Volunteers are an integral part of the staff at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. They provide warmth and compassion while serving in the waiting rooms for surgery, ICU/CCU and the emergency center, raise funds for the hospital, and staff the information desks and gift shops at Memorial Hospital on Oak Park Boulevard and Memorial Hospital for Women on Nelson and W. Gauthier Roads.
At the recent Auxiliary Annual Meeting, one volunteer was recognized for contributing 7,000 volunteer hours to the hospital. Bennett Lewis, a retired mathematics professor at McNeese, officially joined the Auxiliary in 1985, but had been assisting his wife Doris with her volunteer work for many years. Doris, a former medical technician at Memorial, began volunteering in 1973.
When they first joined the Auxiliary, the Lewises rarely recorded their hours. "We just enjoyed the job," recounts Doris. Bennett and Doris first handed out menus to hospital patients, but now their volunteer task is to stock and replace magazines in the waiting rooms-a great portion of which are donated by their church. "People in the ICU waiting room get awfully tired of looking at the same magazines all week," Doris said.
What's kept them in the Auxiliary for so long? For Bennett and Doris, that's simple: They enjoy helping people and enjoy the warm reception they receive from Memorial Hospital employees. "Everyone who works around here knows us," Bennett said. "We always get smiles from the staff." He also added, "We're just happy to work around here. It's a good environment, and it's one thing we can do together."
Bennett Lewis was one of 25 volunteers recognized with service pins at the Auxiliary annual meeting for their years of dedication. "By their demonstrated commitment and example, these volunteers inspire others to contribute their time and talent for others," said Sherry Schofield, Director of Volunteer Services of Memorial.
Among those receiving their pins were: LouAlice Edmaiston and Tessie Boulet, with 6,000 volunteer hours each; Juanita Moriarty, with 5,000 volunteer hours; Gloria Cotten and Reta Kaspar; with 4,000 volunteer hours each; Lurline Carter, with 3,000 volunteer hours each; Betty Dufrene and Virginia Tuner, with 2,000 volunteer hours each; Charlotte Andrus, Lillian Salvador and Nell Scott, with 1,000 volunteer hours each; Gay Arnold, Paula Fontenot, Toney LaFleur and Justin Perata, with 500 volunteer hours each; Bridget Barnes, Barbara Fox, Anita Gold, Della Johnson, June Key, Rose Moorehead and Evelyn Stutes, with 100 volunteer hours each; and Aimee Becnel and Sheron Singletary, with 50 volunteer hours each.
"Memorial is honored and grateful to have among our ranks such dedicated volunteers as Bennett and Doris Lewis, LouAlice Edmaiston, Tessie Boulet and the other men and women who donate so much of themselves for our patients," said Larry Graham, Chief Executive Officer.