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Pardee honors auxiliary members

B.J. and Skip Alison have been volunteering at Pardee Hospital for 25 years. B.J. and Skip Alison have been volunteering at Pardee Hospital for 25 years.

Hed shot of Karla Reese

Barbara Gregory, who has Grace, and Barbara Glassman, who brings Bella, are pet therapy volunteers.

It’s clear from their teasing that Pardee CEO Jay Kirby and auxiliary volunteer B.J. Alison know one another well.

“She’s from Alabama,” Kirby tells a reporter interviewing Alison. “Use little words.”
Alison is equal to the challenge.
“Let me tell you, I had to dress him this morning before he went upstairs,” she says.
Kirby and Alison often trade punches over college football.
“My husband went to the University of Alabama,” she says. “Jay has a hard time with that, being from South Carolina.”
Kirby wanders off to greet more volunteers who were being honored at the annual Auxiliary Celebration Dinner at the hospital cafeteria. When he comes back, he sees that the interview is still under way.
“His paper only comes out once a week,” he tells Alison. “You might want to condense your remarks a little bit.”
Alison shoos him away.
In a hospital the best volunteers remain upbeat with a sunny sense of humor. There’s a lot of sickness and no small amount of sadness in the rooms. The blue-jacketed volunteers make it easier on the staff and the patients.
Alison was the night’s top honoree, with more than 15,000 hours of service. She plunged into volunteering as soon as she and her husband, Skip, retired to Hendersonville from Georgia in 1990.
“I started out delivering flowers and he started in the print shop,” she recalls. “I really don’t know why except to give back. My mother had been in the auxiliary in Griffin, Ga.”
Over the years she’s worked in about every volunteer capacity possible. She’s currently chair of the Fleming Street greeters.
Asked about changes during her 25 years of service, she says the federal HIPAA law made it harder to find out who’s in the hospital.
“You can’t see your neighbor anymore,” she said. “The patients still appreciate everything that we do. I volunteer some in the orthopedic unit.” The recipient of two knee replacements, she empathizes with the patients who have had joints replaced and promises that it will get better.
AuxKarlaReeseKarla ReeseThe annual dinner “is the hospital’s way of thanking the auxiliary members,” says Karla Reese, the Auxiliary Services manager.
The hospital has around 200 adult volunteers. It had 29 teenagers last summer and recently launched one of the most popular volunteer services.
“In January we started pet therapy,” Reese says. “We now have five pet therapy teams and that’s going over very well with all the patients. We hear nothing but positive comments about our pets.”
Barbara Gregory and Grace, her yellow lab, have been providing therapy for two months.
“When I put this jacket on tonight, she wanted to come,” Gregory said. “I had to tell her that we’ll do that tomorrow.”
Barbara Gregory, who has Grace, and Barbara Glassman, who brings Bella, are pet therapy volunteers.Barbara Gregory, who has Grace, and Barbara Glassman, who brings Bella, are pet therapy volunteers.Other volunteers honored were: 500 hours, Joy Bolman, Mollie Collins, Nita High, Betty Lou Jamieson, Ed Joran and Ron Woodrick; 1,000 hours, Isabelle Ashley, Joan Bertini, Mary Edgerton and Jean Terry; 2,000 hours, Peggy Elliott, Madelyn Todd and Patricia Whiteside; 3,000 hours, Carlyn Elliott; 4,000 hours, Janet Bostick, Roz Harris, Meredith Kuehn and Debbie Rutten; 9,000 hours, Joyce Hancock; 12,000 hours, Grace Vineyard. The auxiliary remembered deceased volunteers Edna Lutz, Ethel Rosen, Rollie Hansen, Eleanor Michalove, Barbara Hilliard, Helen Etherton, Barbara Spengler, Eleanor Meloun, Barbara Stricker, Pat Young, Bettie Case and Caroline Schreier.

Pardee Hospital Auxiliary volunteer work includes the Garden Café and Gift Shop, transporting patients, escorting visitors, greeting visitors and patients and other jobs throughout the hospital. To apply call 828.696.4240 or pick up an application at the information desk at the Justice Street entrance.