Archive for Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cushing volunteer services director receives chamber’s Athena Award

November 23, 2005, 8:28 a.m.

Updated: November 23, 2005, 8:52 a.m.

The director of volunteer services at Cushing Memorial Hospital is this year's recipient of the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce's Athena Award.

Jeanne DeRuyscher received the award - named after the virgin warrior goddess - during a combined luncheon of the chamber and its Women's Division on Tuesday at the Riverfront Community Center.

The award's recipient is chosen for "a combination of her professionalism, business accomplishments, community service and Chamber of Commerce activity" and "significant contributions to the role of women in business," said Karalin Alsdurf, Women's Division president.

Chamber executive vice president Charlie Gregor introduced DeRuyscher by saying she "demonstrates patience and perseverance beyond the call of duty" and spreads her talent throughout the community with "spirit I marvel at."

Gregor said DeRuyscher was selected for the award for her many business accomplishments, most of them since she began at Cushing in 2000. DeRuyscher helped Cushing win the Kansas Hospital Association and Kansas Auxiliary Gold awards by exceeding the standard requirements set for hospital volunteer organizations.

She helped raise funds for the hospital totaling $33,000, which have gone to buy new automatic doors, cardiac rehab equipment and patient wheelchairs, among other items.

Her community service activities include chairing the 2005 Leavenworth County United Way Campaign, creating A Taste Of Leavenworth food fair to benefit the Leavenworth Historical Museum Association and serving as a volunteer and event coordinator for Immaculata's fundraising Greenway Auction for 11 years. She has also served as president of the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum at Fort Leavenworth.

After accepting the award, DeRuyscher gave an emotional thank-you to the group.

"I'm stunned," she said, choked up. "This is such an honor."

The award presentation was preceded by speeches from two Army officers stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Majs. Kimberly Walter and Deitra Korando. They spoke about leadership and the lessons they drew from their service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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