Since 1955, the Bitterroot Health Auxiliary volunteers have been donning pink jackets and organizing fundraising events to support the hospital.
From duck derbies down the canals of downtown Hamilton to their signature caramel and apple slices at the Ravalli County Fair, auxiliary volunteers have facilitated the purchase thousands of dollars of needed equipment for the hospital over the years.
Recently, the auxiliary pledged a $50,000 match to the Bitterroot Health Foundation’s year-end campaign to help construct a cancer and infusion center at the Daly Hospital in Hamilton.
“The auxiliary is so pleased to have played a meaningful part in the foundation’s end-of-year campaign,” said Joan Carlson, who has been president of the auxiliary since June of 2020. “The way the community pitched in to match our original contribution of $50,000 is a real tribute to the wonderful people of the Bitterroot.”
Stacie Duce announced the results of the campaign at a recent board meeting. “We’re truly grateful for the auxiliary members’ trust and support offering their hard-earned fundraising efforts to spark this phase of our major capital campaign,” said Duce, director of philanthropy.
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The foundation raised more than $72,000 in a few short weeks and Duce gives credit to the matching funds for her success.
“The generosity of so many gets us $122,000 closer to our goals,” she said.
The cancer and infusion center will be an addition to the south side of the building near the main entrance and will cost close to $4 million. It is phase 5 of current renovations, which have included moving the auxiliary’s gift shop to a new location, closer to the cafeteria.
In addition to managing the gift shop, the auxiliary also manages the vending machines throughout the hospital and hosts bake sales and holiday bazaars.
Sharon Cole has managed the gift shop for 14 years and has organized the new gift shop with inventory to support the auxiliary’s fundraising goals and needs of employees, patients and guests at the hospital like snacks, gifts, books and holiday décor.
Cole is looking for volunteers to join the auxiliary and work a shift in the gift shop each week. For more information, call 406-375-4407 or visit the hospital’s new website www.bitterroothealth.org/join-us/volunteer-opportunities/.