Members of the Hillsboro Area Health Foundation honored donors from throughout the past year at the 18th annual holiday reception, held at Hillsboro Area Hospital on Tuesday evening, Dec. 10.
Foundation member Julie Jenkins welcomed everyone to the reception and introduced new board members Pam Dawson and Lynne Hutchison. Jenkins also thanked everyone for their support throughout the year, as well as donations of money and time.
This year, the foundation honored the Hillsboro Area Hospital Junior Board for their efforts in building a stronger community through community involvement.
Hillsboro Area Hospital CEO Rex Brown said the idea for the Junior Board came from Children's Hospital in St. Louis, MO. Architect Steve Hunsicker, who helped with the addition to Hillsboro Area Hospital, suggested the program, where youngsters at Children's Hospital had the chance to give something back and make a difference.
Rosanne Heck started the Junior Board for the first two years, and Jessica Chappelear and Stephanie Ellis have continued to work with youngsters ages nine to 17.
"The motto of the Junior Board is like the hospital's motto," Brown said. "They want to make a positive impact, and they're doing just that."
Approximately 30 youth are currently involved in the Hillsboro Area Hospital Junior Board. Over the past few years, they have worked on a variety of community service projects including mulching the hospital grounds, having a float in the Old Settlers parade, helping with the Turkey Trot 5K race and Golden Grille cook-off event, as well as Christmas activities in downtown Hillsboro.
The group met with the mayor and the City Council to discuss Hillsboro Beautification Day and a recycling program. They have since made it an annual event and partner with the Montgomery County Recycling Center to collect recyclable materials from area residents and pick up trash in the downtown area. This year, they collected 800 pounds of recyclables in one day alone.
During the summer, members of the Hillsboro Area Hospital Junior Board also helped with a free lunch program at the hospital. There were at least two board members on hand each day, five days a week for two months. They helped serve lunch to children in the community, and also acted as mentors to the kids.
"It's truly an honor to work with these kids," said Jessica Chappelear. "The future of this community is in positive hands."