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. 


Morning Pointe Senior Living Donates $3,000 To Partnership Food Pantry

Partnership for Families, Children and Adults is appreciative to be the recipient of a $3,000 donation from Morning Pointe Senior Living to continue the work of an elder food pantry.    The pantry is accessible to seniors and disabled individuals who are either working with Partnership FCA case managers or enrolled in the Homemakers program. In the three years ... (click for more)

Stewart To Serve As 2017 Great Strides’ Community Chair

Cleveland business leader Lee Stewart will serve as community chair for Great Strides 2017, according to campaign officials at Lee University. The 17th annual Great Strides Walk and 15th annual 65 Roses 5K, which raises funds and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, will be held on Saturday, April 1.  “It will be a pleasure to serve with Lee Stewart, who has agreed ... (click for more)

2 Homes Totally Destroyed By Fire On Sunday In Separate Blazes

Two homes were totally destroyed by fire in separate blazes on Sunday afternoon. At  5 p.m. , a neighbor called 911 reporting a house fire at 3910 Fairmont Pike on Signal Mountain. Walden's Ridge Emergency Services responded and arrived on the scene reporting a fully involved house fire. A mutual aid response was requested for additional manpower and apparatus ... (click for more)

Signal School Study Says Under Own School System Much More Could Go To The Classroom; Lennon Says Getting Land, Buildings A Major Issue

A panel studying a new school system operated by Signal Mountain concluded that much more money could go directly into the classroom, helping students further increase their potential.   However, County School Board member Kathy Lennon said how the town would be able to acquire the land and buildings is a major issue.   A group of Signal Mountain residents ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Eye Of The Storm

There is a very serious building in Norman, Okla., that houses the nation’s Storm Prediction Center for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service. According to a Four-Day Forecast released on Sunday, north Alabama and the Chattanooga area are in the middle of the bulls eye for the United States. Yes, it was about 40 degrees and sunny ... (click for more)