The Oaklawn Hospital Auxiliary recently had its annual volunteer appreciation luncheon at the United Methodist Church where Auxiliary Co-Presidents Ellen Thornton and Darlene Neidlinger presented CEO Rob Covert a check for $12,000 from funds raised by the Auxiliary over the past year. Thornton and Neidlinger also awarded service pins to 32 active members, including 14 first year members. Receiving special mention and flowers were Helen DeWolfe, who received her 50-year pin, and Sally Bentley who has been an Oaklawn Auxilian for 55 years. Lois Zuehlke and Evna Burden topped the list of “Supporting Members” receiving certificates for 40 and 45 years, respectively.
Nearly 100 Auxilians attended the luncheon, cooked and served by the “Kitchen Krew” of the United Methodist Church. Following lunch Covert expressed the hospital’s deep appreciation, not only for the monetary donations, but also for the thousands of hours and countless acts of kindness that the 166 members provide for the staff, patients, and patient families throughout the year. He then gave a brief summary of Oaklawn highlights for the past year and touched on two current hospital building projects. Construction is already underway on the new Ricketson Medical Building, which will be home to a cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation center, as well as a women’s health center and Oaklawn Pulmonology. Covert also displayed drawings of a proposed new front entrance that would result with the expansion of Oaklawn’s Surgery Department. Plans have recently been submitted to the City with hopes that construction can begin by late summer.
In his remarks Covert stated that the $12,000 donation raised the Auxiliary’s cumulative contribution over the years to $239,000. Since 1951 these active volunteers have served the hospital in many positive ways. Besides operating the gift shop on a daily basis, members staff the information desk, assist with blood drives, provide assistance in the Oncology Clinic and other in-patient areas; sponsor the annual Spring Student Art Show; and produce stuffed toys and tray favors. They also conduct a few fundraisers, such as popcorn and baked goods sales in the hospital cafeteria and an evening Bunco Party. The Auxiliary is always looking for active members to donate two or three hours a month, or one can be a supporting member by donating annual dues of $10.
For more information on the Auxiliary, call the Development Office at (269) 789-3903.