The 2020 Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center Auxiliary hosted a  “Hats Off to AVRMC Volunteers" celebration on Tuesday at the medical center.

Greg Holt, recently retired head of interpretation at Bent’s Old Fort, presented the program, “Hats on the Santa Fe Trail.” He enlisted the help of the auxiliary by giving them parts in the saga, designated by the hats of their trades.

“They’ve been sterilized,” he commented as he handed one of them out, possibly referring to the cautionary COBID 19 virus measures.

The group raised $37,713 this year and distributed it as follows: annual luncheon, $332; AVRMC, $30,609; Ark Valley Hospice, $2,000; nursing home activities, $1,000; OJC nursing, $2,000; checks, $17; Post Office box, $64; postage, $105.

New President Barbara Bravo announced the number of groups has been cut down because of the closing of the nursing home. The remaining groups for this year are Surgery Waiting Room (chair Barbara Bravo), Gift Shop Group (chair Beverly Tucker), Sustaining Membership Drive (AVRMC Auxiliary Board), Service Group (Mary Sue Nicklos. who is currently serving by herself and could use some help), and Craft Group (chair Cathy Groves). The method of payment for staff has changed from cash to card, so the candy cart has been eliminated.

Bravo added fun to the pin ceremony for the volunteers, awarded on five-year intervals, by presenting each pin personally with a hug for their service. Pat Valdez has been an AVRMC volunteer for 30 years; Judy Burkepile for 20 years; Toni Cook, Darlene Derbigney, Sara Holt, Sally Kappel and Judy Walgren for 10 years; and Ruth Freidenberger and Norma Haugen for five years.

The membership has an opportunity to volunteer for a group of their choice or to form a new group if they see a need.