The Stuart Lake Hospital Auxiliary has been around since before the hospital was built, but they’re still going strong.
The group started around 1970, according to member Bea Barnes, who has personally been involved with the auxiliary since 1983. The group is just starting their membership drive again.
“We’re always looking for new members,” says Barnes.
With about 15 members currently, the auxiliary raises funds to help purchase items that help make the hospital stay of visitors and patients a little bit more tolerable.
The group’s first purchase of 2011 was a hide-a-bed hassock for the family room which allows people visiting loved ones in palliative care to sleep in the family room if necessary.
In 2010, the auxiliary purchased seven televisions, six chairs for the waiting area, an ultrasound work station, an ear wash system, a memory mattress, a laryngoscope and a touch lamp.
The total cost of all these items was $11,977.
The auxiliary held three main fundraisers last year. There was a fashion show at the Legion, the Turkey Dart Shoot and a Christmas raffle. The net profit from these events was $6,270.
The group used to hold luncheons a couple of times a year, but due to changes in health regulations for such events, it might not be feasible to hold the luncheons any longer, according to Barnes.
The auxiliary also received a contribution from Bernice Wilkes last year in memory of her husband Bill, which helped to purchase the televisions.
In addition to the larger purchases, the auxiliary also helps out in smaller ways by providing personal care emergency kits, maintaining the Gift Cupboard, vending machines, and flower beds, and providing incidentals for the family room and children’s favours for the laboratory.
In addition to all of their purchases and help for the hospital, the auxiliary also provides a bursary award of $1,000 for a student going into the medical field.
The auxiliary credits the community for all the help and generosity.
Anyone interested in coming out to learn more or get involved with the auxiliary is invited to attend one of their meetings, held on the second Wednesday of the month in the hospital cafeteria at 7 p.m.