SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif.– Cottage Health hosted its first Cottage Health Volunteer Awards Luncheon since the pandemic in late April to honor the work of 450 Cottage volunteers over the past year.
150 volunteers across all departments attended the event at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort where they enjoyed good food, heard words of praise from Cottage Health President & CEO Ron Werft, and witnessed special recognition awards & scholarships be rewarded back to the community.
“As volunteers, you have chosen to generously share your gifts, and we are all better because of you,” Mr. Werft said. “Your service is seen through every area of Cottage Health, and you are truly part of the care team.”
Cottage Health says "over the past year, 450 Cottage volunteers have donated close to 95,000 hours of service" between the hospital's three locations throughout Santa Barbara County.
Volunteer Toni Straka received the special recognition and lifetime recognition award for her 62 years and over 15,500 hours of service at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
“Being at Cottage is a highlight of my week,” Ms. Straka said. “I look forward to meeting and working with wonderful people. Whether it is an easy day or one with many challenges, my goal is to leave with a smile on my face to mirror the smile of others..”
Santa Ynez High School students Gabriel Rodriguez, Chase Sylvia, Diana Corona, Allison Linane and Jazmin Gonzalez Salinas were also awarded five $3,000 scholarships at the luncheon to help them pursue their careers in healthcare.