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Preeclampsia Foundation Expands Volunteer Recognition Program

Last Updated on Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nine winners to be recognized at annual dinner gala weekend in Minneapolis

MELBOURNE, FL – September 10, 2014 – The Preeclampsia Foundation announced today the recipients of their newly expanded volunteer recognition awards. Building upon the historical significance of their annual Hope Award for Volunteer of the Year, the Foundation has created three new award categories to reflect the growing nature of their volunteer program, which now includes over 800 active volunteers across the country.

“The addition of new volunteer recognition categories allows us to truly celebrate the breadth of volunteer experience across the Preeclampsia Foundation’s mission,” said Director of Community Relations Laney Poye. “We couldn’t have made the strides we’ve made in awareness, education and research without the dedication of many talented individuals.”

New award categories beginning this year include “Promise Walk Coordinator of the Year,” “Promise Walk Team of the Year,” and the “Angela Little Spirit of Giving Award,” as well as the traditional “Hope Award for Volunteer of the Year.”

The 2014 recipients are:

Hope Award for Volunteer of the Year – Denise Lang: A two-time preeclampsia survivor, Denise began volunteering with the Foundation in 2004. What started as a need to give back to the community that supported her evolved into several volunteer roles within the Preeclampsia Foundation over the last 10 years, as a forum moderator and the leader of the Wisconsin preeclampsia survivor group. Denise was instrumental in the 2010 process of rebranding the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia and launching promisewalk.org, helping the event grow to the national presence it has today. She also coordinates her own successful event in Wausau, Wis. and is the 2015 Central Regional Promise Walk Coach, motivating and supporting dozens of volunteers in her region.

Promise Walk Coordinator of the Year Award – Sarah Hughes: After surviving a harrowing case of postpartum preeclampsia after the birth of her daughter, this mom of two dedicated herself to helping other moms by starting the Philadelphia, Penn. Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in 2012 and raising over $70,000 over the past three years. In 2014 Sarah was named a Johnson & Johnson Social Influencer for Social Good for her use of her blog Finnegan and the Hughes to support the work of the Preeclampsia Foundation and other maternal health causes.

Angela Little Spirit of Giving Award – Rosemary Jorden: This award, named after the Foundation’s former Director of Operations, is given to a volunteer who exhibits selfless devotion to the Foundation’s mission of education and support. As a preeclampsia survivor and often working quietly in the background, Rosemary has created eight separate Preeclampsia Memorial and Survivor Quilts to honor the experience of survivors from across the globe. She is an active member of the Foundation’s Patient Support Network, providing grief support to families who have experienced infant or maternal loss.

Promise Walk Team of the Year – Chicago, IL Promise Walk (Jasmine Mago, Melanie DalPonte, Nikki Mather, Elizabeth Pebelske, Jill Siegel and Johanna Aiken): In 2014, the Chicago Promise Walk and 5K Run was the top event in the nation, raising over $65,000 with over 500 participants. The success of the event was due in no small part to the three lead walk coordinators, Mago, DalPonte and Mather, building off of the hard work of their predecessors Pebelske, Siegel and Aiken. In addition, the Chicago volunteer team puts in many hours of mission work in Chicago through patient education and improving health care practices in their local community.

All nine volunteers will be recognized at the first annual Patient Advocates Training and Recognition Brunch on Saturday, September 13, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minn., a special event created to honor the diligence and hard work of the Foundation’s volunteers. The event is generously supported by an educational grant from Siemens.

About the Preeclampsia Foundation:  The Preeclampsia Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established in 2000. It is dedicated to providing patient support and education, raising public awareness, catalyzing research and improving health care practices, envisioning a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, visit www.preeclampsia.org.

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