MILFORD >> Milford Hospital recently honored nearly 190 volunteers at its annual dinner and awards ceremony.

The hospital has a corps of nearly 300 men, women and teenagers that support patients, visitors and hospital staff. Over the last year, they collectively contributed nearly 29,000 hours of service.

The theme for National Volunteer Week 2017 was “Volunteers Make the World Brighter.”

“Milford Hospital is fortunate to have so many outstanding individuals who are willing to selflessly give of themselves in support of the hospital,” said Joseph Pelaccia, president and CEO.

“Our volunteers make a tremendous difference to our patients, visitors, staff and our entire community.”

Dr. Lloyd Friedman, vice president of medical affairs and COO, noted that he sees the effects of volunteers each day.

“I see your willingness to help others in any way you can. You don’t just do your job well; you help others do their job well.”

Volunteers reaching benchmarks during 2016-2017 for longevity and hours of service were honored at the dinner; 87 have served 10 years or more, and 141 have contributed 100 hours.

Special awards were given to Patricia Damon of Milford for 40 years of service, Suzanne Beliveau of Milford, Karin May of Milford and Sharon Sabo of West Haven for 45 years of service and Dolly von Hacht of Milford for 55 years of service.

Penny Oliver, who did not attend, was recognized for 50 years of service.

Volunteers serve in all areas in dozens of positions, including clerical assistance and support, friendly visits as part of a “pet therapy” team, tender-touch provider, gift shop clerk, greeter and escort.

“This recognition not only highlights the incredible volume in hours and years contributed by our volunteers, but also acknowledges the value of their work,” said Karen Kipfer, director of community relations.

“Our volunteers are touching lives every day and making a difference. They truly are brightening our hospital.”

For information on volunteering, call the Volunteer Services Department at 203-876-4062.