Ladies auxiliary continues to provide support

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By Treena Mielke

For 25 years, members of the Ladies Auxiliary to Rimbey Hospital & Care Centre have been unseen angels working quietly behind the scenes to give selflessly of their time, energy and talents.

And even though the ladies are aging and sometimes feel weary under the strain of volunteering, they continue to provide a worthy service to the hospital.

Throughout the years, the club has raised thousands of dollars to provide such items as patio furniture, privacy curtains, maternity thermometers, a breast pump, a suction machine for extended care, and a bed alarm.

And thanks to ongoing fundraising efforts, they plan to donate $5,000 to a new ultrasound machine for the hospital on Oct. 11.

Fundraising is a major part of the ladies auxiliary’s volunteer duties. Their primary fundraiser is a raffle and strawberry tea held in May.

Prizes for the raffle are usually donated and include quilts, woodworking and artwork.

“Prizes can vary,” said Tarleton.

As well as selling raffle tickets, the group holds bake sales and contribute to the Christmas bazaar held at the Rimbey Drop In.

Holding bake sales, selling raffle tickets and donating the dollars to the hospital for much needed items is important, but not entirely what the club is all about.

Once a year the ladies put on a social hour at the hospital where they provide snacks and entertainment.

And they also take a turn in providing a birthday party for residents in longterm care. The birthday parties are held once a month, and the group participates about once a year.

The ladies also work with a flower shop to be sure a corsage gets delivered to seniors on their birthday.

And it is because of these selfless ladies that frightened children brought into emergency find a little doll or Teddy Bear tucked into their hand to bring them comfort.

One of the auxiliary’s longtime members, Mary Burrows uses her decorating talent to provide lovely centerpieces for 10 tables in long-term care. She changes the centerpieces several times a year according to the seasons.

Helping out is what the ladies auxiliary does. And members do it quietly, unobtrusively and without fanfare.

And, they do it for no other reason than because they care.

“A lot of them don’t get that much company,” said past president Evie Burns, who also volunteers to help with hairdressing duties. “I have helped out for a long time, and it is just habit, I guess. Actually, there are many who volunteer here. There is lots of volunteerism going on.”

Tarleton said talking to the patients and perhaps bringing them a few moments of joy and helping them recall some happy memories makes her day.

“Helping them remember happy things, that’s good and, really, that’s what we can all hope for in the end, to have some happy memories,” she said.

The ladies auxiliary meets the second Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the hospital.

New members are always welcome.