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Willmar, Minn., couple honored for hospice volunteering

WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital volunteers Christa and David Rivers of Willmar have received the 2012 Spirit of Advocacy award from Aging Services of Minnesota, one of the highest honors awarded to individuals in Minnesota who advocate on behalf of older adults.

The award was presented March 28 at the annual Health Care Auxiliary of Minnesota Legislative Day at the Capitol. According to a news release from Rice Memorial Hospital, Aging Services of Minnesota, an association of organizations across the state serving seniors, has a long history of partnership with the auxiliary, the association for health care volunteers.

The couple was honored for many significant advocacy contributions to older adults. In his recent role as auxiliary legislative co-chair for long-term care, David Rivers worked to inform volunteers around the state about their role as advocates.

For years he has been the patient coach in the hallways at the auxiliary's Day at the Capitol, answering questions and working to ensure everyone had the information and confidence to meet with their elected officials.

Christa Rivers is former auxiliary chair. In that role she helped chart the course for making the auxiliary a major advocacy force in Minnesota. She has served as a liaison to the Aging Services Board of Directors and helped create a culture of advocacy in the auxiliary membership.

Christa Rivers has been an active Rice volunteer for six years, and David Rivers has been an active Rice volunteer for seven years.