On Monday, Aug. 26, the Blount Memorial Auxiliary continued its endless tradition of giving back to Blount Memorial Hospital with a donation of $131,921.
Blount Memorial board of directors president Robert Redwine and assistant administrator Jane Nelson were on hand to accept the donation.
“You’re a very special group of people,” Redwine told the group of nearly 50 assembled Auxiliary members. “You volunteer your time and energy without compensation. You’re obviously interested in your local hospital and in helping provide services to your community. You not only provide many valuable services, you also earn funds to help the hospital and its community programs. I’m looking at some very unselfish people,” he said.
The Blount Memorial Auxiliary is made up of more than 250 active volunteers who, in the last year, donated more than 55,000 combined hours of their time to Blount Memorial Hospital, performing tasks such as providing extra services to patients, promoting community relations, and providing funds through vending machine sales, fundraising events and sales at the hospital gift shop. Every cent earned by the Auxiliary through sales and fundraising events is donated back to the hospital or its entities.
“I think our Auxiliary represents the spirit of Blount County,” Nelson said. “They provide tremendous service, and they’re here day after day. Yes, they help raise funds and we appreciate it, but they also provide a bright spot for visitors and employees, as well. We’re really proud of them and grateful to them,” she added.
The funds from this year’s donation will help fund a handful of projects, including a new biopsy chair for mammography patients, equipment for outpatient and pediatric rehabilitation, and a ventricular assist device to help critically ill patients who are at immediate risk for having a heart attack.
“Everything is for the hospital,” said director of Volunteer Services Connie Slingluff. “I get really excited. Our volunteers are social animals, so they come here to take care of people. They’re touching people, being with them or helping them with their grief. Unless you’re having a baby, coming to the hospital is not always a good experience for people, so the volunteers come here to comfort people and let them know someone cares in our community,” she said. “Also, they take care of each other. They really count on their friends and check on each other,” she added.
At Monday’s meeting, the Auxiliary also elected its 2019-2020 board members with Ed Bagley taking over as the Auxiliary’s president and Bonnie Mason serving as vice president.
Since 1947, the Blount Memorial Auxiliary has helped enhance, expand and extend the hospital's reach into our community by helping patients and visitors and supporting Blount Memorial Hospital through service, fundraising and community relations. Since its inception, the organization has accumulated well over 1 million volunteer hours, in addition to their monetary contributions, which enable the hospital to maintain, improve and advance medical care in Blount and surrounding counties in East Tennessee.
For more information about the Blount Memorial Auxiliary, visit the Blount Memorial volunteer services department located on the hospital’s service level, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., or call 865-977-5609.