ricky white | Jun 01, 2012
North Canton resident Freda Cunningham received a double honor last month. In addition to receiving an award for 20 years of service, she was named Aultman Hospital’s Volunteer of the Year at the Annual Volunteer Luncheon. With more than 4,000 hours as a Eucharistic Minister at the hospital, she is very deserving of the award.
CANTON, Ohio (June 1, 2012) - North Canton resident Freda Cunningham received a double honor last month. In addition to receiving an award for 20 years of service, she was named Aultman Hospital’s Volunteer of the Year at the Annual Volunteer Luncheon. With more than 4,000 hours as a Eucharistic Minister at the hospital, she is very deserving of the award.
“Volunteering is my middle name,” said Cunningham. “If there is a need and I can help, I’ll do it! I feel it is very important to give back to others.”
Born and raised in the Catholic faith, she began her work as a Eucharistic Minister at Aultman after seeing a need for the service. So, in the late 80s, Cunningham took it upon herself to organize the program, recruit and train volunteers and coordinate the schedule. She still does all of these tasks today. “I used to be there two or three days a week for several hours at a time,” Cunningham continued. “Now, I’m there at least one day a week, but usually more since I train new volunteers.”
In addition to her work at Aultman, Cunningham is a very active volunteer at her parish, St. Paul’s Catholic Church in North Canton. She and her husband, who have been married 61 years, are currently lectors and Eucharistic Ministers at the church. However, they have been involved in nearly every parish activity over the years, from teaching CCD to mentoring couples preparing for marriage.
Cunningham puts her love of sewing to good use by making altar cloths for the church. She also founded a program at St. Paul’s called ‘Mission Outreach’ in which she collects donations of yarn, then passes them onto fellow volunteers, who crochet blankets. These afghan blankets are donated to the pediatric unit at Aultman Hospital and to local veterans’ hospitals.
“Volunteering really helps keep me going,” she said. “It keeps your mind and body active and busy.” When Cunningham isn’t volunteering, she enjoys working in her yard, playing bridge and walking. The 79-year-old also swims laps at Aultman West for about two hours each week.
“Aultman has a wonderful volunteer program and is a wonderful hospital,” Cunningham continued. “I am so glad to be a part of it.”
About 170 of the more than 700 Aultman volunteers were honored for their service and dedication on May 19th at Skyland Pines Golf & Banquet Center. This year’s Aultman Volunteer Recognition Luncheon was quite a circus, complete with clowns and was titled “Join Us Under the Big Top, Volunteers are Stars of the Show!”
Other awards were given to the following volunteers (their residence, volunteer location and total hours volunteered are included):
• Rising Star Award – Tom Hayes, of Canton, Valet – 1,400 hours
• Greatest Number of Hours in 2011 – Alisha Zwick of Alliance, Laundry & Outpatient Lab – 2,715 hours
• Career Hours – Clyde Sickle, of Canton, Nursing Unit – 8,350 hours
• Couples Award – Gary & Judy Muhleman of Louisville, Valet and Lobby Assistant
• Group Award – Eucharistic Ministers
• Mr. Nice Guy – Dan Tomsho, of North Canton, Mailroom – 1,050 hours
• Mrs. Congeniality – Mary Leeders of Louisville, Flower Delivery – 6,380 hours
• Most Entertaining – Gloria Schweyer of Canton, Flower Delivery – 6,400 hours
Years of Service Pin:
• 20 Years of Service
o Genivee Anderson, of Canton, Surgical ICU Waiting Room – 3,950 hours
o Freda Cunningham, of North Canton, Eucharistic Minister - 4,000 hours
o Dorothy Orman, of Massillon, Surgical ICU Waiting Room – 5,716 hours
• 25 Years of Service
o Donna Garofalo, of Louisville, Lobby Assistant – 5,800 hours
• 30 Years of Service
o Janet Nieb, of Canton, Lobby Greeter – 10,040 hours
Teens with 100 Hours of Service
o Joseph Fahmy, of Massillon – Jackson High School:100 hours
o Emily Fisher, of Canton – Perry High School: 238 hours
o Taylor Lewis, of Canton - Perry High School: 124 hours
o Krisztina Marsi, of Dellroy – Carrollton High School: 183 hours
o Alison Spies, of Canton – GlenOak High School: 224 hours
o Salman Safir, of North Canton – Hoover High School: 110 hours
o Bianca Tan, of North Canton – Hoover High School: 153 hours
o Carly Wachtel, of North Canton – Jackson High School: 149 hours
To learn more about Aultman’s volunteer team, please call the Volunteer Services Department at 330-363-6368. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old and have successfully completed ninth grade. A commitment of at least 50 hours of volunteer service is required.