Volunteer Recognition

Recognizing Our Volunteers

Honoring the Legacy of Albert P. Lexie

lexie awardThe Volunteer Services Department is proud to continue to honor the legacy of Albert P. Lexie

For more than 30 years, Albert shined shoes at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and contributed all of his tips from customers, accepting only a few dollars per shoe shine. In this time, he raised more than $200,000 for the Free Care Fund to ensure that every child receives the medical care they need. Albert attended Volunteer Recognition events regularly and enjoyed being part of the Volunteer Services Program. 

Beginning in 2014, and continuing since his passing in 2018, the Volunteer Services Department continues to honor the legacy of Albert Lexie in various ways. We've honored numerous volunteers who exemplified Albert's dedication and devotion to the patients and families of UPMC Children's Hospital.

These volunteers include:

  • Laura Knight
  • Greg Adametz
  • Georgia Davidson
  • Tom "Wo" Wozar
  • John Hoover

Lexie Award Volunteers

In addition, each year at the Walk for Children's, we've organized a team called 'Albert's Army'.  We invite you to join Albert's Army to help keep Albert's legacy.  

Honoring our Community Partners

In recent years, the Volunteer Services Department has honored organizations and groups that have been instrumental part of the Hospital Volunteer Program at Children’s Hospital. 

We've recognized Organizations that have established exemplary community partnerships which have provided innovative projects and programs and whose members have contributed significant hours of service that have had a positive impact on the patients and families of Children’s Hospital.

Honoring our Community Partners

  • City Charter High School
  • Golden Bone Pet Resort
  • Sonny Pugar Memorial, Inc./Music Smiles Program
  • PNC Grow Up Great Program
  • Kiwanas Club – Pittsburgh

Key Contributors

View the complete list of recipients of our ongoing Key Contributors of the Month Award (PDF).

If you are a staff person of UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and would like to nominate a deserving volunteer for this honor, please complete the nomination form below and email it to volunteercoordinator@chp.edu or drop off in the Volunteer Services office located on the 6th floor in the Family Resource Center of the Main Hospital

Download the Key Volunteer of the Month Nomination Form (PDF).

Recognition Event Recaps

Sprinkling Kindness Like Confetti (2019)

As part of Volunteer Recognition Month festivities, more than 115 volunteers attended the Volunteer Recognition Breakfast on Saturday, April 25, in Rangos Conference Center. confetti event

In addition to words from Volunteer Coordinators, Angie Gordon and John Krysinsky, and Manager, Child Life, Volunteer Services and Family Resource Center, Stephanie Colaberardino, Chief Nursing Office and Vice President of Patient Services, Diane Hupp took the stage to express her appreciation, praising volunteers for playing a key role in making a better hospital experience for patients, families and visitors.

Many volunteers were recognized for years of service and volunteer hours, particularly those who surpassed milestones, including Carol Davis, who earned the Art Bell Service Award for having the highest number of total hours in the past year (587 hours!) and Ruth Yahr, who recently surpassed more than 7,800 total hours of service in more than 30 years!

Additional raffle drawings were held before the event closed with a fun Volunteer Appreciation video produced by Child Life Specialist Mark Mares.

Saturday helpers

Among the announcements included continuous volunteer appreciation activities throughout the year including Kennywood Day (June, date TBA), Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium (August 3), Fall and Holiday Raffles (October, November and December) and Heinz History Center (February 2020).  

Oh! The Places You'll Go! (2018)

More than 110 volunteers attended a Dr. Seuss ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go” themed celebration in Rangos Conference Center.

It was a fun celebration that honored UPMC Children's volunteer contributions during the past year.

Oh! The Places You'll Go! CHP Volunteers

The festivities included:

  • A buffet lunch.
  • Raffle prizes donated from UPMC Children's leadership.
  • Special words from Vice President, Operations and Patient Care Services, and Chief Nursing Officer Diane Hupp
  • Our annual award presentation. Winners included were:
    • Albert P. Lexie Volunteer of the Year – Laura Knight
    • Community Partner of the Year – City Charter High School
    • Special Seuss’ Superstars nominated by our staff. Each Seuss’ Superstar received a commemorative Dr. Seuss book signed by UPMC Children's staff.
Laura Knight
Laura Knight – 2018 Volunteer of the Year

In addition, the event featured music from Sonny Pugar Memorial, Inc.’s Music Smiles program featuring:

  • Etta Cox
  • Bob Banejee
  • Mark Lashway
  • Additional vocal performance by our very own nurse, Tracy Jumlat

Simple Acts of Kindness (2017)

The 2017 edition of the Annual Volunteer Recognition Brunch was a big success. More than 100 volunteers in attendance for fun activities that included a photo booth, live music with Etta Cox, Bob Banajee and Jeff Lashway, a delicious catered brunch, special guests speakers — patients Jillian Bowman and Lauren Smakosz along with their parents, award presentations, special recognition for volunteers reaching milestones and more! In honoring the wishes of a long-time, dedicated volunteer Joyce Hallahan, who passed away in March — we celebrated simple acts of kindness!

It was Joyce's wish that her legacy be that each person provide another with a simple act of kindness. This year's Albert P. Lexie Volunteer of the Year was Greg Adametz. Greg has been a volunteer since 1992, devoting himself to many roles over the years, and currently comes on Wednesday and/or Thursday evenings as a floater, and has organized a Volunteer Team in Albert Lexie's honor (Albert's Army!) for the Walk for Children's. A former patient who spent many years at UPMC Children's prior to volunteering, Greg was very thrilled to receive this honor.

Also being honored were Dave and Marci Anderson, and the Golden Bone Pet Resort as the Community Partner of the Year (The Golden Bone Pet Resort).

In addition, long-time volunteer Tom "Wo"Wozar was this year's Art Bell Service Award recipient for most hours served in the past year (672 hours!) and office volunteer, Louise Lohman was honored as the May "Key Volunteer of the Month" recipient.

Making our Neighborhood Brighter (2016)

UPMC Children's Volunteer Services Department held its annual Volunteer Recognition event on Sunday, May 15 in Rangos Conference Center. Current volunteer Celina Pompeani served as the Master of Ceremonies for a program that honored numerous volunteers and featured an inspiring presentation from Junlei Li, Co-Director of Fred Rogers Center.

Read a complete recap of our annual Recognition Event (PDF).

Volunteers Are Treasured (2015)

On May 2, 2015, the Volunteer Services Department hosted its annual Recognition event in Rangos Conference Center as over 130 volunteers turned out for a fun brunch and festivities that included raffles, a photo booth, awards presentations and more!

Read a complete recap of our Annual Recognition Brunch – Volunteers Are Treasured (PDF).

Volunteers in the News

2018

2016

Proud to Be From Pittsburgh Segment on WPXI Features Music Smiles

Our friends from WPXI (Pittsburgh's NBC Affiliate - Channel 11) including longtime news anchor Peggy Finnegan aired a segment on the local news featuring the "Music Smiles" program that is spearheaded by volunteer Annie Pugar of the Sonny Pugar Memorial, Inc. which brings local musicians several times a month to play music at different hospitals around the area.

View the segment, which includes interviews with Annie, Sonny Pugar Memorial board member and famed local musician Joey Granati and Child Life Music Therapist, Nicole Steele.

Princess Volunteer Erika Strasburg Featured in Tribune-Review

One of our volunteers, Erika Strasburg, (here’s link to video with Erika visiting patient) who has a unique role here at UPMC Children’s, as she dresses up as a variety of princesses (a different one each visit), and regularly visits with patients.  Erika has been a part of our volunteer team since October 2013.

View the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review feature "Ailing kids get boost from volunteer's hospital visits."

Children's Hospital Volunteer Beats Cancer, Spreads Positivity 

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review featured former Pitt wrestler and Children’s Hospital Volunteer, Dan Kornberg as he spreads positivity after beating Cancer.
(May 22, 2016)

Contact UPMC Children's Volunteer Services

To learn more about Volunteer Services at UPMC Children's, call 412-692-5185 or email chpvolunteer@chp.edu.

Learn more about all UPMC Volunteer Services »