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Volunteers recognized at Medical Center Auxiliary Appreciation Luncheon
Mak Yari
Louis Smith, President of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville, presents Siamak “Mak” Yari the Nell Whelchel Wiegand Patient Friend award. - photo by For The Times

More than 200 volunteers were recently recognized for their service during Northeast Georgia Health System’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon held at First Baptist Church of Gainesville.

Barbara Bostwick was honored with the 2016 Marjorie Covington Smith Auxilian of the Year award, and Siamak “Mak” Yari received the Nell Whelchel Wiegand Patient Friend award.

Bostwick has volunteered for Northeast Georgia Health System since 2002. After being recruited by a close friend to become involved with Marketplace, the Auxiliary’s annual shopping event, she began volunteering at The Window Shop at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville.

Bostwick quickly tallied more than 4,000 hours of service, as well as the title of president for The Medical Center Auxiliary, and became a member of The Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees.  She continues giving her time and talent as a volunteer gift shop buyer. Friends, family and fellow volunteers describe her as a brightening spirit that always has a smile on her face, no matter the circumstances.

Mak is a dedicated volunteer who has served NGMC for 11 years, donating 3,700 hours in the Emergency Department at the Gainesville campus on weekends. He has a servant’s heart and volunteers his time to the community in other ways, like coaching soccer for young children at Allen Creek Soccer Complex.

Awards presented at the luncheon represent a total of 193,750 service hours, equivalent to a value of $4.3 million to the community and NGHS.

NGHS and The Medical Center Auxiliary awarded Virginia Benefield, Linda Brow, Jean Hawkins, Peggy Kanaday, Lee Moeller, Helen Powell, Deborah Sanders and Frances Whitey each for 30 years of volunteer service. Margaret Strickland was honored for 35 years of service. 

Additionally, Hospice of NGMC volunteers were recognized for 30 years of service and The Pilot Club of Gainesville for 65 years of volunteer service.

For more information about volunteering with the Medical Center Auxiliary, call 770-219-1830 or visit

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