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Norwalk Hospice Volunteers Receive Special Awards

May 16, 2012

Norwalk, Connecticut, May 9, 2012……..In celebration of National Volunteer Week, the Norwalk office of Masonicare Home Health & Hospice honored its hospice volunteers who have contributed in countless ways to the hospice program during the past year.  A champagne reception for the volunteers was held recently at Lux, Bond and Green in Westport.

At the special award event, every honoree who achieved 1, 5, or 10 years of service was recognized and presented with a gift of appreciation from Masonicare.  In addition, the D.O.V.E. (Dedicated to Outstanding Volunteer Excellence) award and the first Rose award, which will now be given annually, were presented.

Rita Kogstad of Stamford received the highly regarded D.O.V.E. award and was presented with a uniquely designed D.O.V.E. award pin and a crystal star from Lux, Bond and Green.  Masonicare Home Health & Hospice gives the D.O.V.E. award yearly to one volunteer who exhibits exceptional dedication to the program and exemplifies the true spirit of hospice care.

Paula Bruns, Volunteer Coordinator, praised Rita for her dedication to the hospice program and her tremendous growth as a volunteer.  “Rita, a native of England, has been volunteering for the program for four years.  During that time, she’s discovered how fascinating the I-Pad is for hospice patients, even using it to help fulfill a patient’s “bucket list” wish to use a computer!”  
Paula also remarked that when Rita first took the hospice volunteer training class, she expressed some apprehension about being able to handle the emotional aspects of this work. 

 “Rita’s honesty and compassion are part of what makes her an exceptional volunteer.  She has risen to what she initially saw as challenges, but now sees as very meaningful work.”  In addition to her weekly visits, Rita brings her gentle compassion to the bedsides of patients to sit vigils in their final hours of life.”  Her husband, Rolf, is a huge supporter of both hospice – and his wife – and often attends the monthly volunteer training sessions. 

Jackie Parisault of Norwalk and her poodle, Mocha, volunteers with Masonicare’s Creature Comforts program, were the first recipients of the Rose Award, which will now be given annually to a volunteer who brings an extra sense of joy and fun to their visits.  The Rose award was established to honor the memory of Rose Pepiora and her lifelong legacy of volunteerism.  Jackie and Mocha, who is often dressed in costumes that reflect the season, visit patients in facilities throughoutFairfieldCounty, bringing many smiles and happy moments. “It is a true joy to watch the reactions of our hospice patients when Jackie and Mocha visit.  There’s something extra special that a dog brings to a visit,” says Bruns.  Jackie was honored with a beautiful bouquet of roses, and Mocha received a gift card to a local pet supply store. 

If you would like information about Masonicare’s Hospice program or learn how you can become a volunteer, please call Paula Bruns, Volunteer Coordinator, at 203-831-8882. 

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Rita Kogstad of Stamford and her husband, Rolf, at Masonicare Home Health & Hospice’s Volunteer Appreciation Reception held at Lux, Bond & Green inWestport

Jackie Parisault and Mocha of Norwalk, volunteers with Masonicare’s Creature Comforts program, were presented with the newly established “Rose” award in appreciation for their dedication to the Hospice program.