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100 year old Freeman volunteer named a winner... - KOAM TV 7

100 year old Freeman volunteer named a winner of Senior Service Award

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Updated May 16, 2012 - News release from the office of the Missouri Lt. Governor:

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder on May 9 announced 34 winners of the Lieutenant Governor's Senior Service Award, including Arita Roehling of Joplin.

Lt. Governor Kinder presented the awards at a luncheon for the winners and their guests outside his office in the Capitol. Roehling was nominated by Linda McIntosh of the Freeman Hospital Auxiliary. 

Roehling has given 60 years of service to the Freeman Hospital in Joplin. She actually attended the hospital's dedication ceremony on Sergeant Avenue in 1925. She began volunteering at the hospital in 1950, working on patient floors, visiting patients and their families and assisting staff as needed. She also worked at the information desk, gift shop and in the pre-natal department.

In 1983, Roehling celebrated the Freeman Auxiliary's 50th Anniversary, while she served as the Auxiliary's president. She currently serves as chairman of the Knitters, who make caps for cancer patients, and, with 100 hours she donated to the Auxiliary this year, the 100-year-old Roehling has volunteered a total of 15,598 at the hospital.

"Thank you, Arita, for your lifetime achievement of service to Freeman Health System and your community," said McIntosh in her nomination.

Roehling was unable to attend last week's award ceremony at the House Lounge in the Capitol. Lt. Governor Kinder will present her with an official declaration and a Senior Service Award lapel pin at a future ceremony in her hometown. 

"Arita Roehling sets an example for all Missourians with her dedication and tireless service to her community," Kinder said. "For six decades, her selfless volunteer service has inspired all who know her."

Due to a record number of nominations, Kinder this year expanded his Senior Service Award, naming 34 winners representing the state's 34 Senatorial Districts. Roehling won in the 32nd District. 

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Reported April 19, 2012 by Jordan Aubey:  A long time Freeman hospital volunteer continues her tradition of knitting caps for cancer patients.

Arita Roehling says she and other volunteers have made more than 500 caps for patients receiving chemo therapy.

Roehling celebrates her 100th birthday on Friday and has been volunteering at the hospital for 60 years.

Roehling was with her parents when Freeman Hospital was dedicated in 1925.

"It's a different world we live in," Roehling says.  "I was born in Barton County, on a rural farm, and we didn't have a car, we didn't have a radio, we didn't have electricity, we didn't have open water, and don't tell me that things haven't changed."

Roehling plans on celebrating her birthday tomorrow by resting, and getting ready for parties later this week.

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