Mercy Auxiliary-Berryville, local volunteers honored
BERRYVILLE -- The gift of time is a precious offering, and those behind such selfless acts have helped Mercy Auxiliary-Berryville shine once again.
During its annual convention earlier this month in Little Rock, the Arkansas Hospital Auxiliary Association (AHAA) presented Mercy Auxiliary-Berryville with the 5 Star Award. It's the highest honor bestowed upon the auxiliary and is only given when specific criteria are met, such as participation in state projects, meetings and conferences, as well as involvement in hospital and community activities.
The Mercy spotlight at the Oct. 9 luncheon quickly shifted to Anita Spearman, president-elect of Mercy Auxiliary-Berryville, who was honored as the 2014 Auxilian of the Year. This prestigious award is given to an auxilian who continuously goes above and beyond in their auxiliary and community service.
"I'm still on cloud nine," Spearman said. "Every time I look at the plaque I wonder, 'Did they really call my name?'" The seven-year volunteer recently helped launch a series of Alzheimer's seminars, as well as a support group for caregivers in Carroll County; she also volunteers weekly with Mercy Hospital Berryville's surgery team. "What's next for me? I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing."
Auxilian Neta Sue Stamps barely had time to congratulate Spearman before she herself received an accolade: the Arkansas Hospital Association's 2014 Distinguished Service Award. Stamps has worked with Mercy Auxiliary-Berryville for more than two decades and currently serves as secretary, newsletter editor and scholarship chair. In addition to weekly shifts at the Mercy Thrift Store, she also logs countless hours of community outreach.
"I've been with hospice for probably 15 years or longer, and with the HIV clinic for 18 years," Stamps said. "When anybody asks me why I'm involved in those things, my response is, 'If I don't do it, who's going to?'" It's a question that's answered daily by the hardworking volunteers at Mercy.
"We are so very proud of Anita, Neta Sue and our entire Mercy Auxiliary-Berryville," said Kristy Estrem, Mercy Berryville Hospital president. "We can't thank them enough for being such an integral part of our daily lives here at Mercy and for the difference they are making in our community."