2010-10-15 / Community

PHC Presents Outstanding Volunteer Awards

Jack Domfort Jack Domfort Joyce Silverman, president, PHC Volunteer Guild and Jack Domfort, vice president, PHC Volunteer Guild, are among Peninsula Hospital Center’s 2010 Honorees at its 103rd Anniversary Ball to be held on October 30. In addition to their Volunteer Guild officer positions, both ilverman and Domfort are very active volunteers at the Hospital Center and they, together with the other members of the Volunteer Guild, have made the Hospital Center’s Gift Shop an integral part of the hospital. Both Silverman and Domfort will receive the Hospital Center’s 2010 Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Silverman has been involved in “doing things for others” nearly all of her life. She gave up her own college education when her parents died so that she could take care of her family. She continued taking care of family after her marriage and it was not until her oldest son was a senior in high school that Silverman decided it was time for her to get into the work force. Her first job was with Sears where she learned how to operate office equipment in the comptroller’s office and rose through the ranks for the next ten years. Needing new challenges, Silveman took a position as a receptionist in a building that was home to various decorating companies and knitting firms which had always been her avocation. As a prolific knitter and knitting pattern designer, Silverman not only thrived in this environment, but was featured in Afghans magazine. She also worked as a temporary for the Kelly Agency until her son, then a captain in the Air Force, was stationed in several different cities throughout Asia. Her family instincts came into play once again, and Silverman, wanting her young grandchildren to know their grandmother, stopped her formal employment and began traveling to wherever her son was stationed in Asia to take care of and spend time with her grandchildren for at least three to four months at a time.

When her son returned to the States, she returned to work as a volunteer at Peninsula Hospital Center in its Gift Shop where she has been for more than 20 years. She was an integral part of the team that transitioned the Gift Shop into what it is today – a busy, profitable and well-stocked shop relied upon and often frequented by employees and visitors alike. She shops for the store and stocks its shelves and from time to time, donates one of her wonderful knitted creations for a very profitable raffle. In addition to the $40,000 donation made by the Volunteer Guild each year, the Guild has assumed the sponsorship of the Hospital Center’s Employee Service Awards breakfast. “It’s like having a family away from home,” says Silverman. “We have formed steady friendships here and I think I can say I know most of the employees at the Hospital Center – we share their joys and their worries. It gives me great pleasure to be able to help raise money to help the hospital each year. We really feel like a very important part of what happens here.”

Jack Domfort celebrates a long career as a volunteer and active member of a wide variety of organizations. He and his wife, Phyllis, have lived in Arverne for more than 50 years. He served his country in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman. He was stationed in Guam and China during World War II and was called back to active duty during the Korean War where he served as an optician. Once his active duty was completed, Domfort returned to his career as a licensed optician and officially retired in 1991.

After moving to Rockaway in the 1940s, Domfort, with some encouragement from his wife, began his involvement with Rockaway organizations. He has always been and remains today, active in the American Legion and the Jewish War Veterans Association and is well known for organizing and running Rockaway’s Memorial Day parade for more than 10 years. For 30 years, he served as the assistant director of the Little Leprechaun Band and traveled with the band to various events and parades. Domfort also is involved with several senior organizations on the peninsula and about ten years ago, found he had a talent for oil painting and has become quite the prolific painter. One need only go as far as the Hospital Center gift shop to see his art hanging on the walls. In his free time, he is also a dancer to make sure that his wife, who loves to dance, always has a partner.

Approximately 20 years ago, again with the encouragement of his wife, Domfort got involved with the Peninsula Hospital Center gift shop. Together with the other volunteers in the Volunteer Guild, he built up the gift shop and expanded the merchandise for sale. As a result of the group’s efforts, the Volunteer Guild now presents the Hospital Center with a check for $40,000 each year as a donation. Domfort still shops for the store and stocks the shelves.

Now in his mid eighties, he looks back on his volunteerism and says, “I enjoy volunteering. It keeps my mind alert and keeps my body going. It gives me a real purpose each day and I enjoy giving something back to the community. I always had mentors growing up who proved to be very meaningful in my life.”

Peninsula Hospital Center’s 103rd Anniversary Ball will be held on October 30 at the El Caribe Country Club in Brooklyn, New York. Also honored that evening will be Marvin E. Eisenstadt, Senior Vice Chairman, Board of Directors and Benefactor and Abiola Familusi, M.D., Program Director, Traumatic Brain Injury Unit. Proceeds from the Anniversary Ball will be dedicated to the Butterflies by the Sea, Eisenstadt Hospice Care at Peninsula. For further information, to purchase tickets or to support the event, please contact the Office of Public Affairs at Peninsula Hospital Center.

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