LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Volunteers at Lee Memorial Hospital are making popcorn to help future medical professionals. And they say every kernel helps.
"The employees here, the patients going in and out, everybody buys it," said Director of Volunteer Resources, Donna Bradish, "The fragrance. That gets everybody when they come through the door. They smell that popcorn."
Four days a week hospital volunteers like David and Penny Underwood pop away for a good cause.
"Popping the popcorn raises money for the auxiliary here and they use that money for scholarships for nurses and others trying to increase their education so I think it's a great thing to do," said David Underwood.
Popcorn proceeds for January 2013 were $2,000.
"It looks like it is starting out to be a better year and I think last year, there was only popcorn poppers two days a week at Lee Memorial," said Bradish.
Last year volunteers raised nearly $13,000 and helped, in small part, to fund 156 scholarships. Since 2004, more than 1,300 medical professionals have received awards from the Lee Memorial Health System Education Grant.
The Underwoods are both former medical professionals.
"I did cancer treatments all my professional life. I retired in 2000, but once you're in the medical profession you just can't get away from it," said Penny Underwood.
Both say they're proud to help contribute.
"I think it makes you feel good. Because when you do training, you yourself wonder financially how you're gonna do it," she said.
Organizers say, if you can pop into Lee Memorial or Health Park, they are looking to fill more volunteer positions.
The auxiliary also brings in money through other fund raising events during the year. All of these events contribute to the Lee Memorial Health System Education Grant.