Hospital Auxiliary changes face of Princeton health care

Volunteers have raised more than $150,000 from thrift shop

It difficult to imagine what Princeton health care would look like today without the work of the local hospital auxiliary.

In the past five years the auxiliary has donated more than $150,000 to local health and safety groups for much-needed equipment, and also contributed to education bursaries, Meals on Wheels, and the Penticton General Hospital and BC Children’s Hospital.

Last week the auxiliary unveiled a new CR Reader it helped purchased with a $30,000 donation to Princeton General Hospital.

The reader is an upgraded model that allows x rays to be downloaded, read and shared quickly and with more clarity.

“It (the request) came to us from the foundation and we got right on it,” said executive member and thift store manager Penny Davidson. “We raised that $30,000 in six months.”

Every dollar the auxiliary has ever raised and donated comes from the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop on Vermillion Avenue, open from 10 am to 3 pm Wednesday through Friday.

“The amazing people of Princeton donate to the thrift shop and then come in and buy it back,” said Patricia Vinthers, auxiliary secretary.

Since 2009 the auxiliary has donated $68,686 to the Princeton General Hospital, and it contributions have gone to a variety of needs including purchasing a pediatric emergency system, an ambulatory blood pressure monitor, and to help purchase an ECG machine.

Ridgewood Lodge has benefited from $43,136 donations in the same time frame, helping the lodge acquire wheelchairs, walkers and other equipment.

In 2013 the auxiliary donated $5,000 towards the purchase of a bathtub for Vermillion Club and between 2011 and 2013 the auxiliary bought $33,365 worth of equipment for Highway Search and Rescue including pagers, and funds towards the group’s truck.

Public Health and Ground Search and Rescue have also received donations.

The auxiliary has 45 members and everyone who works at the thrift shop is a volunteer. “Everyone has special jobs, we all work together and we all have fun,” said Davidson.

The auxiliary is always looking for new members and Davidson said the group is especially looking for members who can help with lifting and carrying. “We have had men in the past, they are welcome too.”

A thrift show spring fashion show is planned for May 20th, and details will be available shortly.