West Reading, PA. – The Friends of Reading Hospital announced Lucine Sihelnik as President, Noel Garapola as Vice President of Special Projects; Diana Kleiner as Vice President of Fundraising/Finance; Toni Reece as Secretary; Sharon Keating as President Elect; and Mary Ellen Batman as Past President. The appointments were effective October 15, 2019.
The Friends of Reading Hospital is an association of community leaders that has been dedicated to raising funds to support and enhance Reading Hospital’s mission of “Advancing Health. Transforming Lives.” for almost 130 years.
Lucine Sihelnik, President of The Friends of Reading Hospital, joined The Friends in 2015 and has since served as Secretary and President-Elect. Aside from her volunteer position with The Friends, Lucine has experience holding many leadership positions in the Reading community. Currently, she serves as the President of Berks Agricultural Resource Network (BARN), a group that contributes to Greater Reading’s economic development by supporting local agribusiness. She is also in her second year of a four-year term as elected Councilwoman for District 1 in the City of Reading, PA.
“Reading Hospital and The Friends have had a longstanding, dynamic partnership for nearly 130 years,” says Lucine. “We are excited to bring the legacy of The Friends into the future as we build upon our existing foundation and create new and lasting partnerships to greater benefit Reading Hospital patients and the Reading Area community.”
Noel Garapola joined The Friends of Reading Hospital in 2008. Her past positions have included co-chairing The Tower Golf Classic in 2013 and 2014 and serving on multiple committees throughout the 11 plus years that she has been part of The Friends.
Diana Kleiner joined The Friends of Reading Hospital in 2007. She held previous positions as By-laws Chair and served as Chair/Co-chair on the Garden Party Finance Committee for several years.
Toni Reece joined The Friends of Reading Hospital in 2015. Toni is the Founder of The PEOPLE Chronicles, a digital media platform that gives a voice to individuals, organizations, and non-profits who may not have one.
Sharon Keating joined The Friends of Reading Hospital in 2006. She previously served as Past President as well as Vice President of Finance and Fundraising. In addition, she has chaired several fundraising events such as Garden Party, Holiday Happening, and Special Sales, and she will serve as Chair for Reading Hospital’s Tower Ball event in 2020, the first event of The Friends’ 130th anniversary year.
Mary Ellen Batman joined The Friends in 2001 and has served in many leadership positions throughout her years as a member, including two terms as President Elect and two terms as President, most recently from 2017 to 2019. She has also chaired several committees, including the By-laws Committee, Garden Party, and the Valentine’s Day Plant Sale Committee.
“The Friends have been supporting Reading Hospital and the surrounding community for many years through fundraising events that benefit meaningful programs,” said William M. Jennings, President and CEO, Reading Hospital. “We are proud and privileged to have them as part of our organization and thank them for the powerful impact they have made on our patients, their families, and our community over the last 130 years.”