Across the Province

May 26, 2016 | Uncategorized

Delta Auxiliary Delivers Bus

AA_71_05_01“Generously donated by the Delta Hospital Auxiliary” and “Supporting healthcare in Delta since 1969 “ are twin slogans that now attract attention on the streets of Delta.  On April 11, a festive ribbon-cutting ceremony brought together Auxiliary volunteers, Fraser Health officials, visitors and invited guests.  But the biggest smiles came from the residents and recreation therapy staff of Mountain View Manor for whom the $125,000 fully accessibleAA_71_05_02 bus was purchased.  For Robbi Schultes, Auxiliary president, there was much to celebrate: “We are pleased to provide this vehicle for the residents so that they can be taken out and about in the community and beyond.  All thanks are due to the generosity of a very supportive community and to our amazing volunteers.”  Following the ceremony, a group of residents boarded the bus in their wheelchairs and enjoyed a test drive around Ladner.  A dynamic presence, the Delta Hospital Auxiliary continues to turn heads in the service of its community.

Photos: Julia Vargara and Nean Lund

Caring Canadian Award

AA_71_05_03Merritt’s Betty Doberstein is a recipient of a Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.  David Johnston, Canada’s Governor General, personally presented the award to her on March 4, 2016.  As a 35-year auxiliary volunteer and current president of the Nicola Valley Health Care Auxiliary, Betty is an immense asset to her Auxiliary and to her community as a whole.

Submitted by Brittney Parks, Nicola Valley Health Care Auxiliary 




Small Donations Make Big Impact

Setting goals and joining with others are the keys to success for Patti Yampolsky and her Salmo and District Healthcare Auxiliary.  In 2013, this dedicated group of volunteers took on the challenge of raising $42,000 for a much-needed Portable Ultra Sound.  “It seemed like an insurmountable task for an organization as small as ours and for a small village like Salmo,” Patti recalls.  However, as word spread about the campaign, money came in from local businesses, members of the community, and from raffles put on by the Auxiliary.  A jar was placed at the Thrift Shop to collect even the smallest of donations in support of the cause.

Early this year, the Salmo Auxiliary was pleased to make the $42,000 cheque presentation, and by the end of May the new Portable Ultra Sound is expected to be operational.  Yampolsky and her fellow auxilians are proud to be part of a community effort:  “We would like to encourage any small groups to not give up when they think they are not doing anything useful or worthwhile.  As one individual person or as one Auxiliary, we may be discouraged, but united we can accomplish great things.” 

Heart and Hand Awards

AA_71_05_04a insert photoThe Clearwater Hospital Auxiliary has for the past few years honoured two members for their dedication and tireless efforts. This is our Heart and Hands Awards. This year, the Heart Award went to Gertie McKeown, who has been with the Auxiliary in Clearwater since it started 45 years ago.  Gertie was recently honoured with a life membership.  She has worked various positions, quilted baby blankets to give to our first newborns of the year, and taken on many other jobs whenever needed.  The Hands Award went to Penny Christianson for her dedication and crafty help behind the scenes to make things easier for others, while still holding a position on the executive.  Thank-you ladies for your dedication!

Submitted by Marjorie Sunderman, Clearwater Hospital Auxiliary 

BCAHA Youth Bursary 

Paul Brown, a past recipient of a BCAHA Youth Bursary, volunteered at Invermere Hospital’s Columbia House residential care facility in 2009 – 2011.  Paul was asked to share his experience as a youth volunteer and to update us on his education path and future goals. 

Volunteering was a fantastic opportunity for me that I really enjoyed.  It was a privilege to acquire experience in a healthcare setting and to assist the elderly and those with disabilities.  Some of my volunteer tasks included socializing with and reading to clients, playing board games with them, and helping them to improve and maintain cognitive functions such as memory and learning.

As an Auxiliary volunteer, I gained a better understanding of various healthcare professions such as nurses, doctors and administrators.  To other students who are interested in such a career, I would recommend that they acquire as much experience in a healthcare setting as possible.  Volunteering is also an excellent way to make a meaningful difference in your community.  I am proud of my time at the Columbia House and of my contributions to my community.

As a BCAHA Bursary recipient, I enrolled in a Masters of Kinesiology (MKin) program in applied exercise physiology at the University of Calgary.  After I complete my Master’s degree, I may choose to apply for medical school.  Becoming a medical doctor has been a childhood dream for me. 

‘An Abiding Affection for the Auxiliary’ – Remembering Dorothy Cheyne  

There are special auxiliary volunteers whose efforts inspire others and leave a legacy.  Dorothy Cheyne of Kitimat was one such person.  Kitimat Hospital Auxiliary president, Jennifer Kean, penned a personal tribute to Dorothy, who passed away April 17, 2016.

There are many in our community and in our auxiliaries who knew Dorothy far better and for much longer than I, and I’m sure those memories, experiences and stories will be spoken about and shared in the days, weeks and years to come.

There can be no doubt that Dorothy believed in and promoted the Auxiliary with all her heart –not just the Kitimat Auxiliary, but all auxiliaries across the province and throughout Canada.  When she and her husband Max arrived in Kitimat, she joined the Kitimat Hospital Auxiliary, serving and volunteering in every job within it.  She especially loved advocating for and volunteering in the old hospital’s extended care unit and the new hospital’s Mountainview Lodge.

AA_71_05_06Dorothy always enjoyed the June and Christmas dinner meetings which were far more about getting together and sharing a good meal and lots of laughs.  Over the years, she hosted several June gatherings in her home and, if the weather permitted, in her garden.  She participated in countless fundraisers, and a few early examples of her fundraising zeal included helping to organize dances, fashion shows, teas, tag days and bazaars, as well as involving herself in the Gift Shop and the Thrift Shop.

Dorothy served for many years as president of the Kitimat Auxiliary, and along with volunteering with her “home” Auxiliary, she also served several terms as the North West Area Representative for the BC Association of Healthcare Auxiliaries, which meant travelling across the northern region to visit and meet with its auxiliaries, and organizing annual Area Conferences.  Dorothy often commented on how much fun she had on those trips, particularly in regard to all the wonderful auxilians she met, many of whom became lifelong friends.  Eventually, Dorothy became the president of the BCAHA and had the opportunity to meet with auxiliaries province-wide.  After all her travels and experiences in the BCAHA she once again dedicated herself to her home Auxiliary in Kitimat, involving herself in meetings and events, and giving of her time wherever and whenever she could.

Although she generously volunteered her time in other endeavors, Dorothy had an abiding affection for the Auxiliary and she brought all her experience, insight and opinions to each Auxiliary task and event, and always with a view to improve patient comfort and care.  Her belief that auxiliaries not only contribute funds, but also bring some joy and love into our hospitals and extended health care facilities, was unwavering. This belief was at the forefront of the focus, energy and participation she devoted to the Kitimat Auxiliary and to auxiliaries across our province for close to 59 years.

Dorothy was the quintessential volunteer.  In our hearts, a memory is kept for a friend we respect and will never forget.

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