Celebrating our Volunteers

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On April 9th, a breakfast was held at the Chapel Hill Country Club to honor and celebrate the many contributions volunteers make to SECU Family House.

A special Service Before Self Award was made to Wivi Sternbach, one of our early volunteers who passed away in November, in recognition of her many contributions to Family House. Wivi helped set up guest rooms before the house opened and then expanded her role to include monthly Trader Joe’s deliveries, as well as a regularly scheduled meal with her tennis team, the Racquettes.

Service Before Self

George Spencer was recognized for his role in the creation and stewardship of the Music and Arts Program at Family House. Shortly after the house opened, George single-handedly launched the program and continues to fill our Great Room with singers, accordion and ukulele players, string and brass quintets, bands of all kinds, tap dancers and even magicians.

George Spencer

A tribute to Gone but Not Forgotten volunteers was made. In 2014, we lost three wonderful volunteers: David Holdzkom, Wivi Sternbach and George Holt.

Gone but not forgotten

And last but not least, the 2014 Butch and Tammy Davis Volunteer of the Year was announced. The SECU Family House Volunteer of the Year is Carol George, a retired IT professional from Bristol Myers Squibb. Carol can be found at the front desk, and in the kitchen – cleaning, organizing the cupboards and pantries, visiting with guests, or helping with the Trader Joe’s deliveries – and does everything she offers to do with tremendous grace and efficiency. Carol’s willingness to always lend a hand is reflected in the number of volunteer hours she logged in 2014 – close to 350, the greatest number of hours of all our volunteers. Special party favors of Chapel Hill Toffee were donated by Karen, Christy and Mark Graves and special limited edition Liz Buchman hand-painted birdhouses were given away to three lucky volunteers.

Carol George, volunteer of the year

Volunteers are central to the SECU Family House mission of providing guests with a supportive, nurturing home away from home in which to rest, heal, recuperate and gather strength for arduous treatment regimens. They provide comfort and care, and perform essential functions that help keep the house running smoothly. In short, they number over 200 strong and are the backbone of Family House. Volunteers served close to 13,000 hours in 2014 at the front desk, folding laundry, cleaning the kitchen, picking up food from Trader Joe’s, organizing the pantry, planning special events, providing meals, entering data, coordinating entertainment, decorating the house, packaging toiletries, providing pet therapy and Reiki. Thank you to all volunteers! 


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