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news News Friday, June 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 12:02 PM - Friday, June 22, 2018 12:02 PM

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa names 2018 Volunteers of the Year

Winners have devoted a combined 21 years and nearly 6,000 hours of service

A former patient's dad and a retired nurse who have donated thousands of hours to the hospital recently were honored as Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa's 2018 Volunteers of the Year.

Bill Hilbmann and Sandra Soendker share a combined 21 years and 5,880 hours of service. They were recognized at a luncheon to honor the hospital's 162 volunteers. Each year, a male and female volunteer are chosen from among a field of nominees as Volunteers of the Year.

"Bill and Sandra represent all the qualities in the best of Shriners volunteers," said Tami Smith, director of the hospital's volunteer services department. "They, along with all of our other volunteers, play a key role in sustaining our mission."

The statistics on Mr. Hilbmann are impressive: 13½ years and 3,380 hours of service. But what is more impressive is the kind of man he is. Like so many of our volunteers, Mr. Hilbmann came to the Tampa Shriners Hospital to give back. His daughter was treated at Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the experience and successful outcome might have influenced her decision to become a nurse. Hilbmann's dedication to our hospital is unwavering. He has experienced life challenges and life changes, yet his commitment to our hospital remained constant.

Each Tuesday, you will likely see Mr. Hilbmann pushing the mail cart throughout the hospital as he picks up and delivers interoffice mail, orders and various items at designated points. The courier is a volunteer position that is heavily relied upon and a convenience the staff appreciates. Mr. Hilbmann not only works efficiently and independently, but his friendly face is a reassuring sight for staff and families.

Mr. Hilbmann loves to read and spend time with close family. He also is a talented painter and often shares his artwork with staff and fellow volunteers. He is a dedicated, reliable, generous and kind volunteer who is always willing to help and contribute toward our hospital.

Ms. Soendker's statistics are equally impressive: 8 years and nearly 2,500 service hours. Ms. Soendker is scheduled once a week in the fiscal services department. However, in a time of great demand during the past year, she volunteered as often as needed, sometimes three days a week.

"Sandra has told the department to call whenever she is needed, and she meant it," Mrs. Smith said.

Ms. Soendker works with the hospital's donation program. When it came time to learn a new computer program, she tackled it head on. To give extra assistance, she has even offered to come in when the department’s second volunteer is out. Sandra has a great work ethic and a “can do” attitude approach to life.

A retired registered nurse, Ms. Soendker is called upon when family members or neighbors need medical help. She also serves as a volunteer for her homeowners' association board and her church.

Both winners of this year's Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa's Volunteers of the Year