Help celebrate 95th anniversary Dec. 6

By Cecilia Nasmith

The Northumberland Hills Hospital Auxiliary invite you to help them celebrate their 95th anniversary Dec. 8 at the Petticoat Lane thrift shop.

Auxiliary director of communications and public relations Elizabeth Wardell said the actual anniversary was Nov. 21, and they celebrated with a gathering that included auxiliary presidents back through the mid-1970s.

Auxiliary members do amazing work in addition to fundraising for the hospital, taking on a variety of tasks in virtually every part of the facility. They will bring water and books to the patients, they will help you find where you are going, they will greet you at the door, they will wait on you at the hospital gift shop (which they have named the Little Treasure Shoppe) – they will turn up everywhere they can enhance the care given to members of the community.

But the fundraising is also something they take pride in. There are smaller fundraising programs, like the break-open Nevada tickets they sell and the monthly bazaar their crafters' group organizes. Sometimes they organize one kind of special event or another, and the Little Treasure Shoppe also passes along its proceeds to the hospital to fund the purchase of priority equipment.

But for many years now, their top fundraiser has been Petticoat Lane.

It has operated in a number of locations over the years, and its current home is on Monroe St. - immediately east of the Beer Store and across the street from the No Frills.

It's a retail location operated entirely by volunteers, from taking in donations of gently used clothing and household items to balancing the books. As a thrift store, its items rarely sell for more than a few dollars – yet it has raised more than $2-million for the hospital over the years.

The support of the community is definitely worth celebrating, Wardell said, citing the recent example of their autumn Bling & Bills event. In just three hours – even with everything at 50% off – it brought in $6,300.

“I volunteered to set up the day before and work that afternoon,” she recalled.

“All I can say is that it was overwhelming!”

Volunteers are planning a special celebration for all to enjoy Dec. 8, with congratulations from dignitaries and a 1 p.m. cake cutting.

And the store will be open for business as usual, Wardell added, so bring your Christmas-shopping list.