The numbers are staggering.
The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary’s Thrift Shop continues to generate record sales while making large contributions to health-related causes.
Those were reasons enough to celebrate during the Auxiliary’s annual Christmas luncheon and installation of officers Saturday at the Chemainus 55+ Activity Centre.
Incoming president Susan Beaubier noted the $500,000 sales goal for 2018 was reached Nov. 17. Yes, that’s half a million dollars, folks.
And there’s still a month left in the year when sales are sure to keep climbing with Christmas approaching.
Joan Kerr, completing her two-year term as president, told the luncheon gathering the little Thrift Shop had sales of $134.75 a square foot last year.
“This year we blew that out of the water,” she said. “We’re close to $150 a square foot this year.”
A highlight at the luncheon was the Auxiliary’s presentation of a $150,000 cheque to Cowichan Valley Hospice House. That follows the $100,000 given last year and another $50,000 remains in 2019 to complete the Auxiliary’s $300,000 commitment to the project.
Christa Fox, chair of the Hospice House Task Force, thanked the Auxiliary for being one of the first to believe in the vision that sparked others to follow suit.
The Auxiliary also reserved special recognition for Curl Twentyman, who’s retiring as the long-time historian of the group. Sharon Stocco will take her place.
The remainder of the executive for the coming year under the direction of Beaubier includes: Kerr (past president); Nancy Southern (membership); Donna McCasky (treasurer); and Stocco (secretary).
Peggy Cavanaugh will assist Southern with membership, Morna McNair is in charge of publicity, Marie Hinchsliff is handling personnel; Linda Lendrum acts as liaison; Lucy Fry as assistant treasurer; and Dawne Grant will be the personnel committee’s member at large.
“I have to say that I am honoured and proud to be leading such an impressive group of volunteers,” noted Beaubier. “The history of the Auxiliary, going back 119 years and the outstanding community contributions by our Auxiliary predecessors can leave one very humbled. I know our members are inspired and committed to serving our community and that in itself makes me want to do the very best I can to continue the momentum and to build the Auxiliary and its work to an even higher level.”
Beaubier added she likes to remind people of the importance of members’ work, referring to them as the six pillars as follows:
1. we donate a significant amount of funds to health care in facilities in which our community members receive service.
2. we actively recycle and reduce the amount of goods that would otherwise go to landfill.
3. we provide economical shopping, selling quality goods at exceptionally low prices in a very clean Thrift Shop that welcomes and respects its customers.
4. we provide local jobs.
5. we provide student employment and excellent training in work ethic, sales and customer service.
6. and, of such great importance, we provide a strong social network that supports friendship, respect and empathy and a healthy dose of laughter, whether it be through our tea service and our Candy Striper Program at the Chemainus Health Care Centre, delivering Meals on Wheels or volunteering at the Thrift Shop.
“Truly, leading the women and men of the Auxiliary is a tremendous honour and I thank them for their confidence in me,” Beaubier enthused. “We are all focused on doing our best for our community, and that is a very laudable goal. We live in a wonderful community for which we are all so grateful.”
The rewards for everyone are so numerous.
“This has been the most rewarding experience of my life,” said Kerr of her time as president.
“Together today for our community tomorrow,” she declared.
Members reaching landmark service years were honoured with commemorative pins.
Ten-year-plus pins went to Corinne Bossons, Annette Faulkner, Mary Francis and Muriel McClure; 15-year pins to Grace Compton and Shirley Laderoute; and 20-year pins to Donna Hess, Tig Roe, Heinz Springborn, Marjorie Greeves and Norah Creelman.