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Everything that is Good in a Community

By Staff | May 1, 2015

Vivian Loken

In life, if you choose to walk your path with your heart open, wherever you turn, you can find someone or some organization that needs you. It is at that moment of decision, whether to help or not to help, that makes the difference. There haven’t been many whom have turned that didn’t see Vivian Loken stand before them.

To acknowledge such a benevolent persona a “Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon” was held for Vivian and all the Heart of America Medical Center Volunteers on Thursday, April 16th at the First Lutheran Church. In the past fiscal year over 143 volunteers recorded over 12,400 hours at the Haaland Home, Acute Care, Long Term Care, Hospice and the Clinic.

The Volunteer of the Year went to Vivian Loken for her many years and hours of dedicated service to the Heart of America Medical Center. Vivian began volunteering in 1989 and has recorded 5,374 hours of volunteer service to HAMC. Vivian started her volunteer career on the Auxiliary board and chaired “project coupon” which was an amazing success for many years. Vivian served on the Auxiliary board from l989 thru l999. She held the offices of treasurer, president and past president. Vivian has also volunteered for church services at the Care Center, the popcorn cart, and assisted with all fundraisers. Vivian volunteers in the Heart to Heart Gift Shop, assists with special events and she and her husband Earl run the ice cream cart which is loved by the residents, staff and visitors alike. When we spoke to Linda Duchscher, Director of Volunteers at HAMC she shared that Vivian has a wonderful sense of humor and is truly a blessing to HAMC. When Vivian was asked what she thought about getting such a prestigious award she said “It was very much of a surprise, but a great honor to receive this award because when you’re a volunteer, you don’t do it thinking you will get an award, you do it simply to help people.” She added, “Of course, it helps when you have a Volunteer Director like Linda K. Duchscher. Working with her is fun! We asked Vivian what brought her to being a volunteer and Vivian told us, “I first got involved with volunteering with the GSHA Auxiliary to have something to do, and as I like to work with people it was a perfect fit! It also gave me an opportunity to meet a lot of new friends. There have been many special memories over the years but one that especially stands out is the year our Auxiliary won a national award and our entire Auxiliary Board went to Hawaii for the awards ceremony. Vivian concluded by wanting everyone to know, “I’ve certainly appreciated my many years with the Auxiliary, being a volunteer as well as a board member, and working with such great people, and intend to continue volunteering.”

Receiving an award for the most hours for the year was Gayle Schneibel who put in 460 hours. Margaret Wittmayer received an award for the most accumulated hours at 8,617 and Leila Lehmann received her 2000 hour plaque. Volunteers receiving their 50 hour pin were Elsie Leonard, Shaana Hallof, Sheila Craun, Karen Miller, Paula Binfet, Theresa Burgard and Betty Larson; 100 hour certificates went to Carol Miiller, Sheila Paul, Sandy Geiszler, Rob St. Michel, Vernice Brossart, Edie Dunham and Ida Vrem; 200 hour certificates went to Frances Schneider, Mary Schmaltz, Elaine Kraft and Jerry Thomas; 300 hour certificates went to Esther Smith, Donna Christenson and Susan Harmel; 400 hour certificates went to Rose Selensky, Veronica Haman, Betty Hoffert, Jan Norsby and Laurie Odden; 500 hour certificates went to Lynda Childress, Janel Schmaltz, Charolette Wurgler, Jackie Skipper, Mary Ann Koble, Lois Volk, Peggy Oksendahl, Judy Heintz and Lois Marchus; 600 hour certificates went to Janet Miiller, Barbara Larson, Janet Johnston, Richard Volk and Larry Pieterick; 700 hour certificates went to Doris Tank, Bev Meckle, Pat Steig, Edie Wurgler and Pat Ley; 800 hour certificates went to Sandy Mongeon, Donna Lennon, Judy Axtman, Christine Axtmann and Rita Teigen; 900 hour certificates went to Dianne Montonye and Ann Hager; 1,100 hour certificates went to Delores Berg, Deb Hoffert and Marian Schmaltz; 1,200 hour certificates went to Arlyne Rothschiller, Diane Leier, Mary Schneider, Agatha Mattern and Florence Vetsch; 1,500 hour certificates went to Harriet Kreklau, Gerry Brenno, Susan Anderson and Marlene Schaan; 1,600 hour certificates went to Tommy Moller and Janice Knutson; 1,800 hour certificates went to Rita Bercier and Judy Paulson; 2,000 hour certificate went to Leila Lehmann; 2,300 hour certificate went to Kathryn Volk; 2,400 hour certificates went to Bev Paul and Frank Volk, 2,500 hour certificate went to Marge Heilman; 3,600 hour certificates went to Lillian Massine and Linda Wurgler; 3,800 hour certificate went to Wanda Nielsen; 4,600 hour certificate went to Theresa Brossart; 4,700 hour certificate went to Ruth Fedje; 5,100 hour certificate went to Pat Sattler, 5,300 hour certificate went to Vivian Loken; 5,500 hour certificate went to Vonnie Degenstein; 6,400 hour certificate went to Alma Bickler; and 8,600 hour certificates went to Gayle Schneibel and Margaret Wittmayer.

A great job was done by all and a heartfelt thanks comes from an appreciative community. Remember, even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of being part of something bigger than yourself. You don’t live in a world all of your own, so to volunteer to help others is the right thing to do. In addition, studies show that helping others also helps your own personal happiness. So be selfless, if only for selfish reasons. Remember, the only way to change the world is to quit thinking it’s a job for someone else. Real power resides in your own heart and the willingness to give.

Arlene Johnson, Ida Vrem, Theresa Burgard, Edie Dunham, Frank Volk, Kathryn Volk, Sandy Mongeon, Irene Hager and Mary Schneider pictured at the Volunteer Luncheon.

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