The annual Champions of Service: Celebrating Volunteers Awards Reception, April 30, drew nominees, families, mentors and supporters out for a special event to recognize the many Christiana Care colleagues who love to donate their time, energy and resources to others who need help in the community. Champions of Service combines the annual Jefferson Awards, which recognize outstanding volunteers across the country, and the Spirit of Women Awards, recognizing community heroes and young people who serve as role models through their volunteer efforts.
“As a not-for-profit health system, our mission is one of service to others,” said Christiana Care Chief External Affairs Officer and Senior Vice President Michele A. Schiavoni, MS, APR. “We believe that the key to providing exceptional care is to partner with our neighbors and our community. Caring for others is The Christiana Care Way. Through the Jefferson Awards and the Spirit of Women Awards, we are recognizing extraordinary individuals who devote themselves to making a difference in the lives of our neighbors and the communities we serve. This year we received more than 20 nominations.”
Spirit of Women Community Hero Award
Michael Rosenthal, M.D., chair of the Department of Family & Community Medicine, presented the Spirit of Women Community Hero Award to Peg Showalter, who has devoted 58 years to volunteering for families throughout Delaware. A member of Hanover Church since 1958, she has been involved with Meals on Wheels, FISH, Adopt a Family, Cookies for Women, Christmas at Women’s Baylor, as well as several extended Missions trips. She says that she has always felt that she’s gotten much more from these activities than what she’s been able to give.
Young Person Role Model Award
Elizabeth M. Zadzielski, M.D., medical director of Christiana Care’s Women’s Health Ambulatory Services, Division of Education, introduced this year’s nominees for the Spirit of Women Young Person Role Model category, which recognizes young women who live beyond themselves and share their gifts of time, effort and ingenuity with others.
The winner this year was Angeliz Marrero. After seeing a video of a 24-year-old being beaten and kicked by three teens in 2014, the 18-year-old Howard Technical High School senior was inspired to use social media to create the Bully Project. Her encouraging, daily posts support those at risk for bullying
and have drawn the attention of key governmental officials. Her online outreach efforts began while she was a 10thgrader. After observing firsthand what the trauma of self-harm and cutting can do to a loved one, she launched Angel’s Movement, an initiative through Twitter to give a voice to teens and people with disabilities who need a listening ear and encouragement.
The Jefferson Awards
The Jefferson Awards, founded in 1972, are a prestigious national recognition system honoring public service. Awards are presented locally and nationally. One of the awardees each year represents Christiana Care at the national ceremony.
Three nominees were awarded this year’s Jefferson Awards: Leanne Holveck, Stacy Myrie and Lauren Ramone. Holveck will represent Christiana Care at the national ceremony this summer in Washington, D.C.
Leanne Holveck is an exemplar of compassion and service who believes in the power of little things having a big impact on people’s well-being. She has volunteered as site coordinator for the Look Good Feel Better program of the American Cancer Society since 2007. She is an avid quilter who has donated her talent to create quilts for Quilts for Comfort, which benefits patients undergoing cancer treatment, at-risk babies and young children in the region She also finds time to support numerous other programs, causes and events in the community. Holveck brings her “power of little things” philosophy to people every day.
Stacy Myrie believes in giving without any expectations of receiving and feels that volunteering is often just a matter of being present and engaging others. As a full-time medical assistant with Christiana Care Dermatology and a student at Delaware Technical Community College about to start the nursing program, she still finds the time to volunteer at the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Sunday Breakfast Mission, Special Olympics and other places and events. She gives at least two days of her personal time each month to helping others and often devotes all of her free time on holidays to helping those in need. Myrie hosted a special Thanksgiving dinner for 16 homeless men at her church in November. In May she volunteered to travel with the Delaware Medical Relief Team on a mission to help victims of two earthquakes in Nepal.
Lauren Ramone founded the nonprofit organization Pit Bull Pride of Delaware and serves as its president. She saves pit bulls from being euthanized at “high-kill” shelters, rehabilitates them and places them with homes. She has saved more than 175 dogs. She hosts, on average, 10 to 15 adoptions and community events each year. A couple of the rescued dogs have gone on to become certified pet therapy dogs and visit children at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, the Christina Early Education Center and a variety of other schools.