REM Award Honorees (2008) — Penny Laplante (Inland Hospital)

Inland Hospital is proud to honor Penny Laplante as its Volunteer of the Year. As a nurse on Inland’s medical-surgical unit and an involved community member, Penny’s giving spirit knows no bounds.

For 22 years, Penny has lovingly cared for Inland patients . . . and also, for our community by volunteering her time, energy and enthusiasm in many ways.

Penny got her first taste of volunteering when she became a hospital candy striper as a teenager. “I loved helping people — it just felt good,” Penny recalls. The rewarding experience steered her into a life of service devoted to others.

Penny and her husband, David, have been volunteer role models for their children over the last 26 years in Waterville. Jaime, Matt, and Chris saw their mother at Mt. Merici School almost every day — as a homeroom parent, organizing the school’s Harvest Festival, leading music for school masses, and then at the High School lending a hand in the guidance office.

The Laplantes have been dedicated volunteers in the Corpus Christi Parish, having served as leaders in youth ministry, in the marriage prep program, and as Eucharistic and Music Ministers. Recently, Penny started helping out at the Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen.

You may also have seen Penny at the Waterville Opera House, where she donates time as an “angel,” ushering patrons to their seats. And this fall, she accepted a position on the Board of Directors for Seton Village, a subsidized housing community in Waterville.

In addition, Penny volunteers on Inland’s Employee Assistance Program committee, the Employee Wellness Team, and at the hospital’s annual World of Women’s Wellness health event. Plus, in her spare time, Penny cooks homemade goodies for hospital staff to enjoy.

Friends, colleagues and those in the organizations she is involved with say that Penny is one of the kindest, most caring people they know. Penny’s Supervisor at Inland, Michelle Skehan, RN says, “Penny has an infinite capacity for caring. We should all aspire to be so engaged in our community. Her sense of civic responsibility is tremendous.”

When asked what motivates her to share so much, Penny remarks, “To whom much is given, much is expected. God has given us good health, great jobs, loving family and friends. We must share our blessings and give back.”

For more information about Inland Hospital, please visit its website.

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