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Published on April 17, 2007

KCH Honors Outstanding Volunteers

April 17, 2007

2007 Volunteer Appreciate Week honorees are, from left: (front) Mary Singer, Judy Letzter. (back) Jan Sofranko, Leslie Jacox, Mark Balkcom and Carol Shawl.

2007 Volunteer Appreciate Week
honorees are, from left: (front)
Mary Singer, Judy Letzter. (back)
Jan Sofranko, Leslie Jacox, Mark
Balkcom and Carol Shawl.

DAs part of its National Volunteer Week observance, the Kishwaukee Community Hospital Auxiliary has recognized six volunteers for going above and beyond their volunteer responsibilities.

Leslie Jacox, Sycamore, KCH Auxiliary president, was honored for her dedication to fundraising for the hospital. She has chaired or co-chaired the Auxiliary's two largest fundraisers, the Snow Ball and Potpourri. She has been a volunteer since 2001, and joined the Auxiliary Board in 2004. She became the Auxiliary's president in 2006. Jacox is the mother of two school-aged children and works full time at Hauser-Ross Eye Institute and Surgicenter.

Mary Singer, DeKalb, has been an active volunteer since 1989. In 1988, Singer retired from the Broadview Police Department where she was the secretary to the Chief of Police. In those 18 years, she has logged over 1,800 hours of service. She volunteers in the Surgery Waiting Room and also plans and conducts annual workshops for other Surgery Waiting Room volunteers.

“Mary is a very warm and giving person who cares for each patient and family member she meets. She has received many letters of thanks from patients' families who have appreciated her sincerity and concern while waiting to hear news about their loved ones surgery,” said Judy Findlay, KCH volunteer coordinator.

Mark Balkcom, DeKalb, has volunteered for KCH only since 2004, but has already logged over 850 hours. Balkcom is willing to take on any task that needs to be done and is willing to fill volunteer vacancies at the last minute. He is known to stop in the Volunteer Office with his calendar and ask when and where he is most needed, Findlay said. Balkcom is retired from Fermi National Accelerator Lab where he was the audit director.

When Carol Shawl, DeKalb, is working in the KCH Gift Shop, sales will be good. Shawl is enthusiastic about all the merchandise sold in the gift shop. She works there every Friday and is dedicated to helping shoppers find the perfect gift. She has volunteered 2,645 hours since she began at KCH in 1997.

Judy Letzter, DeKalb, began volunteering in 2005 at the Reception Desk and as a hospital escort. In those two years, Letzter has logged over 500 hours. “She provides excellent service to patients and visitors,” said Paula von Ende, Volunteer Services director

As Gift Shop manager, Jan Sofranko, Malta, keeps busy with her daily tasks. However, her love of dogs prompted her to research and develop a new program designed to help the hospital's patients. Along with KCH staff, Sofranko implemented Healing Paws, a program in which she visits patients with one of her two golden retrievers. This new service has received high praise for Sofranko and her canine friends. She also takes her specially-trained dogs to area nursing homes and elder living centers.

"All of these recipients have demonstrated outstanding service to Kishwaukee Hospital," von Ende said. "They are an amazing group."

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