Heroes of Hospice Awards

Posted on Oct 18 by Seasons Intern

(L-R): 2014 Heroes of Hospice Award recipients Katrina Hamel, on behalf of Sarah House – Professional Award recipient; Jill Nida, Volunteer Award recipient; and Jill Kitnick, Philanthropist Award recipient (courtesy photo)

(L-R): 2014 Heroes of Hospice Award recipients Katrina Hamel, on behalf of Sarah House – Professional Award recipient; Jill Nida, Volunteer Award recipient; and Jill Kitnick, Philanthropist Award recipient (courtesy photo)

Hospice of Santa Barbara honors outstanding individuals at the 2014 Heroes of Hospice ceremony on October 24 at Hospice of Santa Barbara.

The event serves to award local heroes who have made an important impact to the community through the organization. This year’s honorees are Jill Nida, Jill Kitnick and Sarah House. Hospice will also recognize emeritus board members Charlie Zimmer, Peggy Barnes and Thomas Fly. Other highlights of the event include refreshments, music, dancing, and art sale. Hospice’s own Marilee Zdenkek will sign her latest book Between Fires.

Nida is being honored with the volunteer award for her dedicated work with Hospice since 1988. A Santa Barbara native, Nida attended San Marcos High School, SBCC, and UCSB. Her past leadership roles include past president of the board of directors, past president of the Hospice Auxiliary Board, committee chair, and volunteer.  In 2012 she was named Hospice of Santa Barbara Cheerleader Emeritus. She is currently on the Hospice of Santa Barbara Emeritus Board.

Hospice presents Kitnick with the Philanthropist Award for her generous donation of time and money. Since 2006 she has served many positions ranging from a volunteer for Hospice of Santa Barbara’s “I Have a Friend Program,” a mentorship program for children who have lost a parent or sibling.  Kitnick is also a Hospice of Santa Barbara Patient Care volunteer, and helped start Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Pet Therapy Program. She is also a vital part of the “Beloved Bear Program,” whereby a grieving family member who is a client of Hospice of Santa Barbara can bring in a piece of clothing of their loved one who has died, and request a Teddy Bear or pillow be made out of the clothing.

This year Sarah House earns the Professional Award. In 1989 Alice Health, founder of Hospice of Santa Barbara, devoted her passion, time and energy to inspire the Santa Barbara community by founding a Health House, nonprofit for men and women dying from HIV/AIDS. In the mid-1990s, Sarah Shoresman donated funds which allowed the group to build Sarah House which provided services to offer end-of-life care for low income and homeless of the Santa Barbara community.

Hospice of Santa Barbara volunteers its free professional counseling and care management services to more than 600 adults and 125 children every month who are experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit HospiceOfSantaBarbara.org or call 805/563-8820.

–Breanne Lewis

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