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Hospice of Marion County recognizes volunteers

Kerry Hoerner, Empath Hospice Division Senior Vice President, and Hospice of Marion County CEO Rick Bourne, took part in the pirate themed volunteer recognition luncheon on April 18. [Photo courtesy of Hospice of Marion County]

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Posted April 23, 2024 | Staff report

National Volunteer week is April 21-27. Hospice of Marion County (HMC) paid tribute to the organization’s volunteers on April 18 with a pirate themed luncheon to highlight the “bounty” of services they help deliver.

“Hospice of Marion County volunteers are at the heart of our organization, tirelessly giving of their time to make a difference for our patients and families. We are honored and grateful for their dedication to HMC,” CEO Rick Bourne stated in a news release.

Each year HMC recognizes volunteers in multiple categories. This year’s awards went to:

  • Volunteer of the Year: Fred Massa, who has volunteered with HMC four years and three months and has given more than 2,000 hours. He works as a mail courier, a pharmacy courier and at the Six Gun Thrift Store.
  • Rookie of the Year: Steve Sarkozy has been volunteering for just nine months and has contributed more than 300 hours by volunteering as a pharmacy courier and performing veteran recognition ceremonies.
  • Top Hours: Sharon Rinschler and her dog Dakota, with more than 10,000 hours, have served as a pet visitor and across multiple other areas of the organization.
  • Top Years: Ester Folsom, with more than 25 years of dedicated service, has made a tremendous difference in our HMC Thrift Stores.
  • Presidential Service Awards were given to 13 volunteers who devoted 500 hours or more.

“Hospice of Marion County provides a range of opportunities to volunteer, such as office support, veterans’ programs, patient support, thrift stores, fundraising, community events and pet programs, however, we currently need patient support volunteers the most,” noted Director of Volunteers Beverly Lafferty in the release.

To learn more, go to or call (352) 873-7441.

A large crowd enjoyed the Hospice of Marion County volunteer recognition luncheon on April 18. [Photo courtesy of Hospice of Marion County]

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