The Wetaskiwin Healthcare Auxiliary provides many of the personal and homey touches and equipment that add to the comfort of mind, heart and body of hospital patients, especially those in Long Term Care (LTC). The funds it raises are donated through the Wetaskiwin Healthcare Foundation for specific purposes. In 2013, the Auxiliary donations included $10,000 for surgical equipment, $16,000 for pressure [relieving] mattresses for LTC, $500 for garden supplies for LTC, $3,000 for Christmas supplies for LTC, and a Broda chair for the Emergency Department. In addition, the Auxiliary provides tray favours in LTC on Holidays, and each month holds a Birthday Party, and greatly appreciates Dennis Pederson's donation of flowers, for the LTC patients having birthdays in that month. The Auxiliary also operates the Hospital Gift Shop where family and friends get many of the flowers and gifts to help make hospital stays easier. The Wetaskiwin Healthcare Auxiliary does a lot to make the hospital experience more comfortable.
“Many hands make light work” so the Wetaskiwin Hospital Auxiliary is always pleased to welcome new members to help with fund raising and other activities. Anyone interested may attend a meeting on the second Tuesday of each month in the Spatinow Room of the Wayside Inn, or contact the Auxiliary President, Selma Stobbe at 780-352-6521. Meetings start at 11 am and are followed by lunch and fellowship.
In the past year, Auxiliary members made a Queen Size Quilt and had a very successful raffle for it. The raffle winner was Loretta Howatt of Drayton Valley.
Other fund raising activities in 2013 included a Garage Sale that netted over $2,400, and selling crafts, baking, and Gift Shop items at Gingerbread and Glitter for a profit of $1,400.
The Wetaskiwin Healthcare Auxiliary has been a member of the Provincial Association for over thirty years. In 2013, the Wetaskiwin group added the most new members, eight. This fall there are three or four members interested in attending the Provincial Conference in Lethbridge.
Annually, at the WCHS Awards Night, the Auxiliary presents a $1,000 scholarship to a graduate who is entering studies for a career as a healthcare professional. The 2013 recipient was Joanna Villegas who is planning to become a nurse.
The last Christmas Dinner and evening at Runway Lunch was enjoyed by 31 members of the Auxiliary.
The Hospital Gift Shop is the major source of fundraising for the Auxiliary. It carries a fascinating array of unusual, interesting and useful gift items at very reasonable prices. Among those items are knitted, crocheted, sewn, and quilted items, especially baby sweaters, sets, and blankets, afghans, lap robes, and bags for hanging on walkers. One does not need to be an Auxiliary member to make and donate suitable items, and the Auxiliary will even supply the yarn, if need be. The Gift Shop is certainly a place to remember when shopping for a gift that is different and special.
The members of the Wetaskiwin Healthcare Auxiliary engage in many activities in order to make a difference by improving the patient experience in the hospital. The more members it has, the more that can be done. As in all aspects of community life, it's the volunteers that determine the quality of life, in this case, the quality of patient life in the hospital. They are always seeking new members.