Breckenridge Texan

From gift shop to Bunco: Hospital Auxiliary – aka Pink Ladies – support hospital through many fundraising efforts

From gift shop to Bunco: Hospital Auxiliary – aka Pink Ladies – support hospital through many fundraising efforts
March 31
16:31 2024

By Jean Hayworth/Breckenridge Texan

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit the Stephens Memorial Hospital, you may have noticed the gift shop just inside the front doors, as well as some of the women working in the little store, which is operated by the SMH Auxiliary. But running the gift shop is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the duties of the auxiliary members, who are known locally as the “Pink Ladies” because of the bright pink smocks they wear when they volunteer at the hospital.

The official purpose of the organization is to assist the hospital, mainly by raising money for items needed by different departments of the hospital that they might not have the funds to purchase on their own. The SMHA picks up the slack and fills those gaps.

Stephens Memorial Hospital Auxiliary members Glenda Knight, left, and Niki Aldridge put new items on display in the SMH Gift Shop. The gift shop is one of the ways the auxiliary raises funds to help purchase items for the hospital. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The SMH Auxiliary was established in 1968. Currently there are 26 volunteers who serve in the SMHA, led by their president Niki Aldridge. Even though they have the nickname “Pink Ladies,” the auxiliary isn’t just for women. Men can join and volunteer, as well.

The auxiliary uses a variety of methods to raise money to purchase those required items for SMH.

Besides the Gift Shop, the auxiliary conducts an annual Bunco Game Night, usually held  in September. This year the Bunco Game Night has been set for Monday, Sept. 9, at the First Baptist Church’s Family Life Center. Tickets will cost $30. So circle your calendar for a night of fun and fundraising. Last year, the auxiliary brought in about $7,000, just from that one event.

Additionally, the auxiliary holds bake sales periodically during the year, usually prior to Christmas, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day and then during the summer. They also have held purse sales, at which they offer gently used purses donated by ladies in the community. The auxiliary also has held scrub sales for area medical professionals twice a year, at which scrubs are sold at reduced prices and then the companies donate 10% of the sales to the auxiliary. Also, the auxiliary has held jewelry sales from their gift shop inventory.

Currently, the auxiliary is working on a SMHA cookbook, which they hope to have in time for Mother’s Day. It includes family recipes from auxiliary members. Local businesses have purchased ads in the cookbook in order to defray publishing costs. The SMHA Cookbook will be selling for $15 and will be available at the Gift Shop and other locations in town, as well as from auxiliary members.

The SMHA contributed a total of $32,712 to the different departments in SMH, during the past year. The funds raised through all of the organization’s fundraisers have been used to purchase specific items for SMH in the past year. They include:

  • A LUCAS device to aid with compressions in the SMH emergency room. This device enables the ER nurse to tend to other needs of the patient. The cost was $13,877.
  • The SMHA contributed $8,000 toward the purchase of the state-of-the-art ultrasound machine. Total cost was $80,000.
  • The dietary department received a commercial grade mixer and blender and a table for them. The cost for these three items were $1,285.
  • The maintenance department received new tools to help in plant operations. The cost was $500.
  • The auxiliary purchased six geri-chairs that help move patients around in their room. These chairs also recline to allow a family member to stay overnight in the patient’s room. Cost of the chairs was $2,035.
  • The auxiliary purchased furniture for the waiting room of the Wellness Center. Cost was $1,349.
  • A bariatric blood draw chair was purchased for the lab. Cost was $1,325. The auxiliary also purchased blood bank centrifuges. Cost was $3,968.
  • The radiology department received a positioning pad. Cost was $1,698

The SMHA also funds two, bi-annual $500 scholarships for hospital personnel to further their education. This past year, two LVNs were able to get their RN degrees. This year, the auxiliary voted to give a $500 scholarship to a graduating senior at Breckenridge High School who has indicated they wish to go into the medical profession in some capacity.

The SMHA is a busy group of volunteers, and the week of April 21-27 — National Volunteer Appreciation Week — will be a great time to let them know how much we appreciate their contributions to the hospital and the Breckenridge community.

Stephens Memorial Hospital Auxiliary President Niki Aldridge talks to members of the organization at their March meeting. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Members of the Stephens Memorial Hospital Auxiliary — aka the Pink Ladies — recently met at Dos Gallos for their monthly meeting. Pictured, in no particular order, are: The current members are: Niki Aldridge, Jackie Judkins, Linda Hill, Suzanne Malcuit, Becky Yancey, Ann Duncan, Glenda Knight, Ann Heckart, Doris Asher, Rosalinda Martinez, Eudora Coleman, Julie Rogers, Mary Edwards, Jolene Hawkins, Kathleen Flournoy, Cathy Pardus, Donna Estes and Sue Fisher; not pictured is member Lyn Sims. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



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