Morning Pointe Awards 5th Annual Leo Vital Volunteer Honor

Saturday, May 4, 2013
Shown, from left to right, are Holly Metcalf, executive director, Morning Pointe of Chattanooga, Ramona Madaris, volunteer of the year, and Doug Madaris.
Shown, from left to right, are Holly Metcalf, executive director, Morning Pointe of Chattanooga, Ramona Madaris, volunteer of the year, and Doug Madaris.
- photo by Amy Clarke

Each year the Leo Vital Award for Outstanding Volunteerism recognizes a volunteer who gives of their time and energy in making a difference in the lives of Morning Pointe of Chattanooga residents. This year’s recipient of the fifth annual award is no exception, but her dedication surpasses many. That’s because Ramona Madaris is a polio and three-time cancer survivor. Rarely does she miss her weekly volunteer days, even now, around her treatment for lung cancer.

Every week, twice a week, for as many as four hours at a time, one can find Ms. Madaris working closely with the residents of Morning Pointe of Chattanooga. “Because her mother was a resident here for two years,” said Holly Metcalf, executive director of Morning Pointe of Chattanooga, “residents see her as an advocate. They look to her for help and guidance.”

Ms. Madaris has volunteered at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga for over three years. She led the ‘Operation Write Home’ project and started residents writing to soldiers abroad. She creates craft programs and most of all spends quality time visiting the seniors. “She is a model volunteer,” said Ms. Metcalf. “It doesn’t matter how sick she is or if she doesn’t feel well, Ramona is here. She is like a family member or an associate. She brings happiness to all of our residents.”

Each year, employees of Morning Pointe of Chattanooga, where Leo Vital resided for nine years, select a volunteer for this special award; celebrating those who continue to make a difference in their work for the residents of Morning Pointe.  Leo Vital served as hospital administrator and executive director of administration of nursing homes and hospitals in Tennessee, Georgia and Massachusetts for over 50 years. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University.

The Morning Pointe staff nominated 90-year-old Leo Vital in 2008 as the award’s namesake for his constant efforts to mentor young professionals and encourage them to pursue careers in health professions. Leo Vital is the father of Greg A. Vital, founder and President of Morning Pointe Assisted Living and Independent Healthcare Properties.

Ms. Madaris was speechless upon receiving the special plaque and recognition during a Volunteer Appreciation Celebration at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga.  “It brought me to tears,” she said. “I was so moved and happy by the honor.” 

“We are grateful to have such dedicated volunteers like Ramona Madaris,” said Greg A. Vital, president and CEO of Morning Pointe. “It’s that spirit and true commitment to our seniors that makes such a difference every single day in our buildings across the Southeast.  Our volunteers drive our engaging life enrichment programming and they get as much out of it as our residents.”

This volunteer award was presented during National Volunteer Week which was celebrated at all 20 Morning Pointe locations across the southeast. 


The Lantern At Morning Pointe To Host Hot Dog Fundraiser For Alzheimer's Association

The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence, Collegedale is hosting a hot dog fundraiser benefiting the Mid-South Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Make a donation and pick up a hot dog with all the fixings on Thursday, Aug. 4, from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Elder's Ace Hardware of Ooltewah, located at 9231 Lee Hwy in Ooltewah. Call (423) 396-4700 for ... (click for more)

Medical Tower At CHI Memorial Hospital Sold For Over $9 Million

CHI Memorial’s Missionary Ridge Medical Tower has been sold to Physicians Realty Trust for $9,020,000. Officials said, "CHI Memorial has signed a 10-year master lease on the property for all space occupied by our CHI Memorial Medical Group physician practices and outpatient services such as CHI Memorial Regional Sleep Center and outpatient lab. "All CHI Memorial entities ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Whiskey Company To Construct Large Distillery At Former Site Of Newton Chevrolet

The Chattanooga Whiskey Company has begun construction on a larger production distillery in the former Newton Chevrolet property at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Riverfront Parkway near the Tennessee River. Once fully operational, the Riverfront Parkway facility will be capable of producing upwards of 14 (53-gallon) barrels per day, making it one of the largest craft bourbon ... (click for more)

Beck Upset By Criticism Of Late WWTA Director Cleveland Grimes In WWTA Analysis; Boyd Won't Rewrite 57-Page Report

County Commissioner Greg Beck said it was inappropriate for fellow Commissioner Tim Boyd to include articles critical of the late Cleveland Grimes in a 57-page report on the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority. He said, "Criticizing a dead man - I don't know if that's appropriate. If that's Christianity, let me off the wagon." Saying the report should ... (click for more)

Judge Steelman Was Unfairly Criticized In Handling Of School Bus Driver Rape Case - And Response

We are blessed to have freedom of speech in our society, but I am always amazed at the number of folks who voice such strong antagonistic opinions about things without any apparent first-hand knowledge.   As any who wish to criticize the system should know, people get arrested and charged for criminal offenses every day.  The ultimate charge and penalty which results ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote For Rhonda Thurman

After studying the Hamilton County School Board quite harshly during the last seven most-tumultuous months in its history, it is only proper that I share my belief that Rhonda is its Most Valuable Player. Four of the school board’s nine members are up for re-election, with Rhonda facing capable opponents in Jason Moses and Dr. Patti Skates in District 1, but let’s never forget that ... (click for more)