Auxiliary volunteers work to fulfill hospital’s needs
Newborn hearing screeners and treadmills are just some of the items the volunteers at the Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare Auxiliary have provided for the Carson City hospital in the past 10 years.
The auxiliary, which formed more than 50 years ago, has maintained its gift shop in the North Carson City hospital since it relocated in 2005, providing items for patients and the medical staff. The original gift shop in 1956 was nothing more than a cart wheeled from room to room with items to buy.
Last year, the auxiliary raised $51,121, up from $21,905 in 2008, which they used to purchase a birthing simulator (a dummy that mimics a live birth, which doctors use to practice on) as well as a room sterilizer machine, repairs to the shuttle that transports people around the parking lot and a recliner for patients in the cancer center.
Since 1952, the auxiliary has raised about $1.4 million.
“We are the volunteer group that supports the hospital,” said Shirley Wilkinson, manager of the auxiliary gift shop. “The hospital gives us a list of needs and we work hard to provide the needs of the hospital.”
Most of the funds raised come from the gift shop, which features collectible statuettes, home decor items and candy. Volunteers like to say it’s the best kept shopping secret in Carson City.
The gift shop stages sales, including an annual “lobby sale” in September, and donates to other charities such as the Dayton Community Closet.
Wilkinson said about
75 percent of the business for the gift shop come from hospital employees, especially during the holidays.
She is one of 36 volunteers. She joined the fundraising group about
10 years ago after moving to Carson City from Lake Tahoe.
She eventually became manager of the gift shop.
“I don’t quite know how I did that,” she said with a smile.
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