Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island will hold its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on Friday, April 20 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick to celebrate the dedication of their volunteers from across the state. Over 70 volunteers are to be given the Presidential Service Award for donating 100-500+ hours of their time last year to those impacted by serious illnesses.

“Our volunteers have provided support, companionship and dignity to Hope Hospice RI patients and families who need it most,” said Diana Franchitto, president and CEO of HopeHealth. “They have been selfless and tirelessly devoted, and we’re excited to celebrate them for the amazing work that they do.”

Over 70 volunteers will be given the Presidential Service Award for reaching yearly volunteering milestones. Five of whom will receive Gold for 500+ hours:

  • Maria Finucane of Providence, 977 hours
  • Nancy Penta of North Providence, 540 hours
  • Cherine Whitney of North Kingstown, 713 hours
  • Margaret Wintle of Cranston, 762 hours
  • Edward Richard of Cranston, 590 hours

Fifteen will receive Silver for 250 – 499 hours. Eight volunteers will be awarded for their years dedicated to volunteering at Hope Hospice RI. Most notably:

  • Robert Corson of Barrington, 30 years
  • Betty Costantino of Cranston, 25 years
  • Stella Vassilopoulos of East Greenwich, 20 years
  • George Wycoff of Wakefield, 20 years

“Many of our volunteers have been touched by Hope Hospice RI in some way – whether they have lost a loved one who was in our care, or they have participated in our bereavement support groups. Our volunteers have turned their grief into good by coming back to help others, creating unbreakable bonds within our community,” said Deanna Upchurch, director of community services.

The Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island 2018 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon will be held Friday, April 20 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick. A social hour will be held at 10:30 a.m., followed by guest speaker and volunteer coordinator Jennifer Grace. Jennifer will share her personal story of involvement with Hope Hopsice RI, as her son Cole was on service five years ago.  Jennifer’s story is nothing short of inspiring, she went from mother and caregiver, to grieving parent and eventually became a hospice volunteer and now volunteer coordinator. The luncheon and awards ceremony will follow.

“Thank you to all of our loyal volunteers – many of you have turned into family for those facing serious illnesses. You’ve made the impact of a lifetime, and we appreciate your strength and generosity every day,” added Franchitto.

If members of the media would like to attend, please contact Sarah Kennedy at skennedy@nharbor.com.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.