Volunteers raise $300,000
AFTER 25 years of fundraising, St Vincents Private Hospital Blue and White Auxiliary has raised more than $300,000 and the group doesn't plan on slowing down.
This month marks 25 years since the Blue and White Auxiliary, a group of dedicated volunteers, began fundraising for equipment for the palliative care unit at St Vincents Hospital in Lismore.
The auxiliary provides the unit with extra equipment that the hospital is unable to buy from its funds.
It has bought items such as special mattresses and toilet aids that have made palliative care patients more comfortable during difficult times over the past 25 years.
The members also help to provide community palliative care once patients are discharged from hospital.
Joyce Cleaver lost her son to cancer and joined the auxiliary in 1988 after seeing an advertisement for the group in the newspaper.
She said wanted to help the palliative care unit because of the personal connection she had to the unit.
"I saw the ad and I thought, that's something I can help with and I've never looked back," Mrs Cleaver said.
"I would do every minute all over again if I could."
Mrs Cleaver has been part of the auxiliary for the last 24 1/2 years and remembers when it consisted of just nine women. There are 23 now.
It raised the $300,000 by holding morning teas, lunches, garden parties, and fashion parades.
However, St Vincents CEO Bob Walsh said the 25 years had been about "more than just the money".
"It's been a total community act," Mr Walsh said.
"The hospital would also like to acknowledge individuals, business houses and organisations that generously supported the auxiliary."