Haven Hospice shows
appreciation to volunteers

Haven Hospice Chiefland Care Center Administrator Patrick Allen (left) shakes hands with Jerry Walters. Jerry Walters and his wife Edit (at right in the photo) earned the 2016 Dr. Raymond Fitzpatrick - Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 15, 2016 at 4:07 p.m.
Haven Hospice held its annual luncheon to honor volunteers on Friday afternoon (April 14).



The theme for the luncheon this year was 'We Treasure Our Volunteers.' There were trinkets on every table, includeing treasure chests and mock gold coins. On this table, there was also a pirate's flag.

A table full of door prizes reflects donations by business interests to show appreciation to Haven Hospice volunteers. These prizes came from the whole Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.

     Volunteers for Haven Hospice received a meal, gifts, door prizes and thanks from the administration and staff of the institution during the yearly special and fun event.
     Volunteer Coordinator Vondla Sullivan organized the event, which included the presentation of many honors to the volunteers.
     Patrick Allen the new administrator for the Chiefland Care Center of Haven Hospice. Allen is a returning administrator here, and he was warmly welcomed back by many volunteers.

Haven Hospice President Gayle Matteson tells everyone that she found a lot of happiness in the past few weeks by having the chance to meet so many extraordinary volunteers from across the 18-county service area of this hospice organization.

     In June of 2016, Haven Hospice and Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Florida Keys announced the appointment of Gayle Mattson as president.
     President Mattson was at this event as well, and she shared information and words of thanks to the volunteers as well.
     Among the other significant Haven Hospice leaders at the event this year were Director of Development Courtney Quirie and Manager of Volunteer Services Susie Finfrock.
     As Volunteer Coordinator Sullivan opened the program, she shared with the audience that this year’s celebration of volunteer service by Haven Hospice in Chiefland was dedicated to the memory of Jan Ladu, Pamela Rivett and Jordan Elmore.
     Ladu was from Dixie County. In the past few years, she was not an active volunteer due to health reasons, Sullivan said. At the end of Ladu’s life, she was able to be served at Haven Hospice.
     Rivett, who had been among the volunteers at The Attic in Chiefland, passed away this year.
     Elmore, an active volunteer, died this year at the age of 18, Sullivan said.
     “Jordan had volunteered with us since she was like 2 years old, when I was here back in the ‘90s, and I was a volunteer coordinator here,” Sullivan said. “Her grandmother would bring her, and she became a volunteer later at the age when you could become one.”
     The young lady would join her grandmother as she delivered lap quilts, blankets and the like. Her grandmother is very active making red, white and blue lap throws for veterans, Sullivan said.
     Elmore died from a congenital heart defect. She had graduated high school and died in 2016.
     Another person Sullivan recognized early in the program was Norene Cooper, who she said was her “right hand” and that if a person gets a call from Cooper, they should consider it as if Sullivan was calling.
     Cooper, by the way, was the recipient of the Haven Hospice Volunteer of the Year Award for the Chiefland service area during the volunteer appreciation luncheon and awards event, when it was held at First Baptist Church on April 4, 2014.

Haven Hospice Chiefland Care Center Administrator Patrick Allen speaks to the volunteers.

Haven Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Vondla Sullivan puts rolls in a basket. When the coordinator was asked why she did not have a volunteer perform this job, she said the luncheon was to honor and thank the volunteers.

     The 2016 Administrative Volunteer Award was earned by Sandy Reed, who is another person that Sullivan mentioned as being very helpful to her, and who she sees as an upcoming “right hand” person. Reed, who is said to be very humble, was not present to accept the award.

     Although there was no official award, the caterer for 2016 was invited to return.   
     Jed Mitchell Catering was the provider of food again this year, having received such rave reviews from last year. Delicious, boneless barbecue chicken, tossed salad, green beans, prepared potatoes, rolls, and a wide assortment of desserts were served by people, including Mitchell, who took time out from his other work to serve the volunteers of Haven Hospice (and one journalist).
    Haven Hospice Chaplain Janice Kirk provided the prayer before people went to accept food provided to them.
     There were many door prizes awarded randomly to volunteers at the luncheon, which was held in the Haven Hospice Community Building. The door prizes were donated by several business interests in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.
     Among those prizes were a diamond necklace valued at $525, a reclining lawn chair, gift certificates to The Attic, and a couple of $50-off certificates for reduced room rental at The Putnam Lodge – Hotel And Spa of Dixie County.
     Administrator Allen let the volunteers know that they are very special to Haven Hospice, and to the hospice industry. Hospice grew out of the volunteer movement, he said.
     In fact, he added, hospice is required by Medicare to have a certain percentage of volunteer hours as part of the staff hours, or that federal agency will not pay for other services.

     For the Chiefland Care Center to accomplish it mission in this region of Florida, it depends on each and every volunteer, Allen said, and their dedication and donation of their time is greatly appreciated.
     “We could not do what we do,” Allen said, “without you guys. So I want to sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
     There were 21,788 total volunteer hours recorded in 2016 for Haven Hospice at its Chiefland center, Allen said.
     That translates to money that is in excess of $513,330 as a result of the donation of time by those individuals.
     President Mattson echoed Allen’s sentiments.
     “Thank you very much on behalf of the leadership team at Haven, on my behalf,” President Mattson said, “for the work that you do every day. We really couldn’t do it without you.”
     The leader of the organization said she has been very happy during the past few weeks as she visits communities where volunteers are serving the patients and families served by Haven Hospice.

(from left) Jerry Walters, Edith Walters and Patrick Allen pause for a photo opportunity after the presentation to the Walters of the Dr. Raymond Fitzpatrick - Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award.

     The Dr. Raymond Fitzpatrick - Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award is the highest annual honor bestowed upon a Haven Hospice volunteer.
     It was established in 1993.
     Jerry and Edith Walters earned the distinction for their work in 2016, Sullivan said.
     From 1979 to 1984, Dr. Fitzpatrick was the medical director of Haven Hospice.
     This award recognizes an exceptional person who has shown outstanding leadership in several areas and has served as a role model, Sullivan said.
     This husband and wife team has demonstrated their leadership by sitting with patients, to demonstrate their belief that no person should die alone, Sullivan said.
     Sullivan said this couple has served in especially critical 23 and 36-hour periods as they stayed with individuals. She mentioned that the couple occasionally returns to Wisconsin and then they return to Florida with cheese for several of their friends.
     They’ve provided respite care for family members. They have helped with the annual veterans’ luncheon. For last year’s veterans’ luncheon, Edith Walters spent seven hours ironing table cloths when Sullivan told her she needed that help the day before they were needed to be on the table.
     They have been volunteers for Haven Hospice during the past eight years, Sullivan said, and they have dedicated about 4,000 volunteer hours.
     They help in civic groups in Dixie County as well, including the Dixie County Senior Center, Sullivan said.

Eleanora Orlando holds up a certificate for $50 off of room rental from The Putnam Lodge – Hotel And Spa of Dixie County. She also won other door prizes as part of that package. She also accepted her 3-Year service pin and the award for 2016 Spiritual Care.

     Director of Development Courtney Quirie said she was very happy to be part of the activities in the Community Building of Haven Hospice in Chiefland.
     She said hospice would not exist without volunteers. Haven Hospice was started by volunteers, she said.
     Quirie spoke about the entire Haven Hospice success in 2016 in regard to volunteers.
      In the 18 counties served by Haven Hospice, there were 124,911 volunteer hours in 2016, Quirie said.
     Medicare requires hospice organizations to show at least 5 percent of the hours for patients, families and friends come from volunteers, Quirie said.
     Chiefland reflected a 12 percent donation of all of the time in 2016 that was dedicated to patients, family and friends, she said.
     Agency-wide, Haven Hospice showed 10 percent of its time coming from volunteers. Therefore, Chiefland was a couple of percentage points better than par.
     There were 66 percent of all patients in 2016 received some sort of care from volunteers – whether it was a telephone call, a visit or some other form of help, Quirie said.
     The donation of help provided by volunteers for Haven Hospice in 2016 was equal to $2.9 million. The cost savings is greatly appreciated, she said.

Elke Roach (above) is one of the 10-Year pin award winners. Eirlys Rawcliff was not present to accept her pin this year.

Two of the 5-Year pin recipients are seen above.

Two of the 3-Year pin award recipients are seen above.

Above are some of the 1-Year pin award winners.

Haven Hospice Volunteer Services Manager Susie Finfrock  hold one of the Haven Hospice lunch bags that were given to each volunteer at the luncheon.

     Haven Hospice Volunteer Services Manager Susie Finfrock also thanked everyone for their service to others.
     She mentioned that every volunteer would be given a Haven Hospice lunchbox that day too.
     Finfrock said she loves visiting in Chiefland, because thanks to the friendly nature of Volunteer Coordinator Sullivan, this team makes everyone feel like they are part of a happy family.
     Before Finfrock presented pins for years of service, she shared a quote from Edith Wharton (1862-1937) – “There are two ways of spreading light — to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
     Not all of the volunteers were in attendance Friday.
     The 10-Year pins went to Eirlys Rawcliff and Elke Roach.
     The 5-Year pins went to June Aitchison, Nicholas Ferguson, Mary Ann Griner, Arlene Lang, Nyla Lockwood, Lorina Lucas and Marie Lucas.
     The 3-Year pins went to Maria DeLeon, Emanuel Harris and Eleanora Orlando.
     The 1-Year pins went to Jill Boyer, Bethanie Coats, Mary Courtney, Patricia Ellwood, Melanie Fernandez, Kaye Gaither, Michael and Honey Gaither, Judy Hite, Gloria Jones, Diane Lewis, Mikki Listemann, Sandy Reed, Jackie Stevens and Bobby Stickles.

Haven Hospice Chaplain Janice Kirk (left) and 2016 Spiritual Care Volunteer Award winner Eleanora Orlando are seen here at the luncheon.

     Haven Hospice Chaplain Janice Kirk spoke about the 2016 Spiritual Care Volunteer of the Year.
     Kirk has been the chaplain at Haven Hospice in Chiefland for seven years now.
     The 2016 Spiritual Care Volunteer of the Year is Eleanora Orlando, and she has been a volunteer at Haven Hospice for three years. She retired from Haven Hospice, where she had served as a nurse.
     After retirement, Orlando even worked during weekends, “So we know she has a great understanding of what it means to be in the trenches,” Kirk said.
     She has served patients at other institutions in Dixie County and Gilchrist County as a volunteer for Haven Hospice as well as at patients’ homes, Kirk said of Orlando.
     Orlando served 81 volunteer hours in 2016, Kirk said, and she made 121 visits to patients in transition.

The Attic Store Manager Malesa McCleery (left) stands with Joyce Maxwell, a volunteer who brightens the day for everyone around her as she adds laughter to their lives.


     The Attic Store Manager Malesa McCleery spoke about the volunteers serving in this retail thrift outlet in 2016.
     The Attic in Chiefland is located in the Save-A-Lot shopping center, which is on the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 19 and U.S. Highway 129 in Chiefland (caddy-corner from Chiefland High School).
     This was the fourth Haven Attic Resale Store to open for this hospice organization that serves 18 counties.
     (Haven Hospice is not connected with the Hospice of Citrus County, which is also known as the Hospice of the Nature Coast. It also has a thrift shop and accepts donations, but the Citrus County hospice has no care center in Levy County. They are two separate hospice organizations.)
     McCleery said that in 2016 there was a gross income at The Attic of Chiefland in excess of $360,000. During the past five years, The Attic of Chiefland has brought in a gross amount that is in excess of $1 million to help Haven Hospice’s patients, families and friends.
     “The volunteers are the backbone of The Attic,” she said as she thanked every volunteer who has served there.
     The 2016 Volunteer of the Year for The Attic is Joyce Maxwell.
     Maxwell dedicated more than 1,500 hours in 2016, and has been a volunteer there for two years now, McCleery said. This volunteer is always happy, and she makes people laugh a lot with her humor.

(from left) Volunteer Coordinator Vondla Sullivan, Debbie Hamon and Chiefland Care Center Administrator Patrick Allen are seen soon after the presentation of the award to Hamon.

     The winner of the 2016 Patient Caregiver Award is Debbie Hamon.
     Hamon was noted for serving Haven Hospice families and friends in several different capacities, including working at The Attic on occasion.

      The person who earned the 2016 Patient/Family Care Center – Volunteer Service Award was Judy Roche.
     This award goes to the person who has qualities of showing compassion in caring for Haven Hospice’s patients as well as being conscientious about their duties at the Chiefland Care Center.
     Roche has volunteered for nine years at Haven.

     The late Arnold Dittenber was well-known for his positive attitude and he was often noted to be an ambassador for Haven Hospice.
     The 2016 Arnold Dittenber Community Outreach/Ambassador Award was earned by Michael, Kaye and Honey Gaither.
     Honey is a medical service dog that helps Michael, a disabled American veteran who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other health issues.
     The Gaithers earned this award for their outreach in 2016, where they visited schools and other facilities to help students and adults know more about hospice care, to recruit other volunteers and promote Haven Hospice’s services.

LCI and GCSO to help
Special Olympics Torch Run

Published April 5, 2017 at 2:37 p.m.
on the Community Page of
Lancaster Correctional Institution and the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office are helping the Special Olympics Torch Run with a fundraiser on April 27 and a 5K walk on May 4, LCI Correctional Officer Anita Barrow said.

     Everyone is invited to the Tip A Cop program at Hobo's Restaurant, 115 N.W. Firsd St., in Trenton, from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 27. Part of the night’s proceeds from this event will help the Special Olympics.
     On May 4, starting at 8 a.m. in front of Lancaster Correctional Institution (LCI), 3449 S.W. State Road 26, near Trenton, there will be a 5K Special Olympics Torch Walk, she said.
     The participants will be walking along the Nature Coast State Trail, which runs parallel with SR 26 between LCI and the City of Trenton.
     Barrow said one part of raising funds is the purchase of tee-shirts to support the Special Olympics. These shirts cost $13 each, and she anticipates having many of them in every size during both the Tip A Cop and the Torch Run events.

Top For Chamber Of Commerce Ads


SUNDAY  APRIL 23  8:37 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

Click on ads to go to websites.

Ad For Weeks Bail Bods


Click on the ad above to go to the CF website for the Levy County campus.

Click on the ad above
to go to the CF website.

Ad For Putnam Lodge Hotel And Spa  Fine Dining

Please click on ads to go to websites.




Please Click On The Above Ad To Go To The Archived Stories And Photos.