Valley View Auxiliary is seeking members
January is membership drive month for the Valley View Hospital Auxiliary. The organization, which has been active in one form or another since Valley View opened in 1955, currently has about 300 volunteers who donate time to various hospital functions and raise money to support the auxiliary’s mission of furthering health education in the community. The organization is always open to new volunteers but is making a special effort this month to attract men and women of all ages.
Sharon Andersen, president elect of the auxiliary, emphasized that the group provides something for everyone, from patient contact to paperwork. Valley View’s Heart to Heart Gift Shop, the information desk, and the medical records department are just a few areas staffed by auxiliary volunteers. Some people make regular time commitments — from a few hours to a few days a week — but others fill in or help out with projects on an as-needed basis. The auxiliary works to match people to areas that fit their time and interests. “Whatever works for you works for us,” Andersen said.
The organization also needs board members. While some members come from the volunteer ranks, that is not a requirement to serve on the board, which meets 10 times per year to guide the auxiliary and plan events. “We are looking for people who have some thoughtful ideas and are willing to work with us on our various projects,” Andersen said.
The auxiliary accepts and appreciates donations of any size and also raises about $50,000 per year from ongoing activities and special events. It dedicates all revenue to its health education mission by awarding scholarships and providing ongoing support to Valley View Hospital’s Connie Delaney Medical Library. The library, located on Valley View’s third floor, is open to the public.
The auxiliary’s top money raiser is the Heart to Heart Gift Shop at the hospital. Staffed by volunteers, the shop nets enough annually to provide $30,000 in medical education scholarships. The auxiliary awards 10 scholarships of $3,000 each: four to high school seniors entering health studies programs in college, four to Colorado Mountain College students and two to Valley View employees for continuing education.
Andersen wants community residents to know that the shop, located off of Valley View’s main lobby, is a great place to find gifts for friends and family anytime, not just when visiting a patient. Open daily, the shop carries reasonably priced, unique items, “things you just don’t see everywhere and not a whole bunch of the same stuff,” Andersen said.
The auxiliary’s annual quilt raffle is its second biggest fundraiser, bringing in $10,000 to $11,000. Volunteers sell tickets for the raffle drawing, which is held the first Thursday in December. Sandra McCabe of Palisade has been making the quilt for the raffle for the last several years. Andersen described McCabe’s work as amazing and said she creates something different every year, from more traditional designs to 2014’s “very modern and bright” quilt.
The auxiliary also holds two spring fundraisers. Pie Day, which is on the Friday of Glenwood Springs’ Strawberry Days Festival in June, has been a popular community event for more than 50 years. The event officially begins at 9 a.m., but people start early and line up around the block to purchase individual slices and whole pies baked by auxiliary volunteers.
This year, the organization will stage its third Elegant Tea in late April or early May. Andersen said the tea is a social gathering for which attendees “really dress up … they put on hats and just have a great time.” The event also features a silent auction.
Maudie Weller, who is in her 90s, has volunteered with the Valley View Hospital Auxiliary for 37 years. She works Monday afternoons at the information desk and dedicates considerable time to other projects. Andersen said Weller thinks of her volunteering like a job and proved it by selling more than 7,000 tickets for December’s quilt raffle.
Weller represents the auxiliary’s giving spirit and, like Andersen, encourages others to join. Andersen adds that volunteers really interact with patients, families of patients, and hospital staff. “The only requirements are a desire to help and a smile on your face.”
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