LAKE JACKSON — CHI St. Luke’s Health has an elite staff that prides itself on excellence, hospital leaders said during an annual luncheon.

But the backbone of running a successful care facility is not only its doctors, nurses and numerous other medically trained professionals, but the people who donate their time in support of those efforts, officials said.

During the CHI St. Luke’s Health Brazosport Volunteers luncheon Wednesday, several awards were handed out to those who have volunteered five, 10, 20 and 50 years.

“To be able to celebrate and to be able to recognize is such an honor,” CHI St. Luke’s Health President Al Guevara said. “Not too many hospitals have volunteers like we do. Y’all have this sense of ownership here.”

Over a warm meal and remarks from Guevara, volunteers were honored with special pins and certificates.

Of the numerous awards handed out to volunteers, Lucie Golden’s pin was extra special. Golden has been a volunteer for the hospital for 50 years, a milestone of service for the hospital, leaders said.

“I enjoy the work, I enjoy the people that come in there, and I volunteer three times a month,” Golden said. “I work at the information desk and take people to different departments.”

Golden spent several years as a registered nurse before volunteering for the hospital’s auxiliary. She thought it would be a fun, social way to give back to the community.

“I think that we do a service for the hospital and do things that frees up the staff to do their jobs,” Golden said. “We assist them in any way we can. I would say just the satisfaction of helping people and just working (is why she volunteers). I feel very good and blessed that (the hospital) recognizes its volunteers.”

Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Griffith said the volunteers are a vital part of the hospital and its operations. Volunteers can be found in the imaging department, hospitality and hostessing to information, emergency waiting room and gift shop.

“The volunteers augment the work of the trained personnel so that the employees may have more time for their jobs,” Griffith said. “The volunteers broaden the services provided for patients. This group unselfishly shares their time, talents and effort to make the patient’s stay in the hospital more pleasant.”

In addition to Golden, Joyce Mardis received her pin for 30 years of service to the hospital.

“Lucie and Joyce epitomize servants’ hearts. The joy they derive from volunteering is apparent to all who meet them,” Griffith said. “Don’t get me wrong, they are about as demure as dynamite. Feisty. Intelligent. Energetic. Loving. They bring enthusiasm and caring to all they meet. Lucie and Joyce set an example of who we should be, who we can be when we are of service to others.”

This past year volunteers have raised $35,000 for the hospital, donated 20,000 hours of time and awarded $2,000 in scholarships, Griffith said.

Courtney Blackann is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0152.

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