The event was held midday in Saint Mary’s hospitality café, which was adorned with scores of red poinsettias and beautiful arrangements of red roses and bright green mums. A nine-foot Christmas tree graced one corner of the room, while nutcracker soldiers stood guard at the door and on the red and white clothed buffet. Luncheon plates were filled with country ham, smoked turkey and a delicious variety of dips, spreads, breads and crudités. Fresh fruit and decadent candies and cookies provided a sweet finish to the meal.
Hospital administrators Mike McCoy, Chief Executive Officer, Wendell Van Es, Chief Financial Officer and Patricia Dolan, Chief Nursing Officer were present to welcome volunteers as they arrived and thank them for their service and commitment to Saint Mary’s. Ceremonies were initiated with a welcome from Auxiliary President Clarice Cox. Vice President Evelyn Denton then shared inspirational readings and led the group in the Prayer for Hospital Auxiliaries.
Joyful entertainment was provided as attendees enjoyed their meal. Shirley Stewart of Russellville played the piano beautifully. Caitlyn Swain and Taylor Drain of the Russellville High School Chamber Choir sang “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” and were followed by a Christmas concert by the Bells of Joy Ensemble of the First Baptist Church, Russellville.
Volunteers new to the Saint Mary’s program were given a warm welcome immediately following lunch. Committee members were recognized as well. In addition to regular duty at the hospital, many volunteers contribute additional time to various committees within the program. The “Stamps for Soldiers” committee, for example, collects used postage stamps that are then donated to veterans’ hospitals. Wounded soldiers or those who may have suffered strokes clean paper from the stamps, which helps with fine motor skill rehabilitation. The “Christmas Stocking” committee makes and delivers hand-made
The 2008-2009 auxiliary officers, who were nominated and took over their positions earlier this year, were also honored during the festivities. President Cox and Vice President Denton, along with Secretary Julie Daughtry and Treasurer Shirlene White each received a beautiful piece of crystal in appreciation for their guidance and leadership.