Hospital toasts its volunteers |

Hospital toasts its volunteers

Carolyn Pope
Carolyn Pope/Special to the Daily Stephanie Glenwright, Ellen Fetterolf and Mary Jo Froberg.

EDWARDS – It’s not common to find an organization where people volunteer thousands of hours each year. Hours are important too, to maintain a nonprofit status, and oftentimes, organizations need to hound their volunteers to track their time.The Vail Valley Medical Center Volunteer Corps doesn’t have that problem.Someone like Laura Garbe, for example, has given more than 6,000 hours of her time this organization. Ann Kirk is up to 1,500. These are hours spent at not the most exciting tasks, but certainly some of the most necessary.The ladies and gentleman of the volunteer corps do many things to help the medical center and those who are hospitalized. They do everything from manning the information desks at the medical center in Vail and at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center in Edwards, to helping out in the emergency room or spending time with patients who are terminally ill at the hospice. “We’re a fortunate institution that we have you, as volunteers to help our patients,” said Ed O’Brien, chief executive of the medical center.That certainly is an understatement – if you add up the hours these people give, you’d have to hire a whole lot of staff to fill the gap that would form. The organization has also created a Junior Corps for young people, around age 12 to 15, to spend time in the hospital assisting as needed.

Last month, the Volunteer Corps held their annual award luncheon at Balata at the Sonnenalp Club in Singletree. There, awards were handed out to applaud the volunteers, many of whom donated at least 100 over the past year just to do good.Cliff Zinda was honored as the volunteer of the year. Not only is he a regular fixture at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center, but he is continually improving his skills to be an even better volunteer by taking courses in first aid, CPR, Homeland Defense and Family Counseling.Mary Jo Froberg was honored as the outstanding service volunteer. The energetic and extroverted woman also donates much of her time and enthusiasm to the organization. Her comment about the award?

“I’m just a party girl,” she said. No surprise – she’s often seen manning the barbecue or serving drinks at the many volunteer barbecues and parties.

Stan Anderson, senior vice President of administrative services said it best. “Thanks to you, our volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you!”For more information on the Vail Valley Medical Center Volunteer Corps, call Andy at 476-2161.Vail, Colorado

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