When the Lake Auxilliary to Cowichan District Hospital decided to step out and hold a wine and cheese gala event, they planned to really wow people. But in the end, people really wowed them.
“This is the first event of this size the auxilliary has ever held,” says president Marge Anderson. And it was a huge success. The event was sold out with about 250 people attending. The group raised more than $6,500 for maternity, neonatal and pediatrics at Cowichan District Hospital.
But it was the volunteers that rallied around the event that really impressed the auxilliary members.
Many other organizations within Lake Cowichan supported us and made it successful,” says Donna Roughley during an auxilliary meeting following the event last week. “It says something about this town and we were thrilled to have the support from our community.”
The evening included food, wine, a silent auction and fashion show. Nineteen volunteers modeled about 50 outfits provided by Copper Lane, Fit for A Princess, Scarlett’s and Neisers for the men. The models included local royalty Lady of the Lake and the first and second princesses. The Lake Cowichan firefighters stepped out to model the menswear.
There were more than 60 sponsors for the event, but the group is particularly grateful to Country Grocer and their suppliers who provided 90 percent of the food, says Roughley.
“They were so co-operative with the auxilliary, I was taken aback by it,” says Roughley. “We wouldn’t have had the success we had or raised the funds we did without their support.”
While this event was their biggest ever, the Lake Auxilliary has been raising funds to provide items for care and comfort of patients at the hospital since 1967.
When they aren’t fundraising, the 40-member group volunteers their time to Cairnsmore Place extended care facility in Duncan, the Hospital Auxilliary Thrift Shop in Duncan and at the Kaatza Health Centre for flu clinics, the mammogram van and healthy kids programs.
“We are available for wherever help is needed,” says Anderson.
They have raised funds in the past year to purchase an ice machine for the second floor of the hospital, eight new walkers for the rehab unit, two Kangaroo pumps and a CADD pump for home palliative care. They hold bottle drives, hot dog sales, bazaars, tag days and raffles.
Although they have 40 members, the group has changed the way they do things to attract more members to the auxilliary.
“Times are changing and we are using our members and volunteers to help behind the scenes as it fits their lifestyles,” says Roughley. “It’s a new kind of auxilliary and this new event reflects that.”
“We aren’t just a bunch of little old ladies,” interjects Sylvia Greenwell, to the nods of others.
Membership in the auxilliary is just $7 a year. To get involved, give Marge Anderson a call at 250-749-6648 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.