LaVonne Sekelik has performed over 8,200 volunteer service hours at Ogden Regional Medical Center in various capacities. She has been working in the Encore Shop for years. After she began to work there, Sekelik realized they were in jeopardy of closing due to a lack of staffing, she recruited her husband Ed; and they permanently accepted the most difficult shift. When the shop buyer needed help, Sekelik added the responsibility of ordering merchandise. When the president-elect position was unexpectedly vacated, Sekelik filled the heavy responsibilities of both president and president-elect for an entire year. When the fund-raising chairman fell ill the same year, Sekelik then picked up the reins and organized fund-raisers. It seems as though she adds new responsibilities at least once a month and sometimes weekly.
In addition to her work at Ogden Regional Medical Center, Sekelik serves on the board of the St. Benedict’s Foundation. This foundation is responsible for funding many women and children’s community programs. Sekelik has learned about accounting, purchasing, pricing, contracts, marketing, and business plans. She is well rounded, and has made herself very valuable in matters pertaining to hospital and community programs. She’s not shy about addressing needs. When she learned that the Ogden Rescue Mission was short of turkeys for families in need at Christmas, on the spur of the moment, she arranged for funds to meet the need.
Sekelik is pro-active in seeking ways to “give back” to the community. She has a huge humanitarian heart, but most importantly she takes care of other volunteers. Sekelik is good at sensing when someone is heavy hearted and looks for opportunities to uplift and help others by writing appreciation notes, offering small gifts, taking care of others needs, or giving genuine compliments.
Sekelik is perpetually positive no matter the situation. She is known for never becoming discouraged. One day while volunteering Sekelik got hurt and had to go the Emergency Room with a broken wrist. At the very same time, her husband Ed was in the ER, where he learned he had brain cancer. In spite of the traumatic morning, the couple insisted on filling their volunteer commitment that day. (The hospital sent them home to rest).
Because she is in perpetual service, no one would guess that Sekelik is battling with an unseen enemy – cancer. She expects it will win some day. “Knowing ahead that my life may be shortened by cancer actually gives me a better perspective, and the focus to devote myself to things most important in life. Obviously, volunteering is one of those things,” says Sekelik. Although she received regular cancer treatments, she has not missed one volunteer day. Her dear husband, and fellow volunteer, was not so fortunate. He passed away in September 2003. Sekelik’s coping strategy is to volunteer more! The Ogden community is truly blessed by her unselfish service.