The 100 Mile District General Hospital Auxiliary will not be purchasing equipment this year due to the loss of fundraising opportunities.
Lynn Olson, president of the 100 Mile District General Hospital Auxiliary, said COVID-19 has curtailed their fundraising abilities, from cancelling their bake sales and June yard sale to closing the hospital gift shop and snack cart, not to mention not receiving donations from the Eclectica Choir’s Spring Concert.
While they have since been able to reopen the gift shop, Olson said it’s been difficult to operate at this time. Few fundraising events and the general busyness of the hospital staff means the auxiliary has decided to save whatever money they do raise for next year.
“We’re just sort of crossing our fingers and hoping this will all resume, but I don’t know,” Olson said.
During a typical year, the hospital will give the auxiliary a wishlist of items they need that costs less than $5,000. Olson and the others then choose an item that will be helpful for patients in acute care. The hospital places the order for the item, which is paid for by the auxiliary. These have included shears to cut patients out of clothes, a flat-screen TV for the waiting room, comforters and pillows, a standing walker and “all kinds of interesting items.”
Olson, a retired teacher from Forest Grove Elementary, joined the auxiliary as a way to help the community after retiring from teaching. To Olson’s pleasant surprise when she joined she met many community members she’d known as a teacher and lost touch with.
“It just a group of lovely ladies with time on their hands trying to help the hospital by raising some money,” Olson said. “They started in 1962 and there are a couple of original members still.”
She said the auxiliary is hopeful it will return to normalcy by September and they can have regular in-person meetings at the hospital, where the majority of their fundraising discussions occur. Olson said they also are hoping to be able to hold a big Christmas bake sale and raffle, like they normally do.
Her main focus right now though is keeping the auxiliary going, after learning Kelowna’s auxiliary recently disbanded due to the age of many of their members and COVID-19 drying up their revenue sources. Many of 100 Mile’s auxiliary members are in there 70s and 80s and Olson said they don’t want to expose themselves to the virus needlessly, so that is also a consideration.
“We’re all trying to do our best… so stay safe and stay and healthy and we’ll see you soon, hopefully,” Olson said.
Olson said if people wish to support or become involved with the auxiliary to follow them on Facebook at 100 Mile District General Hospital Auxiliary for updates on their meetings and events.