Category Archives: Awards/Recognition

Volunteers Mari Fromstein & Ikram Osman Are 2012 Caring Youth Award Winners!

On Thursday, March 15, volunteers Mari Fromstein & Ikram Osman were recognized at the 2012 Caring Youth Awards at the Minnetonka Community Center.  Mari & Ikram are both current volunteers at Children’s-Minneapolis:  Mari provides support in the Sibling Play Area, while Ikram shares her time on the inpatient units.

The Caring Youth Awards salute young people in grades 7-12 who have unselfishly involved themselves in causes that benefit others.   They encourage an attitude of recognizing the needs of others, and responding to these needs in a personal and caring way.  The Caring Youth event is a collaborative effort among the cities of Golden Valley, Hopkins, and Minnetonka, the Minnetonka and Hopkins school districts, and the Glen Lake Optimists of Minnetonka.

Below are a few pictures from this fabulous event!

Caring Youth Award winners (and Hopkins High School classmates!) Ikram Osman & Mari Fromstein

Ikram Osman & mother Anisa Mohamed

Mari Fromstein with parents Rich & Raleigh Fromstein

Congratulations, Mari & Ikram, on being recognized for your wonderful work here at Children’s!

KARE 11’s “Eleven Who Care” Honors Marsha Ovitz of Breanna’s Gift

Congratulations to Marsha Ovitz,  founder of arts organization Breanna’s Gift and volunteer at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, for being recognized as a KARE 11 “Eleven Who Care” Award Recipient this year!

(Photo from KARE 11) Marsha Ovitz with a child at Amplatz Hospital

Breanna’s Gift volunteers have provided opportunities for children and their families to participate in dance, arts, theater and music activities at both the Minneapolis and St. Paul Children’s Hospital campuses since 2009.

We are so fortunate to have Marsha Ovitz and fellow Breanna’s Gift volunteers here at Children’s Hospital! The impact that dance, arts and music have on the lives of our patients and families at Children’s is incredible. We so appreciate the time and talents you share with us here! Thank you!

(Photo from Breanna's Gift Facebook page) Breanna's Gift dance teacher Miss Shelly and her dance line, "The Pearls," performing on the Kids' Clubhouse closed-circuit TV show at Children's-Minneapolis.

For More Information:

To learn more about Breanna’s Gift, please visit their website at:

KARE 11 visited Marsha and fellow volunteers Betz and Ed Ulrich at a recent Breanna’s Gift program! To see video from their work with children, and an interview, visit KARE 11’s website by clicking HERE, or at this link:–Marsha-Ovitz-brings-smiles-to-kids-battling-cancer

Each year, since 1983, KARE 11 recognizes eleven outstanding community volunteers. These volunteers have been nominated and are selected by the Eleven Who Care Board of Governors.  You can learn more about KARE 11’s “Eleven Who Care” recognition, and learn more about all of the 2012 award winners at the KARE 11 website:

TruthPoint Survey Acknowledgment!

       ‘TruthPoint’ is a short electronic survey given to families upon patient discharge. These surveys give families the opportunity to let us know how their stay here at children’s was. A parent on the 6th floor of the Minneapolis campus made the following special remark about our fabulous volunteers:

“Volunteers here were great with children. One even brought my daughter on a small tour.”

Thank you. volunteer, for your smiles, time, and talent!  Through your efforts, you are adding ease and fun to the hospital experience!

Volunteer Joyce Sidman Finalist for MN Book Award!

Congratulations to volunteer Joyce Sidman, who has been named a Finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in Children’s Literature! Joyce has been nominated for her book, “Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature,” illustrated by Beth Krommes. Winners for the Minnesota Book Award will be announced April 14th, 2012.

Volunteer Joyce Sidman (pictured with a past award-winning book!)

About Joyce:

Joyce Sidman is the author of many award-winning children’s poetry books, including the Newbery Honor-winning Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, and two Caldecott Honor books: Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems (also a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award winner) and Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors (which won the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award).  She teaches poetry writing to school children and participates in many national poetry events, including the annual “Poetry Blast” at the American Library Association meeting.  Her recent book, Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature, has been critically acclaimed and is a Junior Library Guild Selection. Joyce lives with her husband near a large woodland in Wayzata, Minnesota.

*Biography excerpted from Joyce’s website:

Congratulations on the nomination, Joyce, and thank you for sharing your time & talents with Children’s!

Veteran Volunteer Recognition

Did you know that nearly 100 volunteers have served Children’s Hospital for 3 years or longer?!

To celebrate the incredible work and ongoing commitment of our “veteran” volunteers, a recognition luncheon was held on Saturday, October 29th. Volunteers, guests, pet therapy dogs, and Volunteer Services staff gathered at the Town and Country Club in St. Paul for lunch, musical entertainment, and a brief program.

Children’s Hospital CEO Alan Goldbloom provided updates on new developments and projects at Children’s. A special highlight from Saturday’s program was hearing from a family about their patient experience at Children’s Hospital, including the impact that volunteers had on this experience.

Volunteer Services staff members Jenna Barke (left) and Sandy Bergeron (right) with Fay Sullivan (center), our longest active volunteer with 33 years of service!

Volunteers were presented with pins and certificates in honor of the service, time and talent they have shared with Children’s over the years.

Exactly how much time have these Veteran Volunteers shared with Children’s?

3-5 years: 50 volunteers

5-10 years: 19 volunteers

10-15 years: 13 volunteers

15-20 years: 8 volunteers

20-25 years: 3 volunteers

25-30 years: 2 volunteers

30+ years: 1 volunteer

Check out photos from the event below, or view the album on Facebook by following this link:

THANK YOU to our outstanding volunteers for all that you’ve shared with the patients, families and staff here at Children’s Hospital!

2011 Saint Paul Professorship Recognition

Staff were celebrated at the Professorship Luncheon in St. Paul on Tuesday, October 4, for their ongoing efforts to go above and beyond to support volunteers at Children’s!  Volunteers Anfisa Schams, Phillip Thomas and Samantha Carlson spoke about how their experience as volunteers at Children’s, and the staff who have worked with them here, have shaped their career paths.


Volunteer panel members Anfisa Schams, Phillip Thomas, and Samantha Carlson.


Professorship attendees from the Rehab department.


THANK YOU to all of the staff who make such a difference in the lives of our volunteers!

2011 Minneapolis Professorship Luncheon Held!

Today, we held our 3rd annual Professorship Luncheon on the Children’s-Minneapolis campus.  We host this event to honor staff members who go “above and beyond” in their efforts to support and mentor volunteers through offering shadowing opportunities, informational interviews, and much more!  A volunteer panel consisting of Mari Fitch, Robin Friedlander, and Nancy Larsen presented on their experiences at Children’s, and it was wonderful to have them share their insights!

A huge THANK-YOU goes to all staff members who attended, as well as all other Children’s staff who mentor and support volunteers throughout the year.  We appreciate you & all that you contibute to our volunteer program!

Music therapist Erinn Danielson, physical therapist Jessie Ovans, & volunteer coordinator Ben Reed

Physician assistants Meghan Webber & Skye Peltier

Volunteer panel members Mari Fitch, Robin Friedlander, & Nancy Larsen

Pharmacy staff members Amy Simons, Laura Dornbusch, Heidi Winkelman, & Steve Grapentine

P.S.  The St. Paul campus will be hosting their Professorship Luncheon next Tuesday, October 4th…so please check back for another update & more pictures then!

Pharmacy Volunteer Celebration Held On Minneapolis Campus!

On Thursday, July 28th, Pharmacy Manager Laura Dornbusch and her staff were gracious enough to throw a “thank-you” celebration for our inpatient pharmacy volunteers!  Huge thanks to the volunteers in attendance (Victoria Anderson, Meghan Beukelman, Ashley Ceryance, Alexa Edlund, and Xia Xiong), and to Laura & her staff for their generosity!  We are also very grateful for the contributions of those volunteers who were unable to attend:  Ashley Artmann, Jake Hansen, & Kameron Krueger.

Please click on “View Full Album” or visit our Facebook page (Children’s of Minnesota Volunteer Services) to view larger versions of these pictures!

Generous Girl Scouts Donate Blankets!

Huge thanks to the Buffalo Lake Hector Girl Scout Troop for their generous donation of 71 tie blankets and 3 bags of arts & crafts activities to the patients here at Children’s Hospital!
Our heartfelt thanks go out to each member of the troop:  Courtney W., Mariah P., Rachel G., Alexis G., Jordyn F., Kate H., Kaitlyn K., Brittany S., Breanna B., and Kiana J., as well as their fearless leaders, Michelle Paulson and Sarah Feige.  Thanks a million, girls…your kindness will bring smiles to many children!
“The Buffalo Lake Hector Girl Scout Troop, pictured with their beautiful blankets!"

Volunteers & X-Box Are Children’s “Top 2!”

Earlier this week, Family Resource Center Program Assistant Carolyn Reseland was kind enough to send the following note to our director, Sandy Bergeron:
“A mom stopped in the FRC today and mentioned the two things that really make her son’s day at Children’s:  X-Box and VOLUNTEERS!  I thought you would want to know how high on the list Volunteer Services comes in this family’s mind.”

Thanks so much, Carolyn, for taking the time to send these kind words our way!  And THANK YOU to all our wonderful volunteers for making a difference in the lives of so many patients & families!

We appreciate the amazing contributions of all volunteers! Pictured: new summer volunteers Andrea Tobias, Tenzin Paichang, William Zeng, & Javier Carchi.