Ruth Ellen Stanley has dedicated 50 years — and counting — to the Hardin Memorial Health Auxiliary.
For her dedication and service to the auxiliary, Stanley, of Elizabethtown, was honored Tuesday night at the HMH Auxiliary Christmas Banquet at Pritchard Community Center.
HMH Director of Volunteer Services Kevin Hilton, who has worked with Stanley for 39 years, said 50 years of volunteerism is quite a milestone.
“We wanted to recognize that,” he said. “She takes great pride in the hospital and as a volunteer.”
Stanley said the recognition was a pleasant surprise.
Along with being honored at the banquet, a bench will be installed outside the hospital’s gift shop entrance near cardiovascular services at the hospital. On the bench, an inscribed plate will recognize Stanley.
Stanley is one of more than 125 volunteers of the HMH Auxiliary, who support the health care organization and raise money for countless programs.
“I love the people. I love the hospital,” she said.
Stanley, 90, started her career of involvement with the hospital in 1967.
The Beaver Dam native first came to Hardin County during the summer of 1955 to work at Glen Dale Children’s Home. She had taken a job there prior to her last semester at Western Kentucky University.
Upon completion of her WKU degree, Stanley said she was hired to return as assistant superintendent at the home, where she worked for 19 years.
During that time, she was invited to join the HMH Auxiliary. Stanley said she would volunteer at the hospital at night, working at the information desk.
Stanley has held several leadership positions with the auxiliary, including president in 1974.
Also in 1974, Stanley began working at Hardin Memorial Hospital as a patient representative. She held that position for 21 years.
Though the number of hours she can volunteer have decreased, Stanley said she still serves the auxiliary and hopes others will join.
“I think (the auxiliary) is very important,” she said. “It’s a good liaison between the hospital and the community.
“It is rewarding to help people when they are stressed,” she added. “Aside from helping the hospital, you are helping the people that you meet.”