Who Won the 2015 NMC Community Service Award?

Hint – Cardiac Capers leader extraordinaire.  The NMC Board of Directors presented the 2015 NMC Community Service Award to Helene Biggie, the long-time chairperson of Cardiac Capers, at the May meeting of the NMC Incorporators. While Helene is quick to give credit to the many others who help with Capers, she has been a leading and integral part of weaving Cardiac Capers into the fabric of our community. In addition, she has touched many lives through her work at St. Albans City School and in other volunteer roles, so it is wonderful to see her recognized with this award.  

The NMC Board of Directors established the NMC Community Services Award in 2013 to recognize an individual or organization who exhibits enthusiasm, integrity, and perseverance beyond the ordinary to help fellow citizens and the community through selfless giving to improve the overall health of the community. Nominations are submitted by NMC’s Board, our hospital staff, medical staff, Auxiliary, volunteers, and Incorporators. Each year, we have had such an impressive collection of nominees. The 2013 award was presented to the late Dr. Thomas Howrigan of Fairfield, in recognition of his years of service at the hospital and his lifetime of caring for our community. In 2014, the award was presented to Marcia Perry of Richford, recognizing her for all her efforts in improving access to primary care in our community including the creation of Richford Health Center and then through its evolution into NOTCH (among many other initiatives). Our community is so fortunate to have such dedicated individuals in our midst, committed to improving the quality of life for others.

Helene has been an important part of the NMC Auxiliary’s Cardiac Capers fundraiser since it began in 1980. She served as Music Director from 1982 to 2000 and has chaired or co-chaired the production since 2002. It is estimated that Cardiac Capers has raised more than a quarter million dollars to benefit NMC and assist with local healthcare since its inception. That is simply remarkable! It takes strong leadership to achieve such impressive results with a community event. In addition, Helene has volunteered her time to assist the St. Albans Recreation Department, to direct children’s theatre, and to help with the Festival of Trees. She is also a well-known staff member at St. Albans City School where has often served as a children’s advocate and helped in buying clothes for needy children, distributing food baskets for needy school families for Thanksgiving, volunteering for needy kids at Christmas, and serving as a Sunshine volunteer.

In presenting Helene’s award at the Incorporators’ meeting, NMC Board treasurer, Patrick Talcott invited fellow Board member, and long-time Cardiac Capers participant, Dr. Frank Zsoldos to join him. Patrick spoke of NMC’s appreciation for her efforts and Dr. Zsoldos spoke warmly of working with Helene on the Capers’ cast over the years. It was so nice to have Helene’s husband Michael and many other members of her family in attendance for the presentation. In celebration of Helene’s outstanding efforts, she receives a beautiful commemorative maple-themed award as a symbol of our deep appreciation. In addition, her name has been engraved alongside the prior recipients on a beautiful plaque in the NMC Conference center.

Helene is an amazing volunteer and her efforts are an inspiration. She represents so much of what is wonderful in our community, as I am always touched to hear of those who give so much to help improve the lives of others. NMC is very fortunate to have people like Helene supporting our mission of exceptional care. We are also grateful to live in a community where “giving back” through volunteerism and philanthropy is a vibrant part of daily life for so many. On behalf of the entire NMC family, it gives me great pleasure to honor Helene Biggie as the 2015 NMC Community Service Award winner. Thank you, Helene!

Cardiac Capers 2016 is already in the works under her leadership. I wonder and worry what she has in store for us! What we do for a great cause!

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer