Tip of the hat to Al Agress
BIDMC President and CEO Kevin Tabb joins in the tribute to Al Agress, marking his 45th anniversary as a volunteer. (Photo by Bruce Wahl)
The packed crowd erupted into applause for Alfred "Al" Agress, offering a standing ovation to mark his 45 years as a volunteer at BIDMC.
"His main focus for the last 29 years has been the maker of baby hats for the hospital nurseries," said Volunteer Services Program Coordinator Terry Morgan. "Al has literally gone through miles of stockinette, cutting it to exact lengths for the NICU, Labor and Delivery and the Feldberg nurseries, then carefully folding the brims and taping the tops. In these last few years that has been about 18,000 baby hats per year."
Agress began his volunteer career supporting the Volunteer Workshop at BIDMC. The workshop was originally located off-site and Agress would pick up need items needed or drop off creation. When the workshop moved on campus, Agress continued to assist by gathering and storing supplies.
He then switched to baby hat construction. Morgan said Agress came to her a couple of years ago questioning how cost effective it was for him to create the hats.
"We calculated the cost of the stockinette and masking tape with the cheapest manufactured hat we could find from vendors and found that making the hats saved the hospital about $156,000," Morgan said. "We are grateful for Al's 45 years of service and support of our littlest patients and their caretakers."