The Arkansas Hospice Presidents’ Luncheon was held at the Pine Bluff Country Club recently.


Judy Wooten, Arkansas Hospice president and chief executive officer, and Bill Smith, Arkansas Hospice Foundation Board of Directors president, served as hosts for the event.


The Oak Room inside the country club was filled with friends and supporters of the agency. As attendees dined, Arkansas Hospice Foundation Chair Emeritus Sharon Aureli, Board Chair Bill Smith and Executive Director Renie Rule, as well as other Arkansas Hospice staff members, shared the stories of “Faces of Kindness,” according to a new release.


While holding placemats picturing the faces of Gifts of Kindness recipients, each presenter told the story behind the faces featured. These included a patient who experienced his lifelong dream of a lobster dinner, a teenage girl and her best friend who were able to experience a nice hotel in Branson and matching shirts, another pediatric patient who after given a package of makeup realized she was beautiful just like she was, a special salute to veteran patients, and more.


Wooten told the crowd how Pine Bluff and Jefferson County have been a vital part of the organization since its inception 27 years ago, especially since Arkansas Hospice’s founder, Michael Aureli, was a Pine Bluff native.


Arkansas Hospice has provided care throughout the Pine Bluff area since the organization’s inception, and in 2005, the Arkansas Hospice Pine Bluff Area Office was opened to meet the demands of local area census growth, she said.


Rule, a former long-time resident of Pine Bluff, invited guests to view the collection of James Hayes glasswork on display.


Arkansas Hospice serves patients from 10 area offices and 3 inpatient centers covering 43 counties, according to the release.