AMHERST – For more than 110 years the Cumberland Health Auxiliary has played a key role in responding to the health needs of the community.
However, as much as the auxiliary has seen success at the former Highland View hospital and the current Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre, with its coffee shop and gift shop and always popular Highland Fling spring fundraiser, it’s an organization that needs a little TLC and renewal.
“We’ve got a very good organization here and one that has accomplished so much over the years, but it’s important that we get some new people on board especially in leadership positions,” auxiliary member Vicki Daley said.
The auxiliary has formed a recruitment committee that has been meeting over the last several months looking for ways to entice others to join the organization in leadership positions. Daley said the auxiliary has been very successful at attracting people to work in the coffee and gift shops as well as at fundraisers like the Highland Fling. The issue is finding people to take leadership positions so the organization can establish a succession plan for when older, veteran members choose to move on.
“We need to get people involved with the action running of the auxiliary,” Daley said. “We have a small group of people who’ve been running the meetings and the auxiliary for some time now. We need some new people. That’s instrumental to the success of the organization moving forward. We need some people to step in and step up.”
Committee member Anna Arbuckle said new people also bring new ideas and help with renewal of the organization as a whole.
There are numerous committees for people to serve on where they can put their skills to use helping the auxiliary or learn new skills. The other good thing, she said, is the existing leadership will provide the training or mentoring that’s needed.
“We have our spokes in the number of volunteers who help us in a variety of ways, but we need to build up that core,” auxiliary president Betty Duizer-Logan said.
The role of the auxiliary can’t be questioned. Since 2000, it has raised more than a million dollars in support of health care in Cumberland County.
Last year, the auxiliary purchased a cryotome for the surgical unit ($28,500), a laryngoscope ($28,500) a BiPAP unit for the ICU ($20,510) and supported both Light the Way ($7,000) and the Cumberland Health Care Foundation’s mental health fund ($20,000).
The auxiliary, formed in 1907, has also provided scholarships for high school students, knitted hats for babies and cancer patients and plush toys for children in day surgery. It has provided a New Year’s Baby gift basket and has given volunteer opportunities to numerous people.
All this is done through the Treats and Treasures Gift Shoppe, the Coffee Shop and the Highland Fling.
Anyone interested in joining can call Duizer-Logan at 902-660-2254 or Bob Janes at 902-694-5469.