A2 columbia basin Eunice Denudt-with Corliss Marsh - Chamber Award.jpg

Volunteer Eunice Denudt, right, was recently awarded Volunteer of the Year by The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce. With her is Corliss Marsh, the previous year’s award-winning volunteer.

Eunice Denudt, a volunteer at Columbia Basin Care, has been named Volunteer of the Year by The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce and was lauded in January at the annual Distinguished Citizens Award Banquet.

It’s her second award in just two months.

In November, Denudt was named Volunteer of the Year by the Oregon Health Care Association, the largest long-term care trade association in Oregon. In January she earned the Distinguished Citizen honor.

As a volunteer, Denudt, 84, has crocheted over 150 blankets for sick and elderly residents at Columbia Basin Care, a nursing home located in The Dalles.

“I had a stroke a few years ago and I couldn’t walk or talk or do anything for myself,” she said. “I was given a handmade blanket and it meant so much to me.”

Following the stroke, Denudt spent months regaining the ability to walk and talk. Once recovered, she was determined to repay the kindness she had received. Though she is on oxygen, has arthritis and has little space in her budget for the cost of yarn, the dedicated volunteer takes the time, effort and money to crochet colorful blanket wraps, then loads up her car to deliver the blankets to Columbia Basin Care.

“Eunice does not sit idly, and always has the need to serve others,” Lisa Farquharson, executive director of the Chamber, said at the awards banquet. “She’s admired because of her strong faith in God, and she is a woman who firmly believes that she is here for a purpose and a vision — to help others.”

The Distinguished Citizens Awards are bestowed annually by The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce to those who make a difference in community.

Founded in 1964, Columbia Basin Care is the region’s only independent not-for-profit facility for short-stay rehabilitation and long-term care. The care center offers an in-house geriatric nurse practitioner, along with a team of physical, occupational and speech therapists who provide comprehensive rehabilitation and restorative services.

Columbia Basin Care is located at 1015 Webber St. in The Dalles. For more information, call 541-296-2156 or visit colbasin.com.

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