Auxiliary lends Valley hospital a helping hand

The Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Auxiliary has been lending a helping hand to both the hospital and citizens of the Valley for many years, through thick and thin.

Over the years, the auxiliary has done anything and everything they could for the hospital and its patients.

"As volunteer workers, we really know no boundaries," Mae McLean said.

Auxiliary members have done everything from raising money to buy much needed equipment and sponsoring a health fair, to filling in as office assistants and even getting out a pick and shovel to help plant flower beds.

"Anytime they want something, we're there," McLean said.

The auxiliary's largest functions are the two fundraising events it holds every year. This Saturday, Oct. 21, the auxiliary is holding a holiday crafts bazaar at the Mount Si Senior Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event features Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas themed items, as well as a bake sale, which has proven hugely popular in years past. The Mount Si Senior Center is located at 411 Main Ave. S. in North Bend.

In the spring, the auxiliary holds a plant sale, which is well known for its rhododendrons.

Events like these helped the auxiliary raise more than $5,000 last year, money used to purchase wheelchairs and gel cushions for the hospital.

Peggy Backues first founded the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Auxiliary in 1983. She was the motivating force behind organizing and overseeing the auxiliary in its early days. Dorothy Burnham was there as well, serving as the auxiliary's first president.

McLean, who currently serves as the auxiliary's treasurer, was a charter member, as well.

And while the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital has seen its share of lean periods, the auxiliary has always been there to serve the community. McLean takes pride in the fact that the auxiliary has never disbanded. "We always kept the auxiliary going," McLean said.

For the members involved, it's an extremely rewarding experience.

"I feel like I'm actually doing something to help the people in the community," McLean said.

"It's extremely worthwhile, and we want to support the hospital because it provides top-notch medical care," Gretchen Wilson said. Wilson currently handles publicity for the auxiliary.

The hospital is also grateful for the help of the auxiliary. "The two organizations work great together," said Jessica Oliver, marketing director for Snoqualmie Valley Hospital. Oliver praised the group for both their financial help and the dedication of their time.

The auxiliary is always looking for new members, a new generation to take on the challenges of the future. Those interested may contact Mae McLean at (425) 888-2101 or just stop by one of the auxiliary's monthly meetings to learn more about the organization. The auxiliary meets at 7:30 p.m. in the Weyerhaeuser room at the hospital located at 9575 Ethan Wade Way S.E. in Snoqualmie on the fourth Thursday of every month.

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