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Helping to heal

PRINCETON – The Perry Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is celebrating 65 years of service.

For years, the auxiliary provides many hours of service and has raised funds to purchase thousands of dollars of hospital equipment.

In 1948, a group of women met at one of their homes in Princeton to discuss forming the auxiliary. Six officers were installed, Abbie Gunning was elected the first president. The first organizational tea was held in the hospital dining room with 66 women present. Some of their first duties were mending linens and making bandages. The first gift to the hospital from the auxiliary was a hydrobath at the cost $945.

Carla Beaber, who is currently the president-elect, has been a member of the auxiliary since 2009.

“Sixty-five years is an amazing anniversary to celebrate; it proves once again that we have dedicated volunteers and a community who believes in supporting their hospital through volunteerism and fundraising,” she said.

The auxiliary’s mission has remained the same throughout the years – to provide volunteer services and financial assistance.

“Our records show that over the years, auxiliary volunteers from the community donated tens of thousands of hours toward fundraising to purchase equipment for our patients ... We have also raised funds to build entire building additions and rooms,” she said.

The auxiliary has used proceeds from the hospital’s gift shop, annual Candy Cane House Bazaar fundraiser, annual Tree of Lights campaign and many other projects to support the hospital. Each year, the auxiliary also awards the Abbie Jean Gunning Scholarship to a student attending college for a hospital-related health care profession and the Morine Scholarship to a nursing student.

Beaber said the auxiliary is always welcoming new members. Today the membership count sits at 192, with 100 active members and 92 inactive members. Members consist of men and women from students in high school to senior citizens.

Membership dues are $10 per year, or a lifetime member can pay $100 for a one-time membership due.

“Our volunteers who are dedicated to our community hospital want to see the hospital thrive and be a mainstay of quality patent care, so we work together and strive to make our hospital one of excellence,” Beaber said.

Active members can take part in numerous volunteer activities, whether it’s to bake cookies for bake sales, be a member of the Tree of Lights Committee, volunteer hours at the gift shop, help display Christmas items at the Candy Cane House Bazaar or become a board member.

Membership forms can be picked up in the hospital gift shop, medical office building lobby, by contacting Beaber at 815-876-2298 or look under the volunteer services tab at www.perry-memorial.org.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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