JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The Brooke Army Medical Center Auxiliary held its annual Welfare Recognition Ceremony May 6 in the auditorium.

This year, the welfare committee approved 25 grants totaling $28,000 to help support patient care at BAMC.

"Volunteerism is a big deal at BAMC," said BAMC Commander Brig. Gen. George Appenzeller. "I'm amazed at the dedication everyone has to this organization, to the BAMC Family and to all those we serve."

"This is all about giving back to the community," the general said.

Grant recipients received funding for a variety of items including patient education materials, toys and crafts for pediatric patients and clothing for burn patients.

"Our welfare committee prioritizes grants that directly impact patient care and education," said Sarah Kelly, BAMC Auxiliary president. "We appreciate the medical community here at BAMC that takes the time to go above and beyond to support their patients."

The staff in Antepartum requested Comfort Cubs again this year. The 7-pound stuffed bears are presented to parents who have suffered the loss of a newborn to help with their grieving process.

Some of the other more unique requests were the redecoration of a family consultation room and supplies for a bereavement cart.

Amanda Appenzeller recognized the board members and volunteers for their continued support of the BAMC mission.

"Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects," she said, quoting the Dalai Lama. "All positions are significant and you are not an organization or a board of one. As a board, you are 18 pebbles, your ripples are far reaching, impacting many patients and families for several years to come."

Several volunteers were recognized with the President's Volunteer Service Award and Cody Ross received the Commander's Award for Public Service for her exceptional service to BAMC, Fort Sam Houston and Army Medical Department missions from 2016 to 2019.

"The BAMC Auxiliary would like to send a special thank you to those who provide world-class care to our service members, retirees and their families," Kelly said. "Remarkable things are happening in military medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center. The BAMC Auxiliary stands in awe of what you do and we are humbled to have the opportunity to support your efforts."