Legacy and Leadership Awards were created to recognize and celebrate acts of community leadership in honor of our founder Charles Blandin’s 75-year legacy of leadership.
Grand Itasca Volunteer Services is a long-standing organization with a rich history—dating back to 1955. Originally called “the Red Cross Grey Ladies” the group has since been merged with the Itasca Memorial Hospital Auxiliary to form an even stronger organization.
Today, 100 people annually volunteer their time and resources to the Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital through Grand Itasca Volunteer Services. On average, these volunteers contribute over 10,000 hours per year.
These volunteers save Grand Itasca nearly $250,000/year in wages and benefits.
According to volunteer coordinator Laura Carey of Grand Itasca, these contributions include, but are not limited to: working the gift shop, coffee bar, information desk, day surgery desk, education department, landscaping support, sleep lab, quality department, patient advisory boards, community health screenings, blood drives, scholarship award receptions, women’s health and birth department, intensive care, emergency department and administrative assistance.
In her nomination, Kelly Kirwin said, “Grand Itasca Volunteer Services plays a major role in allowing our staff to accomplish high quality patient care every single day. All of us at Grand Itasca are so proud of our volunteers and we are honored to share a small part of their story.”
Many of the volunteers have obstacles in getting to Grand Itasca, so working remotely is a common practice. Many volunteers are eager to help out in any way they can, despite health complications of their own.
While the organization as a whole has been unwavering, two members have truly been superstars: LoRaine Glomstad, who has donated more than 10,000 hours over the past 28 years, and Andy Tok, who has volunteered for 13 years and almost 6,000 hours.
Whether they are knitting hats for newborns, pulling together emergency toiletry kits, or tying fleece blankets—the Grand Itasca Volunteer Services team is well-deserving of a huge thank you from the community. Their efforts do so much in comforting our friends, family and neighbors who need it most.
Photo credit: Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital