer Janice Sollazzo spends time visiting with hospice patients.
"There was an older couple I had visited with not too long ago. The husband was in hospice and the wife was his main caregiver, so whenever the wife just needed just a little time to go shopping or whatever, I would step in and spend time with him," Sollazzo said. "We'd just sit together. Once it was spring and summer, we'd go sit outside. We both really enjoyed it."
Hope said AtlantiCare volunteers have also raised funds to put crayons and coloring books in the hospital the waiting rooms for visiting children, put TVs in dialysis and put rocking chairs in the pediatric unit.
"There are so many wonderful things our volunteers do," she said. "I can go on and on and on."
Galloway resident Clare Schroer, who has been a volunteer member of the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center's Mainland auxiliary since 1974, said volunteering is a rewarding experience,
"I get as much out of it as I think I give to other people," Schroer said.
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Local residents among those honored in the annual AtlantiCare Volunteer Appreciation Reception and Dinner included Virginia Baldwin, Debbie Bigler, Molly Longo, Gladys McCardle, Shelly Meyers and Adam Nolan, all of Linwood; Marvin Ashner, of Longport; Ahmed Hussain, Maryam Hussain and Rita Salerno, all of Margate; Virginia Augello, Dennis Coulter, Kathy Friehofer, Susanna Greer, Justin Peruzzi, Jean Rinaldi, Chris Vandenerg and Linda Wachter, all of Northfield; Barbara Mueller, Ray Norman and Geri Rizzo, all of Somers Point; Joy McAlister, Aneta Avramova, Diana Conte, Gentiana Emrulai, Janice Leach, Phyllis Previti, Susan Redman, Anita Sharra, Julie Van Duyne, Marilyn Wimberg, Allen Wolf and Farhana Saeed, all of Ventnor.