Who We Are

Valley Volunteer Blossoms

When Katherine Grasso retired from her 38-year teaching career and began volunteering in the flower room at The Valley Hospital and serving on the board of the Valley Hospital Auxiliary, she had no idea that she would also end up designating The Valley Hospital Foundation as her IRA beneficiary.

“I was recently revising my will and thinking about different causes that I felt were important enough,” Katherine explains. “The more time I spent at Valley, the more I realized just how much the hospital does for so many people in the community…so why not do my part to give back?” That’s when Katherine decided to make a planned gift to The Valley Hospital Foundation in her will, so that her commitment to the hospital could continue to live on.

“Anyone who spends time with Katherine is in awe of her dedication to Valley as a Mahwah Auxilian and a volunteer at the hospital,” says Bettina Daly, Director of Gift Planning at The Valley Hospital Foundation. “Katherine's estate gift is a very personal and meaningful expression of her commitment to our hospital, and we are most appreciative of her support." 

The former Park Ridge resident retired from her career as a teacher in Montvale in 2007, and moved back into her childhood home in Saddle Brook in 2009 after the passing of her mother. “I was retired and ready to do something else with my time…so I decided to start volunteering at Valley,” she says. “I’ve always liked being around flowers, and my mother was a gardener — so it seemed like the perfect fit.”

Katherine began volunteering in the flower room in 2008, and got involved with the Mahwah branch of the Valley Hospital Auxiliary a few years later when a fellow parishioner from her church in Upper Saddle River invited her to join. She has served on the organization’s board since 2012, and continues to volunteer in the flower room on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

“Kathy has a delightful personality; she’s dedicated, reliable, gracious, and enjoys visiting with our patients. It’s the high point of their day when she comes into their room with a lovely bouquet of flowers,” says Liz Tortorella, Director of Volunteer Resources at The Valley Hospital. “We feel very privileged to have her with us; she truly volunteers from the heart, and she lights up the room with her smile."

But since there are often slow periods in the flower room, Katherine began to feel that she wasn’t doing enough to pitch in…so within the last few years, she has also been volunteering in the mail room. “I always like to be active, and I wanted to help in any way that I could,” she says. “So now not only do I help deliver flowers, but I help deliver the mail.”

Her connection to Valley grew even stronger after joining the Auxiliary, where she now helps with major events including the Tree of Light ceremony during the holiday season and the spring fashion show. “I just feel happy when I’m at Valley. I like surprising patients with flowers and seeing how much it cheers them up, and I love that I can help support Valley and all of the work it does by getting involved with the hospital auxiliary,” she concludes. “I’ve always been happiest when I’m keeping busy and doing something to help others, and the bottom line is that Valley is a major part of my life now…and that’s why I decided that they should be included in my will.”