Mary Runeari, a resident of Fulton, and the employees of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station were honored for their roles in the community and for their involvement with The St. Luke Family of Caring, the affiliation of community-based, not-for-profit, non-denominational healthcare providers serving the greater-Oswego County area. Affiliates include St. Luke Health Services, Bishop's Commons Enriched Living Residence in Oswego, and Michaud Residential Health Services in Fulton.
St. Luke Health Services CEO and Administrator Terrence Gorman welcomed those gathered and noted the importance of people who dedicate their time as volunteers, on behalf of St. Luke or any organization in the community cannot be easily quantified or their significance underestimated.
"As our affiliate organizations of St. Luke, Bishop's Commons and Michaud provide care to more than three hundred and fifty people each day, it is our volunteers that truly help to improve the quality of life of those served by the St. Luke Family of Caring," Gorman said as he addressed the crowd. "I don't think I exaggerate when I say that we would not be the kind of health care provider we are without our active volunteer programs."
"We are pleased to be able to recognize and honor one very special individual, and for the first time a business; each clearly demonstrates the spirit of volunteerism and community work which we hope to draw attention to by virtue of these awards," Jerome Mirabito, president of the St. Luke Board of Directors told those gathered at the awards reception. "Both Mary Runeari and the employees of Constellation Energy's Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station have made a positive impact in our community and continue to have significant involvement with those served by our organizations."
The John Foster Burden Award is named in memory of the late Dr. Burden, an Oswego physician and community activist who for decades gave selflessly of his time and talents. Among the many organizations in which he played a leading role, Dr. Burden was the first president of the Board of Directors of the St. Luke Nursing Home, today known as St. Luke Health Services.
Rev. Jeffrey Knox, a member of the board of directors and a 2010 recipient of the John Foster Burden Award, addressed those gathered with a reflection on the "Volunteer Spirit." Rev. Knox described those who volunteer as truly giving of their most precious resources, their talent and their time.
Holly Carpenter, representing New York State Senator Patty Ritchie, presented each award recipient with a proclamation from Senator Ritchie acknowledging their accomplishments and volunteer service to the community.
Accepting the Foster Burden Awards were Runeari; and on behalf of the employees of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group - Nine Mile Point Station were Mike Philippon, plant general manager; Colleen Hare who organizes the "Giving Tree" program with Tonya Jones.
In receiving the award, Runeari thanked her many family and friends in attendance and attributed her own personal experience at Michaud when her mother was a resident, as a motivating factor for her decision to become a volunteer.
"I know firsthand what a difference a caring volunteer can have in the lives of nursing home residents, and it has been a source of great satisfaction to me to think that I might have made a difference to someone through my volunteer efforts at Michaud," Runeari said.
"Constellation Energy Nuclear Group is fortunate to operate its Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in a community that has long supported nuclear power," Mike Philippon, plant general manager, said. "One of our core values is community commitment. This means, we take our role as a community partner seriously and work to be leaders in helping to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work."
This year's award recipients will join a group of distinguished individuals who have been honored with the John Foster Burden award previously. Recipients include Father William Brown; Frances T. Sullivan; Dr. David O'Brien; Francis Boyce; Steven and Mary Link; Rev. Jeffrey and Gail Knox; and Ernst and Mary Hamer.
2012 John Foster Burden Award Recipients
Mary Runeari – A resident of Fulton, Mary continues to serve her community with distinction and honor. Mary has been faithfully donating her time and talents on behalf of the residents of Michaud Residential Health Services since 1985, providing assistance to residents during group programs, visits, and community outings. For more than 27 years, Mary has helped foster a homelike atmosphere for Michaud residents, who look forward to having her be a part of their day.
Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station - For more than 12 years, employees of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group's (CENG) Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station through their "Giving Tree" Program, collect and donate hundreds of Christmas gifts for St. Luke residents. Employees select a resident Christmas present wish from trees located throughout their facilities, and then take the time and energy to set about fulfilling those wishes. Constellation employees have also taken this opportunity to visit St. Luke to be a part of its holiday celebrations. The Constellation Energy employee program demonstrates the best of what the holiday season represents in our community.