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Emanuel Auxiliary Celebrates – and Continues - 50 Years of Incredible Work

Turlock, CA- The Emanuel Medical Center Volunteer Auxiliary celebrated 50 years of service to Emanuel, its patients, and the community by awarding 10 scholarships to area students and installing new officers to begin its next half-century of service.

More than 250 current and former volunteers gathered in Turlock on April 9 for a recognition event honoring the Auxiliary and its volunteers. Speakers, including Emanuel President and CEO John Sigsbury, highlighted a few of the Auxiliary's accomplishments, including:

  • Since 1998, the Volunteer Auxiliary has awarded 151 scholarships worth $154,200
  • Since 1980, the Auxiliary has donated more than $1,000,000 to the hospital's Legacy Circle campaigns, another $345,000 to Hospice of Emanuel, and more than a half-million to the hospital's general fund
  • From 2005 to 2010, Auxiliary volunteers donated 386,417 hours of service to Emanuel Medical Center
  • Already in this fiscal year, volunteers have donated 76,946 hours

"There aren't complete records from the early years, but it's very safe to say that Emanuel's extraordinary volunteers have contributed millions of hours of service to this hospital and community, and we know they've contributed millions of dollars," said Regina Amador, Emanuel's director of volunteer services. "This hospital wouldn't be the same without them."

Jennifer Larson, chair of the Emanuel Board of Directors, presented special awards to two Turlock women who have been active volunteers since the Auxiliary began. Zella Linn and Patricia Wickstrom were both charter members of the Auxiliary when it was founded in 1961, and continue volunteering today.

Amador presented a special award to Ethel Nicholson for her long commitment to volunteering. Nicholson recently retired from the Auxiliary at the age of 92 after serving at the hospital's information desk for 30 years.

Turlock Mayor John Lazar presented a city proclamation thanking the Auxiliary for its exceptional service to the community for the past 50 years.

The Auxiliary also presented $750 scholarships to the following area students:
From Merced Community College: Samantha Morgan, Erika Kinsley and Amandeep Uppal.

From California State University, Stanislaus: Raquel Mustaca, Karl Fuentes, Amaneet Sanghera and Manpreet Gill.

From Turlock High School: Shadi Safi.

From Hilmar High School: Shaylynn Gray.

From Modesto Junior College: Katie Zaccheo.

Auxiliary officers for 2011-2012 were also installed. They are: President Shirley Flowers; Vice President Joanne Viss; Vice President, Finance Roxane Smith; Vice President, Special Projects Harrison Gibbs; Treasurer Shannon Runca; Assistant Treasurer Judy Brighella; Recording Secretary Ida Silveira; Corresponding Secretary Marge Combs, and Past President Donna Bartholomew.

Today the hospital has 800 active volunteers ranging in age from 14 to 88 and working in 35 different departments or programs.

High school students can work in all volunteer areas except the Emergency Room and the Emanuel Cancer Center (which have minimum age requirements of 18), and join many nursing and pre-med college students who volunteer to get a real-life look at the health care field.

All volunteers must attend orientation training, but there are no minimum time commitments after that. Learn more from the Office of Volunteer Services at (209) 664-5190.

Auxiliary Cookbook Now Available

Also on Saturday, the Emanuel Volunteer Auxiliary unveiled its own cookbook that collects the very best family recipes from 134 current and former Auxiliary members.

The 318-page cookbook contains 568 recipes in 11 different categories. It can be purchased in the hospital gift shop for $20 and the proceeds go toward continuing the Auxiliary's great work.

Emanuel Medical Center is a not-for-profit, community-based Christian hospital. Its 403-bed multi-level medical campus includes a 209-bed acute care hospital, a 145-bed skilled nursing facility and a 49-bed assisted living facility. It provides emergency, critical care, pediatric, cardiovascular services, cancer diagnosis and treatment, women's health services, surgery, and hospice services.

For more information, to search for a doctor by specialty or location, or for an online symptom-checker, visit


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