Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital honored its more than 200 adult volunteers by hosting a Volunteer Recognition Luncheon and other festivities in celebration of ìNational Volunteer Week,î Sunday through Saturday, April 22nd through 28th.

The April 18th luncheon at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica recognized 68 volunteers who achieved hour and year milestones at the medical center during the past year.

Santa Monica resident Jette Simmons was the top honoree, with more than 74,000 hours of service. Two other Westside residents, Kuljit Marwah of Malibu and Ronald Belanger of Venice, were honored for 27,000 and 19,000 hours of service, respectively.

Nancy Howell of Pacific Palisades was honored for reaching the 25-year milestone. Three other volunteers, Connie Casillas and Virginia Hansis of Santa Monica and June Obler of Brentwood, were recognized for 20 years of service.

The luncheon also paid tribute to ìthe leading ladiesî ó volunteers Howell, Lois Krieger, Agnes Raeder and Monique Lasky ó who manage four hospital areas staffed entirely by volunteers, the gift shop, the surgery waiting area, the information desk and the ambassador program.

Adult volunteers donated more than 40,000 hours of service to the medical center in 2006 by assisting caregivers, working in non-clinical departments and running the hospital gift shop.

SM-UCLA and Orthopaedic Hospitalís volunteer workforce includes adults, pre-medical students called ìcare extenders,î junior volunteers ages 15 to 18 and pet-assisted activity teams that visit patients in the hospital.

Information about volunteer opportunities at the medical center, (310) 319-4614.

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