NEW BRITAIN – The Hospital for Special Care shared some positive news during the otherwise rough going of the pandemic by honoring and celebrating the contributions of its volunteers.
“It is incredibly important to show our gratitude to our volunteers during an extremely difficult time,” said Olivia Reed, volunteer and community relations coordinator at the Hospital for Special Care.
HFSC has awarded Avis and John Devine with the M. Gertrude McCue Volunteer of the Year Award for 2020. This award honors an individual’s dedication and compassion to making a difference for staff, patients, visitors and community. This award began in 1991 and continues to be given out annually to members of the community.
The Devines have volunteered at HFSC’s Manes & Motions Therapeutic Riding Center for eight years. The pair has supported Manes & Motions from caring for the herd, contributing to annual fundraisers, aiding in office work and facility maintenance, to training other volunteers.
“Both Avis and John are valued members of our team and have remained dedicated to some of the same riders year after year,” said Jeanna Pellino, Manes & Motions program coordinator. “Their caring nature and integrity comes naturally and is shown through their compassion toward others.”
Taking their dedication a step further over the past year, the Devines have spent more than 130 hours improving the facility and grounds. The duo completed an extensive project to bring water and electricity to the center’s paddocks.
“John and Avis spent many days digging and backfilling a trench for the water and electrical lines, from inside the arena to the paddocks – over hundreds of feet,” Pellino said. “With their contributions we were able to complete a much needed project that we would not have otherwise had the resources to complete during a difficult year. We are so grateful.”
The Devines also help the center monetarily by contributing regularly to the program’s operating costs and donating equipment needed to support the horses and riders.
The M. Gertrude McCue Volunteer of the Year Award was launched in honor of the late M. Gertrude McCue, who volunteered at Hospital for Special Care for over 45 years. McCue volunteered both as a patient advocate and friend.