Photo courtesy of Pine Tree Hospice THANKING VOLUNTEERS -- Pine Tree Hospice direct care volunteers were recognized at an appreciation event on Sept. 15. Volunteer Coordinator Cheryl Crabtree, center, made a surprise guest appearance as the organization’s logo, a purple butterfly.

DOVER-FOXCROFT – Pine Tree Hospice staff and direct care volunteers gathered at the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church on Sept. 15 for refreshments, games, awards, door prizes, and to meet a “special surprise guest” — their own volunteer coordinator dressed as the organization’s logo, a purple butterfly.

PTH Executive Director Kristen Sutherland greeted direct care volunteers and their guests at this inaugural annual volunteer appreciation event. 

“This has been a challenging year and a half for so many reasons and for so many of us personally, but also in the work that we do,” she said. “I am just so excited about the things that we were able to do, however, during this time. Direct care volunteers have given over 1,500 hours of volunteering and that’s since October, so we still have another month and half of reporting to come in, which is amazing!”

Among those hours were about 860 client contacts — times that volunteers either visited clients or delivered food to them, said Sutherland. 

“The work that you guys do as direct care volunteers really fills a huge gap,” she told the audience. “Many of your clients are individuals that don’t qualify  for medical hospice, but they have …so many needs, and who’s there to give them services? We are, which is so amazing! There are  so many more individuals out there that need our services, but we’re doing what we can do with the capacity that we have. That’s why volunteer trainings are so important, and inviting guests to come hear about what we do is so important. I just want to really, really, really thank you for the work that you do. It’s incredible.”

Volunteer Coordinator Cheryl Crabtree took the floor to say a few words of recognition about each volunteer, while Program Assistant Pam Pultz delivered gift bags to each volunteer. 

This was followed by refreshments, Crabtree’s reappearance as a purple butterfly, and a rousing Jeopardy-style question and answer game. 

“Kristen and Cheryl were taking numbers off the board and saying things like ‘Pine Tree Hospice for $200,’ and contestants had to answer in Jeopardy form. It was kind of hilarious,” said Pultz. 

Guests were divided into two teams. “The winning team got presents, and so did the not winning team,” she quipped. 

Pine Tree Hospice provides free, non-medical services to individuals with life-limiting conditions, and their families. For more information, call 207-802-8078 or visit pinetreehospice.org.