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January 29, 2020

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Mercy Health - St. Rita’s volunteers present check to medical center

Mercy Health - St. Rita’s Medical Center Volunteer/Auxiliary Resources president, Joyce Gerdeman, presented a check for $240,000 to Ronda Lehman, president of St. Rita’s, during St. Rita’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon recently. 

This donation was made on behalf of all St. Rita’s volunteers which includes 438 adults, 82 college students, 132 summer teen volunteers, 125 shadowing students and 209 supporting members. 275 volunteers were in attendance at the event.

“As volunteers our goal is to support the vision of St. Rita’s and Mercy Health.  Whether we are fundraising or donating hours serving our customers our purpose remains the same. To be that extra pair of hands to extend the ministry of Catherine McAuley to our communities,” said Joyce Gerdeman, president of St. Rita’s Volunteer / Auxiliary.

This year’s financial gift has been pledged to the “Legacy” fund. The Legacy Fund was established in celebration of our centennial year (1918-2018), to honor our foundresses, the Sisters of Mercy and build on the Legacy they created.  The Legacy Fund helps Mercy Health St. Rita’s address the community’s most pressing needs.  While the most pressing needs have changed over the last 100 years, the Sisters mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus to improve the health of the community remains. The funds raised for the Legacy fund is helping address the opiate public health crisis locally through awareness, education, prevention, intervention, withdrawal, treatment and referrals. Since 1953, St. Rita’s Volunteer/Auxiliary Resources has raised nearly $9 million for the medical center.

During the luncheon, volunteers were also recognized and 7 new names were be added to the 2,000 Hour Honor Roll. Volunteers include Marti Azzarello, Mary Brubaker, Sharon Hooker, Thomas Long, Carolyn McNamara, Sally Parker and Susan Witteborg. Sue Sarakaitis, was awarded the “Catherine McAuley Lifetime Achievement Award in Volunteerism” for contributing more than 23 years of experience and 14,500 hours of service to the medical center.

The medical center introduced the 2018-19 St. Rita’s Volunteer/Auxiliary Resources executive team, Jan Kennedy, President; Linda Black, President Elect, Ways and Means; Beverly Brunner Secretary and Historian; Clemmie Proby, Vice President for Caring; Mary Knapke, Vice President for Outreach; Don Williams, Vice President for Recruitment & Retention.

“The Volunteers support our promise to make lives better-mind, body and spirit.  To genuinely enjoy being of service and to make healthcare easier.  Their willingness in both hours served and dollars raised truly support our mission.  We appreciate everything our volunteers contribute to our patients and community. This luncheon is a very small thank you in comparison to all they contribute to St. Rita’s,” said Mark Miller, director of St. Rita’s Volunteer/Auxiliary Resources.