Campaign gets another boost
by Heidi Hood, Staff writer The Saving Lives Close to Home capital campaign is $37,363.02 closer to its goal thanks to a gift from the Uvalde Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.
The Saving Lives Close to Home capital campaign is $37,363.02 closer to its goal thanks to a gift from the Uvalde Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.
The group of volunteers, recognized by their bright blue jackets and their constant presence at the hospital, presented the check on Monday to Jim Buckner, UMH administrator.
The gift will go toward the capital campaign raising money for a regional cancer care medical center that will bring radiation oncology to a nine-county region for the first time and expand medical specialty services locally.
“The hospital volunteers have been wonderful contributors, both in the time they spend and the money they have gifted,” said Buckner. “This most recent gift is a gift that will push the cancer center fundraising closer towards its goal.”
According to Cleo Lemon, president of the auxiliary group, the group raises money through sales in the gift shop at the hospital, book fairs they arrange and host and Gold Coast Jewelry sales that they hold.
“The auxiliary members have always been tremendously giving of their time and the proceeds from their fundraising efforts through the years. They have purchased equipment and provided services that have advanced the quality of care of our hospital,” said Sheri Rutledge, UMH development coordinator.
“This gift is another example of their commitment to expanding cancer and healthcare in our region – we are so grateful to them for bringing us within $250,000 of our $5- million goal.”
But, giving to the cancer center fundraising effort is not the only thing the money raised by the Auxiliary goes to.
“We have scholarships too,” said Lemon over the phone Tuesday. She said the Auxiliary awards nine licensed vocational nursing students scholarship and six registered nursing student scholarships. The scholarships are to pay for books, tuition and state board fees. Lemon said the UMH Auxiliary has awarded over $33,000 in scholarships.
Lemon wanted to let students who are enrolled or planning to enroll in Southwest Texas Junior College’s licensed vocational nursing or registered nursing programs know that the scholarships are available and to contact one of the Auxiliary officers if interested.
Currently, Lemon is the president of the auxiliary; Sissie Parham is first vice president; Pat McFarland, second vice president; Charles Lemon, treasurer; Glenda Swink, recording secretary; Savina Rodriguez, corresponding secretary; and Elvira Meier, parliamentarian.
The UMH Auxiliary is made up entirely of volunteers who, along with running the gift shop, also help out around the hospital.
“We go where we’re needed,” Lemon said.
According to Parham, the auxiliary group clocked in 5,938 volunteer hours at the hospital in 2008 alone.
Currently, member Mildred Dunaway has clocked in the most time with a total of 12,500 volunteer hours, and Evelyn Hutchison has clocked 9,784 hours, but Lemon said the auxiliary group puts in a lot of volunteer hours to help the hospital and those who are served by the hospital.
The first president of the auxiliary group was Dorothy McWhirter in 1952 and since then the auxiliary group has been a constant presence in the hospital.