2011 Auxiliary to Wilson Memorial General Hospital
“A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.”
It has been an honour and a privilege to be the president of this auxiliary. It’s been six years since I first stepped into the President’s position – nervous and unsure, but knowing that I wanted to try and make a difference. The executive, the sub-committee heads, and our members, supported me to the fullest over the years – encouraging and patient, as I struggled to learn the ropes of an auxiliary that not only had it’s own Constitution and bylaws, but that also was mandated through the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario, and through Wilson Memorial
Over the past few years, we have become increasingly busy, seem to be always changing, and are always looking for ways to improve our auxiliary in its efforts to provide support to our hospital and the patients. I think that our dedication is evident when we look at the statistics that are collected by HAAO every year – in 2011, we contributed 4800 volunteer hours, and had approximately 35 active members. We attended several educational events. Charlene Schintz attended the OHA/HAAO Joint Seminar in Toronto in February; Linda Richards, Pat Witzell, Colette Godin and I attended the HAAO Region 12E Spring Conference in Thunder Bay in April; and we once again hired Barbara Crowhurst to do a teleconference seminar on Display in The Gift Shop in November, which was attended by Charlene Schintz, Pat Witzell, Linda Richards and myself. I sent in information for Region 12 East’s Northern Connections Newsletter in February, and participated in the regions President’s Teleconference in October.
The New Year’s Baby, Marly Ella Marie Gray, was born on January 18th, and we presented gifts to her, and offered our congratulations to her parents Darryl and Kayla and big sister Brody. The family was from Manitouwadge, so we also sent copies of the Marathon Mercury to them with the photos of the presentation. We paid out our $1000 scholarship to Kyrstie Comeau in January, and selected our next scholarship winner, Miranda Baran, in June. During Volunteer Appreciation Week, we presented an “Outstanding Service Award” and flowers to long-time
member Joyce MacKenzie, and presented Mary-Quinn Griggs with flowers and a life membership in our auxiliary. Charlene Schintz & Jackie Rogers dressed up and poured tea at the 2nd annual High Tea hosted by Christine Burke of the Bed and Breakfast. Christine very generously donated $320 from the proceeds to our auxiliary. We hosted
our annual Fall Fair, Tea and Penny Auction in November, and we ended the year by celebrating Christmas with our long term and acute care patients, and presenting them all with small gifts. We did have a bittersweet time, when “The Rag Ladies” folded up the rag operation. This group of people put in a lot of hard and heavy work over the years, brought in a substantial amount of money for our auxiliary, and made connections with businesses who purchased our product, and with the Thrift Store that provided the lion’s share of material to work with. I want to thank all of you for your dedication and hard work over the years. Your camaraderie was impressive, and your group is truly missed.
So what else did we do? Well, we sent Charlene Schintz, Barb Draper and Pat Witzell to the buying show in Toronto at the end of January. They were joined in Toronto by Kylie Draper, and then did all of the shopping for The Gift Shop for the entire year. Good job girls! We did not get approved for funding for a summer student, so after much deliberation and decision-making, we hired Karli Cocks to run the shop for the summer with reduced hours. The hospital came to our aid, and provided two students to fill in the missing hours, which enabled us to keep the shop open regular hours all summer. We provided another letter of support for Diane Atkinson, as she once again attempted to procure funding for a seniors initiative project.
So what did we spend? Well, we spent $143.10 on the New Year’s Baby Gift, $1,000.00 for our scholarship, $2,119.57 to send the girls to the buying show in Toronto, $301.51 for our Annual Luncheon Meeting, $127.27 for a Keurig coffee pot for the chemo room, $376.54 on 2 trolley carts for the kitchen, $1,917.57 for a wound care cart, $1,056.25 on a cervical effacement simulator, $4,900.92 for an ultrasound cart, $1,161.00 for our summer student, $825.90 for 6 oximeters and associated equipment, $631.35 for 3 ophthalmoscopes, $115.40 for an otoscope, and $226.00 to hire Barbara Crowhurst. We also spent $1,212.35 to send the four people to the spring conference, although we did get $348.00 from HAAO to offset this cost. And finally, we applied for a grant of $890.92, which we gave to the hospital to offset the costs of sending Charlene to the Joint Seminar.
When we look at the whole picture, we put in a lot of hard work, and we really did accomplish a lot in 2011. But our work is done co-operatively, and I would like to thank Wilson Memorial General Hospital, Paul Paradis, Adam Brown, Janet Gobeil, Helen Shaw and Brenda Ouellette for their support and assistance. We also have so much support from all the staff at the hospital, especially maintenance, dietary, housekeeping, front desk and the nursing staff, and I would like to offer each and every person our thanks. And I would sincerely like to thank Charlene Schintz for the dedication and hard work she puts in – lots of it is done behind the scenes, but please know that I recognize all of your efforts and appreciate all that you do.
One of my favourite quotes is, “A great leader never sets himself above his followers except in carrying responsibilities.” I hope that I was able to do that for this auxiliary during my term as president. As per our constitution, each executive member should only serve three consecutive terms of office. That way, new people with new ideas can come in and freshen and rejuvenate an organization. I have seen things changing, especially over the past year. I feel that my leadership skills are not what they used to be, and often feel challenged.
Therefore, it is time for change – it is time for a new President. I want to thank the executive that I have served with over the past six years – 1st and 2nd Vice President’s Colette Godin and Mary-Quinn Griggs, Treasurer’s Linda Richards, Barb Draper and Charlene Schintz, and Secretary’s Sharon MacKay and Pat Witzell. I also want to thank all the people who head up our sub-committees – Charlene Schintz, Pat Witzell, Brent Richards, Linda Richards, Bill Thomson, Barb Duguay, Nancy Thomson, Mary-Quinn Griggs, Denise Joly, and Judy Arnold. All of you make this auxiliary what it truly is.
I look forward to supporting you as Past President for the next two years, and look forward to continuing on with the sub-committee’s that I participate with. I would like to wish the new executive all the best for the future!
With warmest thanks -
Yours in volunteering,