Those who attended the Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center's volunteer recognition dinner held Nov. 12 at Wintersville United Methodist Church's fellowship hall went home with a candle - an original scent called "Volunteer Glow."
As Ann Quillen, the center's executive director, explained, she wanted the volunteers to have not only a small token of appreciation that would bless them but also would serve as a little reminder of what they're doing for others when they volunteer at the center.
The candles, by the way, were donated by Makepeace Naturals Soy Candles & Soaps in Wintersville.
From left, Eileen and Dr. Frank Petrola and Bruce and Anne Misselwitz
"I wanted the fragrance to be sweet so the first scent I chose was vanilla, to remind those smelling it of better or sweeter times," Quillen said. "I believe the care we provide is sweet and gives off a warm, caring fragrance to our patients' lives," she said.
But Quillen said she also wanted the candles to have a touch of cinnamon, symbolic of "spicy times that help us appreciate the good in life."
"The combination of these two reminds me of our volunteers who serve as a sweet reminder that life is good and that we will be there for our patients in their difficult and trying times," Quillen said of the unique fragrance bearing the name "Volunteer Glow" on the label.
"The candle is for everyone to take one home, and when you burn it, remember what a sweet difference you're making in the lives of those down at the health center," Quillen said.
The volunteer recognition banquet included a homestyle meal courtesy of the kitchen crew at the Wintersville UMC - Methodists are excellent cooks - and the blessing by the Rev. Clint Quillen, pastor of the Wintersville UMC who joked he's also known as "Ann Quillen's husband."
The Quillen family, by the way, was there in full force along with their three sons - Josiah, David and Sam, all of whom are center volunteers.
If you're not familiar with the center, it's located at 701 N. Fourth St., Steubenville, in what used to be a little corner luncheonette back in the day. It's a 6-year-old nonprofit facility that provides access to quality health care to the medically uninsured and underserved in Jefferson County.
Thanks to the generosity of many volunteers, including doctors and nurse practitioners there and at the Mount Pleasant satellite office, people in need get the help they need, which is cause to pause and say "thank you," hence the banquet.
The placemats doubled as a source of information and inspiration. Year-to-date totals for 2012 show 452 volunteers provided 3,432.50 hours of service. There have been 1,287 patient visits; 919 Patient Assistance Program applications completed; and 1,040 prescriptions dispensed.
"Volunteering warms the essence of the soul" was one piece of inspiration printed on the placemat along with the New Testament verse from 1 Thessalonians 1:2: "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers."
Connie Buydasz, administrative assistant, assisted Quillen in recognizing volunteers acknowledged for the following hours of service:
Volunteers with more than 500 hours: Shelley Argentine, Michael Hauber and Sheila Thompson.
Volunteers with more than 250 hours: Beatrice Antol, Judy Dines, Juliett Hamilton, Charlotte Jones and Dr. Mary Mihalyo.
Volunteers with more than 100 hours of service: Louise Ball, Lynn Barron, Paul Brandt, Margaret DeMark, Katie Gesto, Kathi Harris, Jackie Kennedy, Dr. Charn Nandra. center medical director Dr. Frank Petrola, Joan Piatt, Marcy Ryan, Jane Scott and Catherine Sengenberger.
The evening also included thanks to the doctors and nurse practitioners who are "the nuts and bolts" of the center's work, without whom "we would not even need to bother opening our doors," Quillen said.
Also singled out were Dr. Frank Petrola, the center's medical director from the get-go, and Bruce Misselwitz, board president, in addition to Tom Timmons, treasurer; Dave Arnold, vice president; and Dr. Mary Mihalyo, pharmacy director. Board members include James Baber, Linda Bain, Dr. Thomas Brown, Carolyn Buchanan, Robin Flohr, Patricia Fletcher, Tom Graham, Anita Jackson, Patty Reda, Janet Sharpe, LeRoy Sharpe and Debbie Welsch.
Two other groups Quillen acknowledged were the committee that organizes the annual gala - the co-chairs for the next one are Dr. Frank Petrola and his wife, Eileen - and the Young Ambassadors, students who help raise funds for the center.
Quillen referred to a study that shows volunteering does a body good. Volunteers have greater longevity, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease. Volunteering makes the heart grow strong, she said.
"With this report in mind, know that you are not only impacting the lives of others, but you are also impacting your own health in a positive way by giving of your time, your energy and abilities with all our patients and our staff at the Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center. We can never thank you enough, and volunteering warms the essence of the soul and truly brings a warm glow to so many," she said.
Board member Janet Sharpe said the movement for the center began in 1993. She said she calls it her baby and likes to watch it grow. A dental clinic is another step this "baby" will be taking.
The evening also included two cute skits, one involving Tom Timmons, Janet Sharpe, Bruce Misselwitz, LeRoy Sharpe, Suzanne Brown, Anita Jackson and Jackie Kennedy and the other one featuring "singer-dancers" Beth Rupert Warren, Linda Bain and Connie Buydasz, sporting boa feathers and sunglasses.