Long-time hospital volunteer retires
After 15 years of service as a volunteer with the Mercy Hospital Cassville Auxiliary, Nona Selby has announced her retirement.
"I love Cassville and working at the Auxiliary," Nona said. "We moved here in 1997 and working at the Auxiliary was a wonderful way to meet people in the community."
Volunteering as an Auxiliary member was fun and challenging.
"I volunteered on Mondays, but then there were events like the fashion show, the salad luncheons and our monthly meetings," Nona said. "I'll tell you, if Peggy Calton was in charge of anything, you'd better be prepared to work. But it was fun."
While working with the Auxiliary, Nona said she learned much from her fellow volunteers.
"They are great people," Nona said.
"Everyone helped get the gift shop started. We all had a job, something we liked to do, and we did it," added Nona.
The gift shop features items such as get-well cards, stuffed animals, books and sweets.
"Lorraine Barkhoff likes to find the gift cards," Nona said. "You can't find any nicer elsewhere.
"One of the members, Darlene Murphy, made stuffed animals for each of the kids who were in the hospital," Nona said. "They were wonderful. She moved out of state and no one has really been able to take her place.
"I'm proud to say that Mercy really backed us on getting the gift shop open," Nona said.
Nona is especially proud of the Auxiliary scholarship program.
"This year, we were able to award a $1,000 scholarship," Nona said. "We have such bright young people in the community. They're amazing."
Nona and her husband, Roy, have their house on the market and plan to return to Fresno, Calif., to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
"I love Cassville," Nona said. "Our intention was to have our home base here and travel, but we both have some health issues and can't do that now."
Returning to California will allow the couple to re-connect with old friends and experience a wide array of taste sensations not typically available in the Midwest.
"We have friends of all backgrounds," Roy said, "Japanese, Mexican, southeast Asian and Armenian. We have tried to find a good Armenian restaurant, but you don't have those here. My wife is Greek, and it's hard to find authentic Greek food in southwest Missouri."
But leaving will be bittersweet.
"I will miss the hospital," Nona said. "You become attached to what you have known so long; it's second nature. I will miss the safety of Cassville. In Fresno, I know I'll have to lock my car doors every night. Fresno has grown. We'll have to adjust.
"Cassville took some getting used to when we first came here," Nona said, "but we have enjoyed it. I will miss the people most of all."