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Local Named Arkansas Volunteer of the Year - Monday, June 23, 2014
Originally published in the El Dorado News-Times on June 23, 2014.

Lucy Bawel, a long-time El Dorado resident, was recently selected as an Arkansas Volunteer of the Year. She and five others from across Arkansas were honored at a banquet held at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock on June 13.

The honorees were invited to a private reception with Gov. Mike Beebe and Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe prior to the dinner and awards program. This was the 37th year of the Community Service Awards, which are sponsored by KARK 4 Television and the Duncan Law Firm of Little Rock.

Bawel is a retired nurse whose career spanned 40 years. Her position upon retirement was director of nursing at Hudson Memorial Nursing Home in El Dorado. In the years following her professional career, Bawel has dedicated herself to continuing to help others by volunteering in many and various ways. For many years she served on the board of Carenet and RSVP and was involved in the transition of those organizations into El Dorado Connections, where she still serves on the board.

For the past 10 years, Bawel has been a hospice volunteer, visiting with patients to offer comfort and care. In addition, she is a trained Eleventh Hour volunteer, where she stays by the side of those facing their final hours. She can also be found bringing smiles and snacks up and down the halls of Hudson Memorial Nursing Home on a weekly basis. In addition, she assists the staff and enjoys visiting with residents at Hudson Senior Center.

El Dorado’s Interfaith Help Services has also benefited from Bawel’s involvement for several years. She has served on the board and is a past board president. In her capacity there she helps give oversight to the program and has visited churches to inform them of the organization’s needs.

Bawel’s volunteer trek has also taken her into the classroom. She serves as a Book Buddy at Retta Brown Elementary, where she spends time reading with students. Her compassion for those in need has also led Bawel to periodically volunteer her time as a Chemo Angel, where she spends time encouraging patients receiving treatment and tending to their needs while they wait.

In addition to her extensive community outreach, Bawel is an active member of Faith Community Church. She can be found helping with church events, cleaning and even helping mow and trim the church grounds. Bawel bases her efforts to help others on her faith and the belief that it is her calling and joy to give of God’s love to others.

 

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