LaValle Honors 89-Year-Old Hospital Volunteer at ELIH

Toni DeMeo gets special ceremony from NY senator under the tent at Greenport hospital.

At 89, dedicated Eastern Long Island Hospital Toni DeMeo volunteer is no stranger to hard work. And that work was recognized by state Sen. Ken LaValle and friends and colleagues of DeMeo last week during an outdoor ceremony at the Greenport hospital. DeMeo was recently named one of the senate’s

Since 1995, DeMeo has served as the chairwoman of volunteer services at — which nowadays relies on 300 volunteers companywide. DeMeo is essentially the human resource manager for volunteers, who work in every department of the hospital — clerical, the gift shop, emergency, etc. She works about four and a half hours a day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and sometimes Mondays — but never more than four days a week.

“Those who work with her know that she is a force to be reckoned with,” said head of the hospital’s board of trustees. “When she makes up her mind, that’s it.”

Murray said that DeMeo has put in over 17,000 hours of volunteer service at the hospital, a total of 8.7 years of fulltime service and no vacation.

Hospital CEO added that DeMeo had also shown her dedication to the job by quickly popping back from car accidents and broken ribs.

“Nothing can keep Toni away,” he said.

Sen. Ken LaValle presented DeMeo with proclamations and flowers, saying that out of all the nominations for the award, DeMeo’s profile was “outstanding.”

“It’s very nice, especially in these troubled times, to be able to get up and say, ‘Here we have a woman, a coworker and a friend who is very special, and we all appreciate her.'"

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