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Memorial Hospital Celebrates Ninety Years for Two of Its Volunteers – 8/29/05

Two people near and dear to the hearts of staff at Memorial Hospital turned 90 years old this month. Volunteers Elsie Risk and Lamont Burger have contributed a combined total of 20,862 service hours to Memorial—the equivalent of over ten years of full-time work. To celebrate their extraordinary achievements, Memorial hosted a birthday party on Thursday, August 25, at the Memorial Administrative Center.

Since joining Memorial, Elsie and Lamont have been and continue to be very active with the volunteer program. Elsie knits endless quantities of baby caps for newborns and works in Patient Financial Services, while Lamont donates his time as an escort for radiology patients at the Printers Park Medical Plaza and visitors at the Boulder hospital.

In February of 1981, Elsie began volunteering at Memorial. Throughout her years of service, she has assisted in several areas of the hospital—including the Blood Bank, Maternal-Fetal Medicine and surgery hospitality. As time and technology have changed, Elsie has expressed a willingness to learn. At age 85, she was excited and eager to “upgrade” her computer skills in step with the Twenty-first Century. After years of giving Memorial staff handwritten cards for all occasions, Elsie has finally ended this tradition because the hospital has grown to an astounding number—4,500 staff members and volunteers.

Lamont began his volunteer work at Memorial in December of 1996. He has played an active role in many of the departments around the hospital. Lamont has served on the Auxiliary board of directors, along with working in the Rehabilitation Patient Care Unit, Cancer Center and Patient Access.

However, Lamont’s time at Memorial hasn’t been all work. While attending an annual volunteer awards luncheon, Lamont met a fellow volunteer who turned out to be the love of his life. He and his wife have been happily married for three years. Lamont now calls the escorting department at Memorial his home away from home. When young volunteers start as escorts, they often discover that walking the hospital halls all day is too taxing for them. At age 90, Lamont has no problem keeping stride with the demands of the position, while keeping a smile on his face.