“Extraordinary contribution” says steering committee chair
By Lori Ledingham
Photo taken by Eric Lundsted
The largest pledge by a community group for the new Centre Grey Hospital was fulfilled on October 9, 2008 in a ceremony held in Markdale. The Hospital Auxiliary group handed over a cheque for $400,000 to hospital officials, almost exactly five years after the pledge was made on September 17, 2003.
Auxiliary Chair Florence Hellyer commented, “Today is a very exciting day for the Auxiliary. We are very proud to be giving this pledge for the new hospital to the Foundation.”
“I think when our group first made the pledge in 2003, we wondered how on Earth we were going to come up with all the money. When we look back, we see that we’ve accomplished it by doing all the things that the Auxiliary is known for – the Pennywise Shop and the Coffee Kiosk. Then we added a whole bunch of other events and activities. We did craft and bake sales and Christmas cake sales, plus we sold tickets on dozens of different donated items like the beautiful stained glass screen and the hooked rug donated by the Rug Hooking Guild. We had lots of items donated to the group which we then sold tickets for. It’s amazing how all of these different little things have added up to a great sum.”
The three Hospital Auxiliary members who coordinated the group’s pledge drive for the last five years are Dianne McArthur, Marg Gilchrist and Mavis Hiltz.
Since 1953, volunteer members of the Centre Grey Hospital Auxiliary have worked on a number of ongoing projects to make significant contributions to the hospital from equipment purchases and financial contributions to special projects.
This latest pledge is their largest undertaking ever.
On hand to receive the pledge cheque were Steering Committee chair Dr. Hamilton Hall and Hospital Foundation chair Dan Rose. Dr. Hall said, “In these times of economic turmoil, this is a great event for the community and for the new hospital. This $400,000 cheque from the Hospital Auxiliary speaks to the fact that this community continues to support its new hospital building 100 per cent. Receiving such a huge amount of money from a community group in a small rural area is really quite remarkable. Equally important is the fact that, despite visible signs from the government, we continue to move ahead with this project. On behalf of the new hospital steering committee, I offer my deepest thanks to the Auxiliary for their extraordinary contribution to our new health care facility.”
Foundation Chair Dan Rose was equally appreciative of the group’s contribution.
“The members of the Hospital Auxiliary are an outstanding example of the commitment this community has to its hospital. They set a high standard five years ago when they pledged $400,000 to the hospital campaign and now even though they have met their current target, they continue to raise to support quality health care in our Centre Grey community.”
“We at the Centre Grey Hospital Foundation are very thankful for their pledge and for their ongoing support and commitment.”
A 14-year veteran of the Auxiliary, Hellyer is currently in her third term as president.
The group has approximately 60 members. She noted, “It’s a great day for the hospital and I hope that this cheque from the Auxiliary will inspire any people out there who are feeling at all disappointed or jaded about how long it is taking to get our new hospital built. We need everyone to keep up with their pledges and we also need the community to remain committed to the new hospital. That’s how we are going to get it built.”