Scientific evidence suggests that positive emotions can help us live longer and stay healthier. One documented path to happiness is doing good for others. For 60 years, nearly 400 Meritus Health Auxilians have taken the “volunteer” path to happiness. During their journey, our volunteers have raised $4 million for Meritus Medical Center and its programs, and devoted 3.2 million hours of service. “These people have found out they have a lot to give—and are making a difference in peoples’ lives,” Mitch Towe, director of volunteer services explained.
Meet “golden girl,” Sue Fiedler, volunteer since 1977.
Sue could be a TV sitcom character, but for ten years, her dedication to the Tree of Lights annual campaign has been nothing short of serious. She has since handed over the Tree of Lights torch, but continues to work in the coffee kiosk, help in the Auxiliary office, and serves as board parliamentarian. “My fondest memory has been working with Jean Goodnight on the Tree of Lights. We’re still attached to the hip,” says the former Auxiliary president.
Say hello to the “challenger,” Linda Hovis, volunteer since 1977.
In 1977, Linda’s 14-year-old daughter considered joining the Volunteens—the hospital’s volunteer program for kids ages 14-18. The daughter’s friends discouraged her to join. But, Linda made a deal—if her daughter joined the Volunteens, Linda would join the Auxiliary (despite being a full-time teacher). Mom and daughter signed up and Linda later became chairperson of the Volunteens, two-time Auxiliary president, co-chair of the Tree of Lights, and Auxiliary newsletter editor. When not sleeping, Linda delivers patient mail and plans to be president again following the next two presidential terms.
Meet “no moss grows under my feet,” Delores Rice, volunteer since 2002.
The highlight of Delores’ 2004-2006 presidential Auxiliary terms was establishing “Repeat Performance,” the hospital’s thrift shop. According to Delores, this upscale store has been a valuable means for raising hospital funds. Everything Delores does is top-notch—co-chairing the Auxiliary time-keeping role, filling in at the thrift shop, booking physicians on Your Health Matters radio show, working at the Commission on Aging, and holding the treasurer position at the Corporation for Assistive Technology. “I’ve been given many opportunities in life and feel obligated to give back to the community,” says Delores.
Give a hand to Betty Dattilio, over-achiever and volunteer since 2004.
After a career in personnel for Washington County Social Services, Betty served as Auxiliary president. She currently co-chairs the Tree of Lights, works in the Auxiliary office, and staffs the emergency department’s information desk. She is a tireless fundraiser chairing and co-chairing events like Pastry Day, the sterling silver jewelry sale, and the Spring Fling. “Working with other Auxilians feels just like family,” says Betty.
Happy anniversary and thank you to the men and women who have served the healthcare needs of the region through Meritus Medical Center’s Auxiliary.
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, call 301.790.8143 or check out their website.