HAMMOND, LA — Lawrence “Larry” Dominguez of Ponchatoula recently joined fellow volunteers at North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond for a early celebration of his 95th birthday.
Dominguez has volunteered at the hospital for the past 20 years and was named Volunteer of the Year in 2003, which he shared with his wife of 68 years, Bertha Dominguez. He gives credit to Bertha for introducing him to North Oaks and showing him the benefits of serving as a volunteer.
“I could look the world over again and never find a woman near as great,” said Dominguez. “My wife actually volunteered at North Oaks 1 year before I did, and I’m glad she did. If I had not become a volunteer, I’d be missing so much.”
As a Transport Volunteer, he collects records, charts and pumps, delivers flowers and escorts discharged patients, among other responsibilities.
“I love volunteering. I always have, and I’ll be here as long as I’m moving,” Dominguez shares. I feel as young as ever, in my mind of course. The volunteers we have here are the best, and we joke and get along so well. I really do enjoy the good company. It keeps me going.” His daily regime also includes 45 minutes of physical activity.
Melissa Dufour, Volunteer Director, describes Dominguez as the epitome of a great volunteer and attributes his kindness, positivity and dedication to service as assets to visitors and members of the staff.
“If ever there was a benchmark for a volunteer, it’s Larry Dominguez,” affirms Dufour. “In my 20 years of working with him, I’ve seen only a kind and considerate man with a huge desire to help everyone. Never have I heard him speak negatively about anyone or anything. He’s amazing. His energy is incredible, and his enthusiasm for life is contagious. He’s full of joy, and it shows."
Dominguez continued a family tradition, graduating from barber school in 1951 and going on to own and retire from Dominguez Barber Shop after 50 years of service. He also served in the U.S. Navy and is a lifetime member of the Ponchatoula chapters of the Knights of Columbus and American Legion Hall.