The organizational meeting of the Hospital Auxiliary was held September 15, 1983, with the following members attending: Verna Dean Hamblet, Janet Kellerman, Phelma Knight, Geraldine Hrabe, Shirley Comeau, Virginia Engborg, Tracy Fellhoelter, Opal Barb, Ethel Mayhew, Bernice Barta, Donna Brown, Polly Hrabe, Christy Graves, Mary Lou Gilliland and Dorothy Smrcka.
Before that time, attempts had been made to organize an auxiliary, but it had never materialized and moved forward. The feeling was positive in 1983 and the Hospital Board said it would give $75 to the Auxiliary treasury to get things started. A slate of officers were presented and would be voted on at the first meeting on October 14, 1983. Dues were tentatively set at $2 per person.
The group met with an overwhelming public attendance of about 100 people. All were positive to start an Auxiliary for the hospital. The following officers were elected: President Verna Dean Hamblet; Vice-President Janet Kellerman; Secretary Christy Graves; and Treasurer Shirley Comeau.
Many people paid their dues that day but paid $5 to get the Auxiliary started so dues were set at that amount. Lifetime dues of $100 were later added. The Auxiliary also decided to hold its first fundraiser — a bake sale — which has been held annually for the past 23 years.
The Auxiliary started doing voluntary work at the hospital in September 1986 and continues to do so under guidance of the Hospital Board and its staff. It also delivers noon meals to shut-ins. Many of the individuals who help with this project are not Auxiliary members, but just caring individuals in the community.
Memorial Lights, a project started in 1986, has been both a fundraiser and a wonderful way to remember a loved one at the start of the Christmas season. A memorial light is bought for $5 in memory of a deceased loved one and then beomes part of the ceremony held the first part of December in the hospital lobby. These funds are used solely for the Auxiliary Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to youth as well as adults who are completing their educaion in the health care field.
November 1989 marked the beginning of the Auxiliary's sharing in the cost of installing a Life Line in the home of someone who would need to call immediate health care to their home.
In June 2001, the "Gift Nook" opened in the hospital lobby. Both craft and new items are for sale and funds are used for the many projects of the Auxiliary.
The group of women that represent the Rooks County Health Center Auxiliary have given of themselves more than 50,000 hours for the support of the hospital and continued health care to the public.
To view a list of the past officers of the Auxiliary, please click here.