BANGOR — Hospice of Eastern Maine honored two volunteers for distinguished service at its recent annual appreciation dinner and recognition evening. Kathryn “Kathy” Vanaria of Newburgh received the Lillian Rivers Award for her significant contributions in nonpatient service. Gail Wallace was presented the Patricia Jameson Award for Hospice Volunteer Excellence, HOEM’s highest accolade for patient care volunteers.
Vanaria received the Rivers Award in recognition for the many hours she donated producing Legacy Projects for hospice patients and families, co-chairing the annual Celebrity Dessert and Auction with Volunteer Manager Wayne Melanson, and researching current resources to purchase for the HOEM Lending Library.
Wallace was given the Jameson Award in recognition of the hours of selfless, compassionate service she provided four terminally ill patients in the Enfield-Lincoln area.
Vanaria has been a volunteer with HOEM since November 2008 and is a past Jameson Award recipient. She is an active patient volunteer, respected for the exceptional care she provides, but she also devotes significant time to nonpatient care services. She developed the Legacy Project to provide HOEM patients and families an opportunity to record photos, music and words on a DVD as a family keepsake. Since 2010, she has been the volunteer administrative assistant for HOEM’s annual Celebrity Dessert and Auction — soliciting, logging and researching items — and producing an attractive, informative catalog filled with interesting trivia and humor. She also has volunteered to research and recommend educational resources for HOEM to purchase for its Lending Library. She donated more than 400 hours of nonpatient care in 2013.
Wallace has been a dedicated patient care volunteer with HOEM since November 2004, co-serving Community Health and Counseling Services Hospice patients in the Howland-Lincoln area. She provided compassionate volunteer care for four hospice patients and their families in 2013 — sitting, talking, listening, laughing and providing a safe presence for the patient so the caregiver could have a break. In addition to providing patient care, Wallace attended several educational offerings, followed a family in bereavement, solicited items for HOEM’s Celebrity Dessert and Auction and substituted for the Lincoln area volunteer coordinator as needed. Wallace is a long-time LPN in the Howland-Lincoln area, well-known for her professional and loving care of patients at both Penobscot Valley Hospital and Cummings Nursing Home, from which she retired in 2011. She has served 31 patients and families since becoming a HOEM volunteer and devoted more than 900 hours of her life to hospice.