Since the current Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital volunteer program began in 1983, Phoebe volunteers have dedicated more than one million hours to making a difference in the day-to-day operation of the hospital.
This year, a crowd of nearly 180 volunteers gathered at First United Methodist Church to celebrate the more than 54,000 hours they served in the past year.
During the appreciation dinner, two Phoebe volunteers were awarded the 2009 Lillian B. Allison Volunteer of the Year award: Bob Kane and Edith Oliver.
Bob Kane, retired Marine Corps captain, was employed as property manager for Walden and Kirkland and supervisor for Family Reading Service in Albany. Throughout life, he has enjoyed many hobbies, but none as much as home maintenance and repair. In 2005, he was encouraged to become a member of the RSVP Ramp Crew, a group of volunteers over 55 who work together every Tuesday and Thursday to build wheelchair ramps at the homes of disabled clients living in Dougherty County. He continued to put his skills and passion to use until he was diagnosed with cancer in 2009.
With his cancer now in remission, he has picked up where he left off, helping fellow ramp builders as they make progress on a long waiting list of individuals in need of assistance.
The other Phoebe volunteer of the year, Edith Oliver, battles arthritis. She has not let it stop her, however, from creating beautiful handmade items for many organizations around Albany. Since her retirement from the Albany Airport’s Security Office, Oliver has given 22,000 hours and 14 years of service.
She crochets caps for babies in Phoebe’s NICU, which not only keeps them warm, but gives parents a memento of the care their baby received during its first days. Her appreciation for those who have served our country has also motivated her to create multiple items for the local VA facilities.