Mary Lou and Pat Baratta

On a warm evening in April, hundreds of individuals gathered for the Appreciation Dinner in tribute to our volunteers who contributed over 45,000 hours in 2014 for Hospice East Bay. These hours were generously provided to our Thrift Shoppes, Tree of Lights and foundation events, patient support, Bruns House, and our Pleasant Hill office. These volunteers bring their light, energy and commitment to whatever they do. This year we had a chance to honor two very special volunteers—Mary Lou and Pat Baratta.

Mary Lou joined Hospice East Bay in 2004 as a volunteer at the Danville Thrift Shoppe. Over the years, her volunteer work has grown to include filling in at all five shoppes and playing a key role as a volunteer at Bruns House. Mary Lou has spent endless hours researching the value of donated items and has evolved into an expert on jewelry and vintage item pricing. Mary Lou attends almost every tree lighting ceremony, staffs our info tables, sells lights and records memorial names. Last but not least, Mary Lou is often one of the friendly voices you hear filling in for a receptionist at our front desk!

Pat began his Hospice East Bay volunteering in 2004, taking care of electrical and carpentry needs at the Danville Thrift Shoppe, and working with our estate sales. Pat continues to serve as our resident sound man and electrician for every Tree of Lights ceremony.

We are blessed to have the dynamic duo of Mary Lou & Pat Baratta as part of our hospice family!

At this year’s event, thirty-nine volunteers were acknowledged with awards for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of service. Stories about their work were shared with humor, admiration, and tears over a delicious dinner with friends. Our Appreciation Dinner only happens once a year, but every day we are in awe of the care and dedication our volunteers share with patients and their families, bereaved clients, customers, and staff.