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ETMC Athens Auxiliary recognized for hours, gifts given

One of the most giving organizations in Henderson County has to be the ETMC Athens Auxiliary. 

Not only do members volunteer hundreds, even thousands of hours to comfort, guide and assist patients and visitors at the hospital, they also work year-round to raise funds to give away. This past year, the auxiliary gave almost $100,000 in scholarship funds and gifts. 

Many members gathered recently for the auxiliary’s annual awards luncheon, where the hard work is recognized and encouragement handed out. 

“We all believe in what you’re doing,” said Louise Graham, who is in charge of infection control at ETMC Athens and is called upon each year to help instate new and returning auxiliary officers. “Volunteers make a difference. It’s so wonderful to see all of your smiling faces at our beautiful hospital.” 

ETMC Athens Administrator Pat Wallace thanked the volunteers not only for their time and efforts, but also for the substantial monetary gifts provided to the hospital. The auxiliary gave $38,000 in the past year to nursing scholarships. In addition, $60,000 was given to the hospital to place brand new TV sets in the new ER and ICU departments, as well as the not-yet-opened new surgery and obstetrics areas.

 “We are very appreciative of all you do,” affirmed Wallace. 

Mark Tankersley, dietary department director at the hospital, also handed out the newly christened “Golden Spoon Award” to recognize the volunteers for having taken over the responsibility of handing out menus to patients in advance of meal preparation. 

Tommie Avera, who chairs the awards banquet, announced new “hour bars” given to members in recognition of hours volunteered over the past year.

 “I am amazed at the hours people have put in,” she said. “This is the most wonderful organization to be a part of. I thank you so much for the fun and the fellowship and the good work we do.”

Outgoing Auxiliary President Linda Kunick thanked her fellow volunteers for their “wonderful help” over the past year and handed the gavel over to incoming president Wanda Kinney. 

 This year’s auxiliary officers are: Wanda Kinney, president; Pat Rogers, first VP; Tommie Avera, second VP; Jim Alexander, historian; Terry Sory, secretary; and Bess Philbrick, treasurer. In addition, Doris Gardenhire serves as publicity chair. 

For information about becoming an ETMC Athens Auxiliary member, please call the hospital gift shop at 903-676-1137 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. M-F and 1-4 p.m. on the weekends. Applications may be picked up there as well.