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Hospice of Tift Area to celebrate volunteers at an annual appreciation banquet
Hospice of Tift Area will hold its annual Hospice Volunteer Appreciation Banquet on April 12, 6:00 p.m., at the Tift Regional Community Events Center in Tifton. 
“This is a special time each year when we honor the more than 45 community volunteers who enhance the care provided to hospice patients and their families,” said Vicki Taft, Hospice of Tift Area’s Volunteer Coordinator and Community Liaison.   “Our volunteers serve in many ways, such as directly helping patients and their families with special needs, assisting with office work or serving on our board.”
Taking place in a patient’s home or home-like setting, hospice is specialized type of care for those facing a life-limiting illness.  Support is provided not just to patients, but to families and caregivers.  Hospice care addresses physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.  It concentrates on managing a patient’s pain and other symptoms so the patient may live as comfortable as possible and make the most of the time that remains.
Taft said this year’s guest speaker at the volunteer appreciation banquet is Dianne Cowart, who is one of Hospice of Tift Area’s board members.   Cowart held a number of positions at ABAC from the time of her employment in 1973 until her retirement in 1996. She was dean of women, director of residence life and worked with the student government association. 
“Dianne has a personal connection to hospice, as her late husband was served by our care,” said Taft.  “Her story is very poignant and inspiring.”
Taft said the banquet will also include special presentations for several of Hospice of Tift Area’s long-term volunteers.  
“We couldn’t do it without our volunteers,” said Taft.  “They personalize, heighten and expand the services offered to patients and families.  At Hospice of Tift Area, volunteers are recognized as integral members of the team.”