Category Archives: Community

We are 30 years old!

Happy Anniversary to our North Hastings District Hospital Auxiliary!

It was back in 1985 when a band of like-minded people decided to establish the Auxiliary to assist the hospital in meeting the needs of its patients. Since then members have been giving their all in many different ways. We are so proud to mention that we still have one active member from these early days.

Bentley_mona2Meet Mona Bentley

Mona has been with us since Day One and is still an active volunteer. Mona has garnered many awards over the last 30 years in recognition of her tireless efforts – greatly deserved!

Of course volunteers have come and volunteers have gone but it is worth noting that our membership now stands at over 100 and over the years volunteers have provided almost a quarter of a million hours of service on the behalf of the hospital.

From small beginnings, our locations have changed and improved. New To You (once the Op Shop) moved from its chilly original location outdoors (!) on Sherbourne Street to a more glamorous and cosier location on Flint Street in 2004 and in 2009 to its present location on Hastings Street, when the Auxiliary bought the building. Drop by and check out the selection of good quality clothing for women and men. The Corner Café came into being in 2003 and although no-one at that time had an idea of how to run a café, the volunteers muddled through making it the pleasant, successful and efficient venue that it now is. Don’t forget – it’s a great place to meet your friends for a cup of coffee or a light lunch. You can even buy a book for a buck, sit on a comfy chair and have a read.

Our fund-raising activities began modestly of course and raised $7,000 for the hospital in the first year. By 2014 the figure had soared to over $50,000. Not bad going, eh? Over our 30 years of operation we have funded many essential purchases including a zone air bed, vital signs monitors, wheelchairs, a blood coagulation machine and so many more. We also made a donation of $50,000 to the Dialysis Clinic in 2004.

This year we have raised the stakes and taken on a two year commitment. We are determined that we will raise $100,000 over the next two years with our “Here’s Looking At You” campaign to purchase

  • an emergency department Blood Chemistry Machine
  • a portable emergency Ultra-sound Machine
  • a portable X-ray Machine

So you are going to be seeing us all over town! Say “Howdy” at No Frills for the Round-up (June 27th – July 5th). See us and hear us during the Radiothon July 17th-18th. Maybe drop by for lunch at the BBQs. Raffle tickets with generous prizes of groceries vouchers from Foodland will be available just about everywhere. And in early fall it will be time for the Smile Cookie Campaign in conjunction with Tim Horton’s.

We’d like to thank all those in the community for their support over the years and hopefully in the future. We’ll be there – and we always welcome new volunteers!

Retention & Recruitment Team R&R

Recruitment and Retention: Celebrating Volunteers

One of the biggest challenges that we face as organizations is the recruitment and retention of our volunteers. The Recruitment and Retention Team, R&R for short, of the North Hastings District Hospital Auxiliary spends much time and energy finding new and better ways to entice volunteers to join and to ensure that they want to remain once they are members.

During volunteer month, the team of Sarah Fraser, Sue Hackett, Pat Hicks, Darlene O’Farrell and Janet Wootton planned a Volunteer Appreciation Event at one of our venues.  Each volunteer received a small gift which included a pansy and a “V” volunteer pin.  Goodies were provided, volunteers were lauded and members met others who were donating their time to the same end.

The team publishes a monthly newsletter, Volunteer Voices, to keep all informed about the happenings within the Auxiliary. Each R&R member brings info from a different aspect of our organization ensuring a feeling of inclusion for every group and every venture. Special occasions or achievements of individual volunteers are highlighted and upcoming events are advertised.


But all would agree that the most memorable moment and creation of the R&R Team this year had to be their delivery of awards at our recent Anniversary dinner. “Celebrities” congratulated the award winners and, in fact, all of the members of the Auxiliary on their achievements. All five women (one in two different roles) researched their celebrity and became her for a brief time. There was a buzz for many weeks afterward still talking about the performance. Members are excited about being part of such a fun and dynamic Auxiliary.

Can you name the Celebs?  (double click on thumbnail to enlarge).

What a perfect example of success for a recruitment and retention team.

Corner Cafe turns 10

It hardly seems possible but the Corner Cafe has been open in the Professional building in Bancroft for ten years.  I was January 31st, 2003 when Joan McLeod, chairman of the committee cut the ribbon to officially open the doors.  Since then over 50,000 volunteers hours and many dollars have been generated in this bright and cheery location.


On Thursday January 31st at 11:30, the North Hastings District Hospital Auxiliary will be commemorating the occasion with a ribbon cutting and anniversary cake.  Mary McCann, a volunteer, is making the cake just like the original and most of the original committee members will be present.

Join the Auxiliary is celebrating our big event!


It was a great day!  All enjoyed the cake made by Mary McCann. Thanks to all who attended and helped to celebrate this milestone for the North Hastings District Hospital Auxiliary.

See It Within You To Give RADIOTHON

On August 17th/18th , the Auxiliary and the MOOSE teamed up for our annual fundraiser, this year labelled “See It Within You To Give”.

Volunteers and radio staff arrived at the station at 6 am full of enthusiasm … ready to begin.  Soon the phones were ringing and the pledges started coming in.  Meanwhile, at Price Ford on Hastings Street, the tents went up to welcome all residents making their donation and to tempt passersby with BBQ fare. A fun time was had in both locations throughout the day and we closed the first day tired but on a high.

Saturday started early again over at Dave’s Place as he hosted a charity breakfast for the Auxiliary.  Dave cooked up a storm back in the kitchen with the help of a couple of volunteers making toast and washing dishes while other volunteers took the orders. 84 breakfasts were served between 7 and 11 and just over $700 was added to our total.  At the MOOSE station, the Radiothon continued and the pledges came in.

North Hastings’s residents, businesses and Health Care Community, as always, gave their backing to our fundraiser.  Senior QHC staff drove up from Belleville to promote the event, our local QHC personnel were front and centre to help, our doctors …. Dr. McEnery, Dr. Griffin and Drs. Cooper and Brown … challenged their patients to give support and a local artist, Jim Bentley (son of our own Mona) donated a carving for auction.

The backbone of the event, of course, was formed by the volunteers and the MOOSE staff. On air, Steve Scally and Mark Bonokoski kept up the chatter for 16 hours supported by Mike McAlpine behind the scenes. The phones were “manned” by Mary McCann, Rita Kerr, Sue Rajsic, Rose Goodwin, Judy Vance, Sonny Cook, Muriel Churchill, Marcella Christiansen and Sue Stevens.  Money was tracked on the computer by Mary Freeman, Elda Sopha, Irene Halliday and Bill Rothwell. Pledges were taken at Price Ford by Dave and Arlene MacLeod, Alice Wilcox, Joan McLeod, Pat Hicks, Mike Stevens, Joy Bleach and Janet Wootton.

The BBQ was staffed by John and Sharon Macdonald, Jim Sopha and Robin Miller (raising over $500). Dave’s Place was staffed by Tammy Davis, Ria (our summer student), Dianne and Stuart Martin and Jim Sopha with support from Monica Walker and Karen Bonokoski.  Throughout both days, Monica and Dianne were available as extras and worked closely with Karen Bonokoski in the planning before the event.  Many hours were donated …..

But in the end we have pledges for over $31 000 for the diagnostic equipment at North Hastings Hospital in Bancroft. Congratulations … a fantastic job!