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  Tea Time at the Taussig Cancer Institute
  Each Wednesday, patients, visitors and staff at the Taussig Cancer Institute are invited to take a moment to sit down and enjoy a hot cup of tea and a delicious pastry at High Tea. Since its inception on February 21, 2007, over 20,000 guests have enjoyed this complimentary service provided by Volunteer Services and the volunteer High Tea committee.

High Tea provides an opportunity to relax, socialize, listen to some uplifting music played by a volunteer on the grand piano. Most importantly, it is a pleasant diversion from the serious treatments and multiple appointments that many of our cancer patients face when they are here. High Tea is meant to be a calming ritual and provides a supportive atmosphere to enhance the patient experience.

The High Tea volunteers share the responsibility of setting up, greeting, serving, washing cups and cleaning up after each week’s event. The tea is served in beautiful porcelain cups that have been donated by employees and patients, often in the name of a loved one. Tables are decorated with beautiful fresh flowers and pastries are served by smiling volunteers on festively colored napkins.

Volunteer [and Staff Auxiliary President] Susan Tetzlaff serves at almost every High Tea and when asked why she enjoys this assignment Susan answered, “Volunteering in the High Tea Program each Wednesday afternoon gives me the opportunity to add the touch of human kindness to an otherwise overwhelming and often scary experience for cancer patients and their families. I enjoy greeting ‘regulars’ and newcomers who are delighted with this little respite. I am happy to provide this ‘one little thing’ for persons in the midst of cancer treatment: a time when ‘the little things’ mean so much!”
Reprinted with permission from the Cleveland Clinic Volunteer Services newsletter, Volunteer Voice, February 2014

If you're interested in volunteering at High Tea, visit the Clinic's Volunteer Services web page or call Brenda Barbour at 216-445-6986.

Three of the five women in this photograph are Staff Auxiliary members: Susan Tetzlaff (far left), Leslie O'Connor (second from the right), and Sheryl Elson (far right).