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Care center honors top volunteer

Bev Gillis, 82, was given the Volunteer of the Year Award at the the American Heritage Care Center volunteer brunch on May 6. Gillis received a commemorative clock in addition to the blanket all the AHCC volunteers received.

When it comes to exceptional volunteers at the American Heritage Care Center, Bev Gillis, 82, of Hammond, is at the top of the list.

On Friday, May 6, Gillis was given the Volunteer of the Year Award at the AHCC volunteer brunch.

For more than 25 years Gillis has volunteered at the Care Center by calling bingo, serving lunch, visiting with residents, helping with activities and more.

Angela Fortney, AHCC life enrichment director, said Gillis is an exceptional volunteer because, "Bev has such a loving heart and she reaches out with her heart and hands every time she comes into AHCC."

"We are very thankful that she has been there all these years adding to our residents' quality of life with the caring she has for each and every one," she said.

Gillis has had friends and family at the Care Center since the 1980s and she says AHCC has always had a welcoming atmosphere, which is why she's enjoyed helping the staff and residents at the the center.

"Just to see somebody smile or a thank you, it just means so much, because when my mother was here she was getting so bad, it was so pleasant to see somebody with a smile and the twinkle in their eyes," said Gillis.

Gillis couldn't say enough good things about the AHCC staff, who nominated her for the award.

"The staff are super people around here. It has always been such a super place. Even back when I just came to visit, everything was so special and everyone tries to put out so much to make it such a successful place," she said.

Gillis enjoys AHCC so much that when she retired three years ago, she and her husband moved to AHCC's assisted living facility.

Gillis said living in AHCC's assisted living has been "a treat."

Gillis said the AHCC community is very friendly and outgoing.

"They all are very giving loving people," she said.

While Gillis appreciates the Volunteer of the Year Award, she says there are other volunteers who deserve the award just as much, if not more.

"There's other people that put in just as much time as what I do, but I'm very grateful for (the award), it's very nice," she said.

Gillis said she will continue to volunteer at AHCC as long as she is able to.

Fortney said AHCC appreciates all its volunteers.

"The services that are provided by volunteers minister to the emotional needs of the residents and enhance their comfort in a manner that is not otherwise provided at our center. Volunteers are a critical part of our commitment to helping people live better," said Fortney.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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