Volunteer Spotlight: Sy DeReauxchette

Sy DeReauxchette is the winner of the 2017 Henry P. Becton Volunteer Impact Award (named in honor of the former Becton-Dickinson Chairman).

On a Whim

We love to hear our volunteer stories. Every single one of you has one. You might not think it’s that interesting, but we certainly do. So do your fellow volunteers.

Sy DeReauxchette is the perfect example of this. Sy started off as a marine biologist, which already sounds like a fun career. She says she was working in Southern California when she and a coworker saw a recruiting event trying to get more women into firefighting. On a whim, she signed up!

“I started running medical calls and things,” says Sy. “From there, I became a first responder, then an EMT, then a paramedic and it kept evolving from there.”

Winning the Volunteer Impact Award

As for the volunteer impact award, Sy says they choose 20 people every year for the award. Sy told us that it’s a lengthy application process. We would say time well spent though because of those 20, she won the big award, which included $6,000 toward the non-profit she volunteers with (that’s us!). So, a big thank you from us to both Sy and Becton Dickinson!

Fast Forward to Today

Now, Sy works for Becton Dickinson, a global medical technology company that employs about 65,000 and believes in giving back. Sy says, “They’re very big into volunteerism. They give us volunteer days through work and they sponsor medical mission trips at least twice a year.”

That’s how she ended up as a medical coordinator for our Boulder/Broomfield district. “I kinda just fell into it. I moved to CO in 2005 and a guy that I worked with was the district coordinator,” she remembers. She says she had no idea what was up or what 9Health Fair was. “Then he introduced me as the new district coordinator.” Say what?!

But she loves it. She researched us, met Kimberly Penney, our Co-Director of Health and Wellness and Canadian friend. The two of them hit it off quickly and she’s been loving her time with us ever since.

“I think 9Health Fair has a huge impact on the community,” says Sy. “We had a previous site leader who was diagnosed with prostate cancer after attending a fair. He was motivated to have the screening because his pastor was diagnosed with it.”

Inspiring Work

She says she attends every fair in her district and stays the whole day (unless there are multiple fairs on the same day). “I see a lot of the same participants each year, I talk to some of them, and I hear their stories of how grateful they are that something was found in time, or that they continue to be healthy and they’re thankful to have a fair to attend each year.”

“I am very much inspired by the hard work that 9Health Fair puts in each year to organize and keep these fairs going. Especially now that I was diagnosed with skin cancer. It inspires me to work even harder to get the word out to my friends, have them attend fairs, and hopefully inspire them to turn around and volunteer.”

Sy retired as a full-time paramedic in 2012. Yet she still works with the federal disaster team, meaning when tragedy strikes, she gets deployed to help those in need. Such an amazing and rewarding life of service!

We want to thank Sy for sharing her story, and we want to encourage you to share yours.