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United Way honors Aspirus volunteer

May 4, 2009

Aarthun receives WE Award for work with hospice program

WAUSAU, Wis. – On April 22, Reese Aarthun received an award from United Way in honor of the volunteer work she does with Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

As part of the Aspirus Volunteers Annual Meeting & Luncheon at Westwood Conference Center, Aarthun accepted one of the four WE Awards given out by the United Way Volunteer Connection for 2008-09.

“I was surprised to find out about winning the award,” said Aarthun, who has volunteered at the Aspirus Hospice House for 10 years. “The best part was getting to meet the other winners and see that I’m just one of many people who are contributing to the community.”

At the Aspirus Hospice House, Aarthun visits with patients and their families, bakes them cookies, makes their favorite meals, sings, organizes a New Year’s Eve buffet and other holiday celebrations, and also is a member of the grief team. As part of the grief team, she periodically calls families up to 13 months after the passing of a loved one to help them with their grief.

Aarthun’s compassion for the patients and families she serves also was recognized earlier this year by the Liberty Mutual Foundation, which awarded her the 2008 Chairman’s Community Service Award. As a recipient of this award, Aarthun was granted a $10,000 gift to donate to the Aspirus Health Foundation to benefit hospice patients.

In addition to her work with Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services, Aarthun also is a 16-year member and choreographer for the local singing group Center Stage. She is active in her church and is involved in Festival of Trees and other fundraisers and community events.

The United Way Volunteer Connection selects a WE Award winner from several nominations in four different categories. This year’s winners are:

  • Category: Youth
    Winner: Hands to Hands second graders
    Mrs. Miller’s second-grade class at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School share hand massages and stories with residents at Wausau Manor four times a semester.
  • Category: Adult
    Winner: Reese Aarthun
  • Category: Senior
    Winner: John Powell
    Powell is a 24-year volunteer at North Central Health Care. He’s accumulated 12,266 hours of volunteer time working with Alzheimer residents and taking them for walks.
  • Category: Group
    Winner: United Way’s 2-1-1
    Six volunteer information specialists answer 2-1-1 calls to the United Way and refer them to the appropriate services to resolve problems.

Contact: Greg Aune, 715.847.0479