It was one big family reunion at Paradise Manor for the volunteers at Maimonides Medical Center who were being honored for their dedication at the 2016 annual volunteer recognition ceremony.
The yearly event recognizes those who volunteer their time at the center for all of the work they do throughout the year. President of Maimonides Medical Center, Kenneth Gibbs, believes that the volunteers are the true heartbeat of the hospital
“There’s nothing better than volunteers doing good for the center. Maimonides benefits from it and the community benefits from it,” said Gibbs.
Volunteers and their guests were given lunch and gifts from the center, as well as the recognition they deserved. Miriam Frieund, who has volunteered at the center every Friday for over 40 years, really enjoys giving back to those who need it the most.
“It’s nice to be on the giving end rather than the receiving end. It’s nice to be needed,” said Frieund. Like many of the volunteers, Frieund considers Maimonides to be a second home.
Guest speaker and Public Advocate Leticia James told guests that Maimonides holds a special place in her heart, as it was the first facility she took her nephew to when he was first diagnosed with brain cancer. Although cancer took her nephew’s life, she is grateful for the work the center did for him.
“My nephew wanted to become a superhero to fly around and help people. That’s what you all do everyday,” said James.
A special presentation was made to the Women’s Auxiliary Volunteers, who create events for hospital patients. Vivian Goldstein, who has been a member of the auxiliary for 23 years, uses the luncheon to catch up with friends.
“The ceremony is always beautiful. It looks like a wedding,” said Goldstein.
Goldstein, who is the head of the patient’s library, began to volunteer from two times a week to three times a week after her husband died. She says that the center has always been there for her, and she wouldn’t want to spend her time anywhere else.
“It’s home,” said Goldstein.