Longtime Renown Volunteer Honored for Service to Others

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For the past 26 years, Essie Dufur has been helping visitors, patients and their families with a smile on her face and a second-to-none knowledge of the ins and outs of Renown’s campus. Meet Essie, and learn about what drives her commitment to volunteerism.

Dozens of community volunteers recently were honored as part of the annual Renown Health Volunteer Banquet, but one in particular stood out from the rest: The one with 30,000 hours of volunteering.

Essie Dufur, right, accepts her award during the annual Renown Volunteer Banquet. Surprising Essie with her special honor is Meghan Meagher, Director of Volunteer Services for Renown Health.
Essie Dufur, right, accepts her award during the annual Renown Volunteer Banquet. Surprising Essie with her special honor is Meghan Meagher, Director of Volunteer Services for Renown Health.

You read that right: 30,000 hours.

In real time, that’s like spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week for about three and a half years committed to the service of others.

Meet Essie Dufur, longtime Reno resident and a volunteer at Renown for 26 years.

MORE:  Volunteering: 300 Strong at Renown Health

Spanning Two Decades: Volunteer’s Desire to Help Others

As the longest-serving volunteer at the health network, Essie has given much of her own valuable time to service, and she’s happy to do it. Essie values the opportunity to volunteer — and she still feels great about helping others.

“I just like to be busy, and I want to do something good for somebody,” Essie said before she was honored (by surprise) during the ceremony on Sept. 18.

Essie currently volunteers three days a week at Renown — two days at Renown Regional Medical Center, and one day at Renown South Meadows Medical Center. She serves in many ways, including wayfinding help for visitors and delivering flowers to patient rooms.

It started when Essie retired from a local Basque restaurant, where she learned the great art of conversation with all types of people. Her kind manner and ability to relate and talk to anyone has made her a longtime volunteer favorite at Renown.

“When I retired, I didn’t just want to sit around the house and watch TV on the sofa,” Essie explains. “A friend told me, ‘You are crazy! You are working for nothing.’ But I don’t think that way — I feel great doing this.”

And how did she celebrate her well-earned recognition from Renown? With a trip to her homeland of Spain, of course! In late September, Essie enjoyed a wonderful visit with family in Seville, Barcelona and Pamplona.

Now, Essie is back in Reno, helping patient families and visitors to Renown.

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