KAMSACK - A local group of volunteers known as the Kamsack Hospital Auxiliary has made a donation of $25,000 to the Assiniboine Valley Health and Wellness Foundation (AVHWF). Over the past two years, the group has been unable to raise funds due to the COVID pandemic regulations. However, with a single generous donation that was bequeathed to the organization by the late Hazel Bernard, the money will be passed on to the AVHWF board for the purpose of doctor recruitment for the community.
“Hazel was a devoted member of the Kamsack Hospital Auxiliary,” explained Margaret Ratushny, a former nurse and long-time auxiliary member. “We appreciate the funds that were gifted by Hazel to the auxiliary, as we have been unable to raise funds for over two years. Hazel Bernard lived in Davies Towers at the time of her passing. She was inspired by our volunteerism while she was a patient in our hospital and generously bequeathed the large amount of funds through her estate. Because of her generosity, we were able to donate funds to bring a new doctor into our community – which will benefit the clinic, the hospital, and residents of Kamsack and surrounding communities.”
Founded in 1948, the local volunteer organization has devoted decades of precious time from their own busy schedules to help raise funds to replace various types of hospital equipment, beds, and linens – as well as furnish a palliative care room and adjoining suite. For many years, they have also provided television rentals to help patients feel at home in their hospital rooms during extended stays.
For the local medical clinic, the group raised enough funds to purchase 10 examination tables. Next on their to-do list, the auxiliary hopes to launch more fundraisers to purchase much needed blood monitoring equipment for the clinic. While most of the funds are earned through the sale of chocolate bars, chips, or bake sale items, the auxiliary is also grateful for the memorial donations they receive from time to time.
In the days before COVID, auxiliary volunteers would push a cart from room to room in the hospital in order to sell “goodies” and most importantly – offer friendship.
Auxiliary member Dianne Belovanoff explained, “Once regulations lift - if we are allowed to go into the hospital again, we feel the most important service we can provide is friendship. Some people have no one else in their lives. Some people have loved ones who don’t drive or can’t make it in to visit for a number of reasons. It can be a very lonely time.”